It was most definitely a ‘Taylor-made’ weekend of action as we recorded four wins from five in our league and cup games – with Matt front and centre!

SPCL Division 1
Calmore Sports won by 20 runs
Calmore Sports 193 (Mark Lavelle 88, Sam Moss 28)
Liphook and Ripsley 173 (Lavelle 3/40, Liam Carty 3/46)

Played six and won four – the first XI are keeping firmly in the promotion race currently being lead by Rowledge following a hard-fought 20-run victory over Liphook and Ripsley at Loperwood Park and it was in no small measure down to the skipper Mark Lavelle, who became the first Calmore Sports 1st XI captain to score 60+ runs and take 3+ wickets in the same league game.
Being asked to bat first, the home side got off to the worst possible start losing both openers with just 11 on the board but Lavelle, batting at three for just the third time in his league career, took up the mantle to score his highest league score since recording the second of his SPCL centuries in 2015 against Hook and Newnham.
Initially receiving good support from Shawn Johnson (25) and then Sam Moss (28), they righted the ship to calmer waters of 149-3 but he was forced to watch three wickets fall for just nine runs before Ben Perry tried his best to ease his partner through to three figures and a new entry on the honours board.  Unfortunately, the captain was to fall 12 runs shy but not before he had hit 12 fours and faced 140 balls to record a superb 88 (our highest score by a number 3 since Ben Johns’ 100 v Basingstoke in 2017 and the highest by a number 3 not to reach a century since Simon Williams’ 88 at Rowledge in 1993).
Lavelle might have walked off disappointed that his side had not transferred their 149-3 into something more than their eventual 193 all out total, being bowled out with nine balls remaining.
It would have been enhanced when the visitors got off to a fine start, reaching 60 before in-form Liam Carty trapped opener Oliver and then sent Suman Ganguly back for just 9, also leg before.  And the off-spinner would complete the hat-trick of LBWs when skipper Randall was also claimed – Liam is just the third Calmore bowler to dismiss three batters leg before in an innings after Steve Brandes in 1990 and Charlie Freeston in 2003.
Wickets continued to fall but keeper Richard Covey was remaining obdurate and moved to 63 before Lavelle removed him and despite Barnes’ 10-ball 29, including three sixes, the visitors were bowled out for 173 with 3.4 overs left in the tank – Carty finishing with 3/46, Lavelle 3/40 and Dan Croft wrapping up the tail with 2/16.
Third place in the table behind Rowledge and Ventnor but three big games coming up, starting with a trip to Portsmouth next weekend.
7 times – Paul Draper; 5 times – James Hibberd; 4 times – Mark Lavelle; 3 times – James Rose, Paul Cass

Hampshire League Division 3 South
Calmore Sports II won by 68 runs
Calmore Sports II 269/4 (Matt Taylor 126*, Tom Perry 71*, Max Bailey 31)
Sarisbury Athletic II 201/8 (James Rose 4/37)

Six games played, just three points dropped all season!  It has been a remarkable commencement to the Hampshire 3 South campaign for Matt Taylor’s second XI as they trounced one of the sides at the top end of the table by 68 runs thanks to an outstanding display with the bat from the captain.
Matt is in the form of his life and, once again, put the Sarisbury bowlers to the sword – he has 292 runs in his last five innings against the Hollowmen (1st XI or 2nd XI) for just once dismissed – in the National Village Cup earlier this season.  And his record at Sarisbury’s ground now reads 36*, 51*, 9* and this sensational 126*!
He won the toss and chose to take first use of the good wicket but soon saw his side reduced to 37-2 when both openers were dismissed.  Max Bailey hit a pleasing 31 off 49 balls but when he and Dippy Dey went, there was a little bit of concern at 128-4 that they would fail to record full batting points for the first time batting first.  He need not have worried as Tom Perry was in sublime form, playing some incredible shots to record his highest Saturday league score of 71 from just 46 balls, cracking seven fours and a six as he shared a stand of 141 with the skipper from just 83 balls to post 269-4 – a third consecutive 250+ score batting first … it had only happened seven times in the previous 12 years!
Matt would close his innings undefeated on 126 from 117 balls, going from 50 to 100 in 34 balls and scoring 76 from his last 47 – it was the equal highest score from a 2nd XI batter since 2010 and his second league ton after his 111* at Hartley Wintney in 2014.  Prior to the start of the season, he has nine 50+ scores … he already has three this year and would add a fourth!  Calmore loves MT2.0!
The Sarisbury reply never really threatened despite opener Mottola’s 51 and they played the full 45 overs to 201-8, ensuring they took a bonus point while denying us the full quota.  James Rose took 4-37 to claim his first four-wicket haul since his epic 8-54 at Kerala in 2018.
Six wins from six but two crucial games which will show the mettle of the side, starting with a home game with Sway next weekend before a trip to the other unbeaten side in the division, Locks Heath the week after.

