OT’s currently in second spot in the Southern Premier League Division 2 travelled to table toppers Waterlooville on Saturday for a vital top of the table clash.

Waterlooville won the toss and home skipper Archie Reynolds had no hesitation in asking OT’s to bat first on a green looking wicket.

With early seam and swing for the Ville bowlers openers Joe Vaughan and Charlie King had progressed to 45 before Joe was well held above his head by Archie Reynolds at deep mid off for an attacking 23 from 29 balls off the bowling of Sam Hillman. New batsmen Richard Blake joined Charlie and both found scoring difficult in the bowler friendly conditions but having added 54 for the second wicket Blake was caught and bowled by Archie Reynolds for 25. With more than 30 overs already bowled this brought Harry Tulk to the crease.

Harry immediately took the attack to the Ville bowlers and changed the whole shape of the game. Having just been dropped Charlie King was caught in the covers by Sam Robinson off the bowling of Dan Birch for a patient 53 from 127 balls. With the score on 130 for 3 Rob Newman joined Harry and the pair added 61 in less than 7 overs before Rob was adjudged LBW when playing his favourite sweep shot for a run a ball 24. By this time Harry was in full flow. Despite losing Hakim Peruzi run out for 6, OT’s had reached 243 for 5 from 49.5 when Josh McGregor ran it to bowl the final ball of the OT’s innings to Harry who was on 96 from only 55 balls, Harry attempted one more big hit but only managed to sky the ball upwards and was caught by Dominic Carson for an excellent 96 including 8 fours and 6 sixes. The OT’s final total of 243 for 6 was by far the highest total scored on the Rowlands Avenue ground this season and made OT’s firm favourites at the halfway stage.

Waterlooville needed a quick start but suffered an early setback when Gabe Broadhurst was clean bowled by Hakim Peruzi for 10 with only 21 runs on the board. Josh McCoy joined Archie Reynolds and the pair batted sensibly to build a base for the their run chase but with 72 on the board a mix up resulted in Archie Reynolds being run out for 27. New batsmen kiwi Josh McGregor had made only 8 when he was clean bowled by Vikram Dawson. Ville’s chances rested heavily with Josh McCoy but he was finding runs difficult to come by and an accurate 10 over spell of leg spin by Joe Vaughan which yielded only 26 runs and the wicket of Sam Robinson for 17 meant Ville were well behind the required rate at the 30 over stage. When Josh was eventually out caught by Rhys Wathen off the bowling of Rob Newman for 72 from 126 balls then the game was up with Ville on 170 for 7 with 74 runs still needed. Ville eventually finished 45 runs short on 198 for 8, with Rob Newman and Hakim Peruzi each claiming two wickets.

Waterlooville remain top of the table but, with third placed Portsmouth & Southsea suffering a heavy defeat OT’s are now well clear of their nearest rivals in the promotion race.

OT’s quarter final T20 match against premier league Totton & Eling due to be played on Sunday July 30 fell foul of the weather so their next scheduled game is on Saturday August 5 at the picturesque Hartley Wintney ground starting at 12.30pm.