Liphook & Ripsley climbed off the bottom of the Division 1 table after producing by far their best performance of the season.
They breezed past New Milton with a seven-wicket win at Ripsley Park.
Liphook lost the toss and were asked to field by the away side on what was a very humid afternoon – and the pitch looked an absolute dream to bat on.
Liphook’s bowling hadn’t been good enough all season – but what an afternoon to turn that around.
Skipper Sean Burton and Charles Janczur opened the bowling and standards were high right from the off – and it didn’t take long for the wickets to start falling.
Janczur removed both opening batsmen James Adams and Joseph Wooster for not many, both caught behind by the safe hands of Richard Covey.
Covey then claimed a third catch as Burton got in on the act and New Milton were struggling at 32 for three.
The dangerous Lee Beck came to the crease and played some aggressive strokes to the boundary and looked in good touch.
However, the introduction of Joe Randall paid dividends as a lovely delivery found the outside edge of Beck’s bat and was held well in the slips by Ryan Covey.
New Milton then lost the next four wickets for just 26 runs as Randall and Ryan Covey ripped through the middle order with some great seam bowling.
Joe Hall (18) put up a fight for the away side but he was the last wicket to fall and New Milton were all out for 108.
It was a superb bowling display from the hosts, which was much needed, and Randall finished with four for 21, Covey three for 21, Janczur two for 25 and Burton one for 16.
Liphook knew what they had to do and time was not an issue, as opening batsmen Ryan Covey and youngster Henry Amis set about chasing down the low score.
Both played some glorious strokes as they put on a 63-run opening stand before Amis (33) was caught behind off some hostile bowling from New Milton captain George Watts.
The young Royal Grammar School student looked in great touch and was fresh off the back of a superb 82 last week against Ventnor.
Ryan Covey was next to go for 26 as he was caught behind off the bowling of Beck.
Liphook then lost Harry Munt cheaply and the nerves started to kick in as the score was now 66 for three, with Liphook still needing more than 40 runs.
Richard Covey was joined by Oscar Amis and the pair played watchfully as they tried to get the scoreboard ticking over towards their target.
But they looked in no trouble at all as the pair saw Liphook home to win by seven wickets, Covey finishing on 19 and Amis on 23.
Liphook will be looking to repeat a superb team performance today (Saturday) when they head to bottom-of-the-table Sparsholt in a real relegation scrap.