Bashley second team got their Southern Premier League Division Two campaign off to a disappointing start on Saturday, falling to a 36-run defeat away to Hambledon at Ridge Meadow.

Hambledon captain Will Bond won the toss and batted first. Bond was the cornerstone of his side’s innings, making a well-built 85 from 138 balls, including 12 sweetly struck boundaries. He was well supported initially by Rob Atkins (18) in an opening stand of 45, before Bash spinners Neil Taylor (1-30) and new signing Ryan Maciocchi (1-45) made inroads into the Dons’ middle order. Spencer Le Clercq (41) helped his captain lay a strong platform, before Pradeep Bains’ enterprising 21 from 10 balls lifted his side to 210 from their 50 overs. Ross Grierson was the picked of the bowling attack, taking 1-26 from his 10 overs, and was unlucky not to pick up more after seeing two simples chances spilt off his accurate slow-left armers. Opening quick Sean Read (1-44) helped limit the damage with a brilliant final spell of dot-ball yorkers.

In reply, Bash got off to the worst possible start with Ryan Taylor bowled in the first over. Captain Phil Morris joined debutant Tom O’Sullivan (22) and the pair took the reply to 46 before O’Sullivan slapped Rupert Hetherington (2-28) to mid-off. Just as Morris and number four Callum Maher looked to be grabbing the chase by the throat, Morris departed for 30, caught at short extra cover. Despite Macciocchi’s quick dismissal, Bash were looking good again as Maher and impressive youngster Patrick Lewis (23) rebuilt again. Maher’s dismissal for 23 to veteran spinner Ian Turner (2-26 from 10) sparked a collapse of four wickets for just 17 runs as Bash slumped to 131-8. Despite Neil Taylor’s 21 and some lusty hitting from number 11 Sean Read, Bash were skittled in the final over for 174. Five of the top seven registered a score above 20, but a failure for anyone to build a substantial innings like Bond’s cost them dear.

Bashley welcome Trojans, who registered a fine opening day win, to the BCG next Saturday at 1pm.