Calmore Sports are just one match away from the last 32 of the Voneus National Village Cup after comprehensively defeating Sarisbury Athletic in the rearranged Hampshire Round 3 clash on Sunday, thanks to an impressive half-century from Matt Taylor and a solid bowling display that restricted the home side to a modest total.

The ‘Village Kings’ of Hampshire will be crowned next week when Sparsholt, who thrashed Bramshaw in their round three game, come to Loperwood Park on Sunday 6 June for the right to be the county’s representative as the competition goes national.

Sarisbury, who won the toss and elected to bat first on a, finally, glorious Sunday afternoon, were never allowed to get away as the Calmore bowlers took regular wickets to hamper the hosts’ cause and dismiss them for just 149, one over shy of their full allocation.

Yannick de Mezieres Lepervanche ripped out Elliot Smith’s stumps in his first over but Ricky Rawlins and Chris Sanders made steady progress in putting 39 together.  That was until Calmore skipper Mark Lavelle dismissed both leg before, Rawlins for 29 off 33 balls and Sanders 19.

Home side captain Josh Hill put up some resistance, top scoring with 27, while Rob Franklin (21 off 23 balls) smashed three fours and a six as he tried to bolster the total.  However, Ben Perry (3-22) and Lavelle (3-14) controlled the middle overs expertly before Jimmy Manning stifled the tail with 3-15 to bowl out the home side for their mediocre total.

However, Sarisbury would have been buoyed by the very early removal of prolific opener Ben Johns, who has yet to get his National Village Cup run tally off the mark yet in two innings!

Will Brewster would be joined by the much maligned Matt Taylor at the crease and, fresh off his first Saturday league half-century since the last day of the 2016 season (88 for the Fourth XI at Winterslow 2s) just 24 hours previously, accumulated a second as he kept his partner ticking over in a stand of 48 before Brewster was trapped leg before for 25 and then the free-scoring ‘Man of the last Round’ Shawn Johnson, who clubbed five fours in his 34-ball 38 before he hit one back to Phil Jewell – scoring 38 of their 50-run third wicket partnership.

At 98-3, Calmore needed just 52 more to win.  It was then that Taylor pushed on and with Manning (16 not out) saw his side over the line, closing unbeaten on 51 from 89 balls, hitting just two fours but proving his worth as they booked their place in the county final next week.

A beaming Mark Lavelle was full of praise for his match winner.  “Matty played the innings I think we’ve all waited for so far this year.  He played the perfect role to anchor the innings to top off a good weekend for him and for us!

“As a unit, we also bowled brilliantly in partnership and squeezed the game well.  It was good to win the game comfortably and across the weekend, all of the top five made key contributions over the two days.

“But we know that next week will be a very tough game.  Sparsholt are a very good side so we will have to be at our best to get through to the National rounds.”

Match scorecard from the game