AS WE enter the latter stages of the cricket season Ventnor and Ryde seconds have turned Division 4 (South) into a fascinating race for effectively one promotion place.

Other than a blip the previous week against Fawley II, Ventnor II have been in the top three most of the season, with the bandwagon rolling again on Saturday with an easy ten-wicket win over Purbrook II at Steephill.

After skittling Purbrook out for a paltry 60, it didn’t take Sam Guerin long to knock off the runs and bag 50 not out, pushing his season average to almost 70 runs.

Chris Russell (3-15) and Dominic Brihmani (3-21) were equally devastating with the ball.
The win keeps them third.

Isle of Wight County Press: Ashley Goldsmith top scored for Ryde seconds against Fawley II. Ashley Goldsmith top scored for Ryde seconds against Fawley II.

But Ryde II are the division’s dark horses — unbeaten in the league for nearly two months, they have quietly moved up to fifth, chalking up a 33-run victory over Fawley II at Harding Shute.

Ryde looked a little out of form in their 205-6, with Ashley Goldsmith (64 not out) top scoring.

But the hosts have a strong bowling attack, spearheaded by Ben Gregory (3-29), Liam Ringer (3-46) and Nathan Day (2-33), who did well to bowl Fawley out for 236.

With four games left and Bedhampton Mariners looking nailed on for promotion, Ventnor Ryde will hope Waterlooville II in second will slip up.

Ventnor play them on the penultimate Saturday, with Ryde hosting them on the final game.

Isle of Wight County Press: Nathan Day in action for Ryde II.Nathan Day in action for Ryde II.

In Division 1 of the Southern League Premier, Ventnor (185 all out) slipped to a five-wicket defeat at Basingstoke and North Hants, to dash their promotion hopes this campaign. 

Martin Blackman hit 60 not out.

In Hampshire 1, Ryde (246-6) won their fourth game on the bounce, by four wickets over Hythe and Dibden, to push them towards mid-table safety after a torrid first half to their season. 

Will Mew was Ryde’s man of the match with his 3-23 and 48 not out, while Oscar Vandecasteele hit 61.

In Hampshire 3 (South), Shanklin and Godshill (236 all out) went down by 18 runs at Gosport Borough II.

Mark Ringer (85) and Seb Egerton-Read (82) batted well.

In the Isle of Wight Senior Cup, Freshwater comfortably beat Carisbrooke High School Old Boys (178 all out) by eight wickets.

Dane Dovale (4-26), while Graham Gosden (45 not out) and Sadu Fernando (40 not out) continued their great batting partnership lately, with Mike Holliday (50), seeing Freshwater home.

Meanwhile, Cowes beat Arreton by four wickets.

Arreton were dismissed for a fairly modest 180, with Chris Williams (67) and Tristan Eccott (51) putting on a resistant middle order partnership, but the Cowes bowling attack of Kayton Barton (5-20) and Jason Heap (4-27) had them on the ropes.

Cowes did not have it all their own way, with James Bradshaw (3-27) dangerous, but a Jack Summers 60 helped their cause. 

Newport remain favourites after they beat St Helens by five wickets, with Tom Dye top scoring with an excellent 74 not out.

                                             TOMORROW’S FIXTURES
Southern Premier League, Division 1 — Ventnor v Alton; Hampshire League Division 1 — Ryde v Parley; Division 3 (South) — Totton & Eling II v Shanklin & Godshill; Division 4 (South) — Purbrook II v Ryde II; Trojans II v Ventnor II; Island League, Division 1 — Cowes v St Helens; Northwood v Freshwater; Shanklin & Godshill II v Newport; Division 2 — Newport II v Northwood II; Veentnor III v Ryde III.