Super Spencer inspires Hungerford to big win over promotion rivals Longparish
Hungerford were comfortable 83-run winners over Longparish 2nd in a Hampshire Cricket League Division 4 North top-of-the-table clash.
Hungerford won the toss and elected to bat but found themselves in a precarious position when opener Ian Woolf nicked behind and was out for 1.
Jake Rowell was the next man in and, in scorching hot conditions, put on 102 with Spencer Annetts for the second wicket before Rowell was bowled for 47.
Skipper Billy Tulloch’s purple patch came to an end as he was out for 9 but Annetts was batting beautifully, scoring 82 from 96 as he guided Hungerford to 168/4.
After losing a handful of wickets in quick succession, the hosts once again demonstrated the depth in their batting line-up as Chris Thorp (27), Oliver Tulloch (23) and Wayne Lyford (21) all scored at strike rates of over 95 as Hungerford reached 250/8 from their 45 overs.
Following another Sue Tulloch special tea and buoyed by the presence of former Southampton striker Charlie Austin in the crowd, Oliver Tulloch charged in and took a wicket with the first ball of the innings, getting good bounce off the surface as the Longparish opener edged behind to Annetts.
The next ball almost produced a repeat as Tulloch found the edge again only for Annetts to drop the catch.
It wasn’t to matter much as the new opening pair of Tulloch, who finished as the pick of the bowlers with figures of 4-44, and Jasper Rich (2-27) made the most of an attacking field and terrorised the top order, reducing Longparish to 64-5.
Jon Hack (2-40), Al Masbero (1-29) and James McDowell (1-7) did the rest of the damage as Longparish were skittled for 167 inside 37 overs, 83 runs short of Hungerford’s total.
With a promotion charge now looking possible, the club are encouraging the people of West Berkshire to get down and support at the weekends – who knows which superstar you might meet at the bar.
There were entirely different fortunes for the second team, who suffered a first defeat of their Division 6 North West season, losing to Winterbourne 2nd by 117 runs.
Hungerford were forced into a late change as captain Freddie Tulloch was ruled out with a back injury, leaving Ed James to step up as skipper and Ed’s son John taking his place in the team.
On a good pitch, there were few surprises when Winterbourne opted to bat after winning the toss and, although Oscar Fry trapped one of the openers lbw early on, a second wicket stand of 148 put the hosts in a commanding position.
Alec Yeowell finished with three wickets despite going at more than 10 an over while there were two apiece for Fry and James Cox but Winterbourne posted an impressive 252/8 from their 40 overs.
That left Hungerford with a lot to do and in truth the visitors’ innings never really got going.
Stand-in skipper Ed James battled hard to score 29 from 59 balls while his son John took an altogether different approach, smashing 17 from 12 balls.
Hungerford failed to ever threaten to chase down the target against some good bowling and were eventually all-out for 135 with three balls left in their innings, leaving them well-beaten by 117 runs.