Hampshire League Division 4 South
United Services (Portsmouth) won by 35 runs
United Services 230/7 (Callum Greasley 4/40)
Calmore Sports III 195 (Adam Pattison 74*, Paul Henry 25)

Burnaby Road, Portsmouth.  The home of United Services Portsmouth.  The home of Royal Navy cricket and a first-class venue for Hampshire since 1882 until 2000 before the vast majority of the county’s cricket stayed at the Rose Bowl (as was then).  And the home of the Southern League champions of 1994 and one of the great names of local cricket.
39 years ago in 1983, Billy Sims’ Calmore Sports 1st XI travelled east in County One and were soundly beaten by seven wickets as a veteran of Navy cricket, Andrew Collier, took 6-43.  And we would beat the reigning SPL champions in 1995 on that very ground with Martin Kellaway’s 72 and five wickets for Kurt Donaldson leading the way to a 118-run success.  Graeme Lyon took 2-20 – it wouldn’t be what he was remembered for on that day!
How the very mighty have fallen!  On Saturday, our newly promoted 3rd XI stepped through the famous gates to a ground that has seen some of the very greatest names in cricket play – ICC Hall of Famers Wasim Akram, Ian Botham, Denis Compton, Bob Willis, Shane Warne, Sunil Gavaskar, Rahul Dravid, Barry Richards, Garfield Sobers, Gordon Greenidge and Jim Laker to name but a few – to take on a shadow of the US Portsmouth club so reverred in past times.
The home side won the game by 35 runs but it was a game that won’t live long in the memory – bar for the historical surrounds.  Skipper Cal Greasley took 4-40 as the hosts scored 230-7 in their 45 overs before we would close 195 all out, thanks mainly to a career-best unbeaten 74 from Adam Pattison – toppling his 63 from 2019 against Colden Common.  Paul Henry chipped in with 25 late on but it was too late to make an impression.  Let’s just leave it at that!

Hampshire League Division 6 West
Calmore Sports IV won by 3 wickets
Ferndown Wayfarers IV 164/9 (Ollie Hibberd 3/41, Roy Walton 2/13, Pete O’Neill 2/22)
Calmore Sports IV 165/7 (Roy Walton 47*, Northern Matt Taylor 32)

Three wins from four games played is a terrific return from the mainly youthful 4s – and a sprinkling of experience – as they overhauled Ferndown by three wickets at the Sports Centre.
The vastly experienced Roy Walton was the main man, taking 2-13 from his full eight over spell (with four maidens) while he cajoled Pete O’Neill to his best figures of the season of 2/22.  Ollie Hibberd roared in and took a fine 3-41 but mentions should be made of Oliver Brady’s impressive 0-19 from seven and Stewart Abbott 1-20 in his five which restricted the visitors to 164-9 in their full 40 overs.
Calmore lost two early wickets but opener Sam Binnington (17) was joined by the return of the mercurial NMT, who would follow his three dismissals behind the stumps with a club best 32 with the bat.  Brady scored a useful 10 but it was ‘The Fox’ with a superb unbeaten 47 that saw the side home with time to spare.
Sixth place in the early league table under the watchful eye of James Hibberd – the future is decidedly bright!

Voneus National League Cup Round 4
Calmore Sports won by 8 wickets
Bramshaw 177/8 (Liam Carty 2/22, Mark Lavelle 2/27, Ben Perry 2/40)
Calmore Sports 178/2 (Matt Taylor 51*, Shawn Johnson 43*, Ben Johns 40)

For the second year in a row, Calmore Sports were crowned the National Village Cup Hampshire region winners, seeing off the challenge of Bramshaw second time around to book their place in the last 32 and the National rounds.
Still unbeaten since joining the competition last season, the game followed something of a similar pattern to the rained off contest seven days previously with Bramshaw reaching 177-8 in their 40 overs, just two runs lighter than their tally at Roundhills.
It was always the big wicket, the experienced Tom Arnold and he was removed for 36 with 60 on the board but Simon Booth (47) and important contributions from Sergio D’Monte (20), John Murray (19), Joe Coombs (14) and Michael Kingston (10*) help their side to a challenging total on a sunny but occasionally blustery afternoon at Loperwood.
The spinners were once again the ones who took control with a couple of wickets apiece for Lavelle, Perry and Carty which kerbed the Bramshaw scoring rate as they knocked along at roughly four an over throughout.
What could have been a tricky chase was calmed by a steady batting display from the home side, losing just two wickets on their way to victory with eight overs to spare.  Michael Cook and Ben Johns shared a 49-run opening stand before the former was removed and then Johns’ incredible run of six consecutive 50+ scores (in the completed games) was ended when was trapped in front for 40.
But it just brought Shawn Johnson in to join the in-form Matt Taylor and their 98 run stand took their side home in comfort – Taylor recording his second half-century of the weekend while Johnson found some form with a classy unbeaten 43.
And so, the National rounds ‘road to Lord’s’ opens once again as we look forward to welcoming Oxfordshire winners Oxford Downs CC to Loperwood next Sunday.

Grampound Road (Cornwall) v Corse & Staunton (Gloucestershire)
CALMORE SPORTS (Hampshire) v Oxford Downs (Oxfordshire)
Pentyrch (Glamorgan & Gwent) v Congresbury (Somerset)
Cookham Dean (Berkshire) v Goatacre (Dorset & Wiltshire)