May 27th 2017

Under strength 1st XI fall short

Sway I 177, Andover II    208-7;

HANTS COUNTY DIV 2


Report by Jon Waller

A below strength Sway side suffered a disappointing defeat to Andover to leave them lying in mid table. Missing five players – their entire top four (which included regular skipper Alex Hall) and last season’s leading wicket taker Ben Powis – the side was led by David Steadman.

And it was Steadman (1-34), who claimed the first wicket of the day, Brock Jeffries clutching a sharp chance offered. But after that breakthrough Andover batted well, although their number three appeared very fortunate to survive an early LBW shout, and were 80-1 at drinks.

The partnership was ended when Andover’s Watta was well caught in the deep by Oscar Marshall off the excellent Josh Bailey (2-32). Shortly after deputising keeper Neil Prince claimed a stumping, and when there was a run out after good work by Jeffries, Andover were 112-4 with 12 overs to go. However, Andover batted well thereafter, although Jon Grasham (2-46) bowled with pace and verve, and there was a run out claimed by Steadman.

In reply, Sway started off very well with Prince and Barry Jones (13) looking in good touch. When the first wicket fell for 44 in the 12th over, first team debutant Dan Bailey came in and started promisingly, one particularly well struck sweep finding the boundary.

But after Bailey was out at 80-2 just prior to drinks, Sway suffered a mini collapse. Prince (44), who batted terrifically, found a fielder, while Nila Atapattu, Jeffries and Steadman departed cheaply leaving Sway 104-6 and staring down the barrel.

Marshall did a mini rebuild before perishing for 19, and from then on Sway were up against it. The hosts had hope while FJ Charton (19) and Grasham (22) were at the crease, both hitting towering sixes, but when they were out Sway folded soon after, 31 runs short.