Rowledge’s first team fell to a 31-run defeat at Calmore Sports in Division One of the Southern Premier Cricket League on Saturday.

The home side won the toss and batted first, but lost two early wickets to opening bowler Max Martin.

Martin and Richard Forbes produced their usual early tight lines and starved the batsmen of runs.

At 12 for two the home side were precariously placed.

Skipper Ben Johns was joined by Liam O’Connor and the pair played with patience and produced fine shots around the ground to compile a match-winning 182-run partnership which turned the game on its head.

Rowledge, despite the heat, bowled and fielded to the high standards they have set this season – but the pair were in no mood to give their wickets away and slowly gave the hosts the advantage.

A final flurry of wickets at the end of the innings gave Rowledge a few much-needed bonus points, but the total of 220 for six on a slow, low track was going to be challenging and patience was going to be key to the run chase.

The wickets were shared among the bowlers, and there was a sharp run out from Martin at the end of the innings.

Rowledge’s reply got off to an excellent start, with openers Zac Le Roux and Martin putting on 46 for the first wicket before Le Roux (23) was stumped off first change bowler Ben Perry.

This brought Hugh Croft (31) to the crease and both batters slowly and surely got the scoreboard ticking over as the total reached 125 for one before Croft fell leg before wicket to leave the game in the balance.

Olly Ryman (15) joined opener Martin and the score reached 146 before the tired Martin was bowled by Liam Carty for 69.

Carty then produced match-winning bowling figures of five for 30 as the Rowledge batting collapsed in the heat of the run chase.

No other batter reached double figures as the visitors were bowled out for 189.

It was a disappointing batting display from the young Rowledge team, who will face bottom-of-the-table New Milton at home on Saturday in what is now a vital game near the foot of the league.