CRICKET fans from the Isle of Wight and beyond supporting Hampshire and packed into Newclose went home happy after watching them crush Nottinghamshire by a 244-run margin on the final day's play in their Specsavers County Championship clash yesterday (Thursday).

With a playing surface looking increasingly better for batting as the week progressed, Hampshire had Nottinghamshire back on the ferry home by tea-time after skittling them out for 194.

Isle of Wight County Press: Hampshire Mason Crane in action against Nottinghamshire in their second innings yesterday (Thursday). Hampshire Mason Crane in action against Nottinghamshire in their second innings yesterday (Thursday).

Nottinghamshire started the day on 42-2 as Hampshire's bowling attack ripped through the order, with only Chris Nash (60) showing any resistance, to end the game at 3pm and so complete their third win in four County Championship games.

As it was in the first innings, Notts were undone by three more wickets apiece for Hampshire pacemen Fidel Edwards, Kyle Abbott and Keith Barker.

Seventh-placed Nottinghamshire's run of winless first-class matches is now extended to 12 games, since beating Essex last June.

Hampshire's pace bowlers and batsmen seemed to get the measure of the excellent pitch, nurtured by head groundsman Andy Butler over the past ten years, much more than Notts did.

Newclose trustee and general manager, Hugh Griffiths, was fiull of praise for Andy and for the work hew has done to bring Newclose up to such a high standard.

"We will not need to do anything more with the pitch, which Andy has created. His importance in making Newclose what it is today is second only to the investment the late Brian Gardner made."

Hampshire stand-in skipper Sam Northeast said: "We got the momentum. The ball stayed low at times and the bowlers kept hitting that spot over and over, and that was the key.

"Day one was crucial. There was a bit there for the bowling for Notts and the opening stand was one of the key moments of the game to set the game up.

"The guys turned up not knowing what to expect from an 'outground', but everyone thought it was a really good experience.

"Sometimes you can get really bad outgrounds, but for certain, there will be more cricket played here (at Newclose) in the future."

Notts head coach Peter Moores added: "Not the trip we would have wanted. There is no hiding place from it and we have been well beaten by a better side."