AFTER chalking up wins in the opening two games of Division 1 of the Southern Premier League, Ventnor came back down to earth with a bump after they let slip a good opportunity to beat last season’s promotion rivals Liphook and Ripsley.

The hosts, who struggled in their first two games, did well to beat the Islanders, whose bowlers got on top, until the latter stages.

Ventnor were put into bat on a good wicket and were initially rattled by the dismissal of openers Verma and Thimodya with just 20 on the board.

The pitch was slightly damp for the first 15 overs, with variable bounce, so it was up to club stalwarts Rob Snell and Martin Blackman to bring Ventnor back into the game, by producing a third wicket stand of 131.

That was when Snell was stumped for 69. 

Isle of Wight County Press: Shanklin’s Harry Moore celebrates a caught and bowled with a dolly catch.Shanklin’s Harry Moore celebrates a caught and bowled with a dolly catch.

Blackman went on to score his first Premier League century off 139 balls — carrying the bat to the end with 118.

However, the scoring rate slowed in the last ten overs as Ventnor posted 259-4.
Second and third wicket stands of 84 and 72 respectively enabled the home side to reach 199-3 after 40 overs. 

Ventnor then took 3-11, leaving Liphook 50 needed off six overs. 

However, some attacking batting led the home team to a three-wicket win with eight balls remaining.

Isle of Wight County Press: Ventnor II’s Mark Fletcher on his way to a big score in their win against Calmore III.Ventnor II’s Mark Fletcher on his way to a big score in their win against Calmore III.

In Hampshire 1, Ryde came up short — losing by 63 runs at Old Basing.

The home side posted a competitive 232-7, by Ryde were skittled out for 169 to remain bottom after a winless start to the season. 

On the other hand, Shanklin and Godshill maintained their 100 per cent winning start to their Division 3 (South) campaign with an easy win over Cadnam at Westhill.

Cadnam were bowled out for a paltry 78, with Harry Moore (3-13), Andy White (2-0) and Benji White (2-23) doing the damage.

Shanklin’s Stuart Read saw them home comfortably after just 16.1 overs.
In Division 4 (South), Ryde II won by a convincing 63 runs.

Ryde II set a modest 163-9, with Tom Roscoe (62) top scoring.

Kerala II were bowled out for 100, with Mark Tuckwell (3-23) the best of the Ryde attack.

In their match against Calmore Sports III at Steephill, Ventnor II won by an easy six-wicket margin.

After Calmore were dismissed for a below par 166, Ventnor eased home, with the innings led by Mark Fletcher’s unbeaten 74. He also topped the bowling stats with an excellent 3-7.  

In Division 1 of the Island League, Northwood cruised to victory at St Helens.
The home side could only muster 111 all out, with Liam Roberts (4-27) and Simon Goldsmith (3-38) leading the bowling assault.

Kevin Cooper top scored (48 not out) in their eight-wicket win.

Freshwater beat Newport by 34 runs. D.Dovale got 4-12 for Freshwater. 

Meanwhile, in Division 2, Ventnor III beat Newport II at Arreton.

Defending a total of 240-4, in which Tom Stafford hit 92, well supported by Mark Price (58) and Gary Cooper (45).

                                                        SATURDAY'S FIXTURES
Southern Premier League, Division 1:
Ventnor v Basingstoke & North Hants; Hampshire 1: Ryde v Portsmouth II; Hampshire 3 (South): Bashley (Rydal) III; Division 4 (South): Hythe & Dibden II v Ventnor II;  Calmore Sports III v Ryde II; Island League Division 1: Cowes v Northwood; Shanklin & Godshill II v Freshwater; St Helens v Newport; Division 2: Newport II v Ryde III;  Northwood II v Ventnor III.