An outstanding all-round display from Charlie Calloway inspired Ventnor’s second team to their first victory of the season in a fluctuating encounter with Portsmouth & Southsea in Hampshire League Division 1 at Steephill over the weekend.
Skipper Ben Woodhouse with 26 gave the home team a handy start before the visitors, relegated from the Southern League last season, pegged Ventnor back. George Niemiec grafted his way to 20 but at 85-5 the innings needed a recovery job. Mark Whyte, making a welcome return to the side, contributed 21 but when he departed, it was Calloway who took centre stage. The right hander thumped five fours and four sixes in a highly responsible unbeaten knock of 60, working effectively with a youthful tail to lead his side to 205-9 from their 50 overs.
Portsmouth & Southsea looking for a third successive win, were undone by a superb opening spell from Calloway. The Ventnor seamer ripped out the top five batsman and with off spinner Charlie Sammons taking 3-36, the visitors were indebted to Matt Smith whose unbeaten 64 kept his side in the contest.
With the tension building, young George Willis returned to the attack to claim the ninth wicket, before Calloway fittingly ended the match at 181 to cap a fine individual performance and clinch an excellent win for his side.
Meanwhile, Ventnor won their third successive match in Hampshire League Division Four South East with a convincing eight wicket win at Gosport IV on Saturday.
14-year-old Ben Attrill was the stand out bowler for Ventnor, taking 4-14, supported by Chris Hibberd (3-17) as the home team were dismissed for only 79.
Such a modest total posed few problems for Ali Cotton’s side who reached their target inside 16 overs, Dan Cox making an unbeaten 27 and Sam McQueen 33.
A match to honour the memory of Keith Newbery, a much respected journalist, writer, sportsman and vice president of Ventnor Cricket Club who died in August last year, takes place at Steephill on Sunday.
The match, which will see an Island Over 50’s side take on Keith’s XI, starts at 14:00 and a warm welcome is extended to all.
All League and Cup cricket this coming weekend:
Saturday 30th May
Southern Electric Premier Division: Ventnor v Bashley at Newclose at 13:00
Hampshire League Division 1: Locks Heath v Ventnor II at 13:00
Hampshire League Division 4 South East: Ventnor III v Fareham & Crofton IV at Steephill at 14:00
Sunday 31st May
Royal London National Club Championship: South Wilts v Ventnor at 13:00