Ventnor ran likely title contenders St Cross Symondians close in Saturday’s ECB Southern Electric Premier Division encounter, falling just eight runs short of victory after a spirited run chase at Newclose.
Winning the toss, the Winchester based visitors set the home side a challenging target of 251 with the talented Billy Walsh (91 not out) and Adam Rouse (72) leading the way, Rob Snell (1-37) and Jamie Miller (1-29) both bowling fine spells to check the mid innings scoring rate.
The Islanders were given a solid base in reply by openers Ollie Mills and James Cheek before the former departed for 15, bringing Aussie debutant Travis Head to the crease. The 19 year old left hander looked mightily impressive in striking five fours and a six but despite his departure for 44 immediately after the drinks break, Ventnor were still handily placed on 114-2 after 25 overs.
Young Cheek, deputising for injured Jake George, went on to score a splendid 62, but when he fell leg before, Ian Hilsum took the lead role. Supported by Neil Westhorpe (25), the Ventnor skipper edged his side nearer their target but with former Notts and Hampshire pace man Richard Logan taking the wickets of Westhorpe and Miller in the closing stages, Hilsum’s fine unbeaten knock of 46 was not quite enough as his side finished on 243-7.
Ventnor travel to Lymington on Saturday.
Ventnor second team’s opening Hampshire League Division 1 fixture at Easton & Martyr Worthy was rained off without a ball being bowled.
Purbrook are the visitors to Steephill on Saturday.