Hursley took on league leaders Parley at the Quarters on Saturday and achieved a memorable victory. 

Parley chose to bat and lost both openers to lbw decisions, one each for Alex Blogg and Paddy McNamara. Some consolidation by Nippard (28) and Jacques (23) took the score to 81 before Ben Holden had the latter well caught by McNamara at mid-on.

A combination of Oli Green and stand-in keeper Tim Bacon, accounted for Nippard as Parley’s innings never benefited from any significant partnerships. Chess enthusiasts would have enjoyed seeing Rook, who top scored with 29, being bowled by Bishop.

The Hursley bowling has variety and penetration this year and the Parley lower order struggled to move the score along, their innings ending in the 47th over, providing Hursley with a target of 194.

Whilst the Hursley bowling has a significant threat, it can also be more than generous and on this occasion gifted the visitors 27 extra runs, mainly through leg-side wides. Bishop was the pick of the bowlers, taking 3 for 29 from his 10 overs.

Hursley’s innings got off to the worst of starts with both Khurana and Sharma back in the pavilion in quick succession. At 12 for 2, and with three main batsmen unavailable for this game, the prospect of chasing down the required runs seemed rather unlikely.

However, Bacon and McNamara were unphased and set about the task with great application and determination.

McNamara (67*) played the sort of disciplined and classy innings that has been typical of his recent form. Bacon (72) played some expansive shots, half of his runs coming in boundaries. The two Hursley batsmen took their side to the brink of victory but when Bacon was dismissed with the score on 159, there were some mild concerns when three further wickets fell in quick succession.

However, during that period O’Connor’s youthful exuberance with a quick-fire 17 settled the nerves, leaving McNamara and Bishop to see the team home. Parley are an excellent team, undoubtedly a good bet for promotion, so this was a notable victory for Hursley.

Next week Hursley take on Sparsholt in an eagerly awaited local derby at the Norman Edwards’ ground.