August 12th 2017
Parley won the toss and somewhat surprisingly chose to bat first on a Littledown wicket that had seen a lot of rain during the week. Sway opened with Sam Nailor and Matt Bramwell and from the outset the home side struggled against naggingly accurate bowling. By the end of the 8th over, Parley had managed just 13 runs. The breakthrough finally came off the miserly Bramwell (6-3-7-1) when he took a sharp caught & bowled to dismiss opener S Hopkins. Harvey then got in the act to have number three L Hopkins caught by Will Millard. The tight bowling persisted and a few overs later there was another flurry of wickets - one to George Lewis as A Deem went back to a ball that kept low whilst watchful opener C Baker was caught by Dan Stevenson off Dave Marshall. At 28-4 off 15 the Parley innings had reached a crisis point so the experienced Matt Barber took the the field to steady the ship - which he did alongside M Luther as they crawled to 51-4 off 20 overs.
Just as Parley looked to have built a foundation for attack, two quick wickets fell to Lewis (6-1-16-3) as Luther mis-timed a drive to Millard and Apperley gave the simplest of chances to Steve How at slip. Barber was still there but he was rapidly running out of partners and this was made worse when Marshall (10-4-21-3) picked up two further wickets, giving Millard his 3rd catch as well as one in the deep for Reece Owen. Barber had now seen enough and decided to have a go before it was too late, playing a series of fine, hard hit strokes. Once he was caught by Will Baughan off the returning Sam Harvey (8-1-14-3), Harvey quickly polished off the number 11 leaving Parley all out for a disappointing 86.
Sway opened their reply with Dan Stevenson and Adam Clark and with the required rate already very low, were handed a useful bevy of freebies in the first few overs in terms of wides. Sway did not really have to take any risks - and didn't - comfortably reaching 24 without loss off 8 overs.
Parley did however make the breakthrough in the 9th over when Clark was caught behind for 7 of S Pearce bringing in the in-form Steve How at 3. Parley tightened up their bowling with a couple of fine spells by the youngster K Hopkins (4-2-5-0) whilst S Hopkins at the other end bowled Stevenson for 21 and had Millard trapped in front for a duck. That was as good as it got however for the home side as How (38*) and skipper Nailor (9*) knocked off the required runs with relative ease with 12 overs in hand.
So if Sway win their last two games they will be champions, however, with the last game at second placed Lyndhurst & Ashurst, the mostly likely outcome will be that the final game will be a winner takes all title decider.