Their hard earned three wicket win over Bashley in a low scoring contest at Newclose on Saturday maintained third place in the table ahead of a visit to bottom of the table Totton & Eling and a home clash with Burridge.
The visitors decided to bat first on winning the toss but were rocked on their heels by Ventnor’s new ball attack of Adam Wilson and Mark Holmes. The pacy Wilson accounted for Michael Porter before skipper Holmes inflicted further damage with a three wicket blast. The seamer, making life difficult with the movement he extracted off the pitch, accounted for the Morris brothers and then produced a jaffa of a delivery to clean bowl Australia Under 19 batsman Jared Morgan in a match defining spell to leave the New Forest side struggling on 23-4.
Nick Baker with 44 threatened a recovery but when the left hander holed out to leg spinner Ian Hilsum (2-25) for 44, hopes of a substantial total evaporated. The home team bowled a disciplined line and length throughout and backed up by sharp fielding, chipped away at the Bashley lower order. Wilson finished with 3-18 while Ollie Mills and Marc Antony Eysele also got amongst the wickets to help dismiss the mainlanders to 150.
Ventnor made steady progress in pursuit of a modest target and at 100-3 (Eysele 25, Mills 19) were well set with Tom Friend leading the way. However, when the former Unicorns all-rounder followed Hilsum back to the pavilion for 39 there was still work to be done. The experienced Neil Westhorpe eased the hosts closer and it was his invaluable knock of 24 which left James Cheek and Hugh Calloway with just a handful of runs to score to clinch a deserved victory by three wickets.