Led by a thumping 147 by left-hander Ben Wadmore, a player in the richest form of his career, Ryde racked up 298-8 at Rowledge, who are lacking a host of the senior players influential in last season’s County 2 promotion campaign.
Their inexperienced young side, patiently out of its depth, rolled over for 149, with – Matt Webb (4-40) and Sam Rockley (3-26) doing the damage as Ryde opened up a nine-point lead at the top.
Longparish and Lymington seconds enhanced their own promotion prospects with key wins over Ropley and Portsmouth & Southsea, respectively.
Longparish got a grip of the game from the start, with Michael Taplin (55) and Ben Gardner (33) sharing an 87-run start, and Jonnie Wahid, pictured above, adding a useful 44 as Parish closed 225-7.
Scott Sturt and Jack Levy took three wickets each as Ropley collapsed to 141 all out.
Bishops Waltham didn’t expect to lose after Andy Wakely (116) and Don Quigley (95) shared an opening stand of 190 against Hythe & Dibden at the Albany Ground. It was Wakely’s second consecutive hundred.
But Hythe polished off the target with three overs to spare – Inam Agha, left, with 128, and – former Totton & Eling all-rounder, Hakim Peruzi (50 not out) their heroes.
“We became complacent after setting such a big total,” confessed Waltham’s Dan Wheeler. “By the time we recognised the danger Hythe were posing, it was too late.”
Lymington II, unluckily relegated from Premier 3 at the end of last season, saw Gus Mitchell hit a last gasp boundary to beat P & S in a 500-run plus thriller at the Sports Ground.
The first half of the match was blighted by a series of mishaps for Ollie Kelly’s men with two players, Gus Mitchell and Josh Royan struck by the ball in separate incidents and forced off the field, and as many as seven catches spilled as the visitors totalled 266-9 through Matt Benfield (65) and opener Jack Davies (45).
With Royan still in A & E, Billy Quigley (88), Jack Roberts (52) and then Glenn Willoughby (66) looked to have turned the match round before a flurry of run outs saw the injured Mitchell return to the field to strike the winning runs
Fareham & Crofton’s five-match winning sequence ended when Hook & Newnham Basics beat them by 57 runs at Bath Lane.
Hook’s lower-order, Kish Parmar (34) and evergreen Colin Lye (18), in particular, turned the tide as the tail added 60 or so to wrest the initiative away from Fareham.
Ollie Southon (4-35) and left-arm spinner Morgan Frost (3-31) took the bowling credits for Fareham, who never threatened Hook’s eventual 178 and were bowled out for 131, Aussie teenager Reece Abrams (41) top scoring.
Morgan Smith(70), Steve Berryman (59), Tom Fay (44 and Roly Fowler (40) made hay as St Cross Symondians III rattled up 272-4 at the Green Jackets. Burridge sank to 86-5 (Steve Fryer 4-23) before Will Candy (59) and Jack Slaughter (47) gave their eventual 215 respectability.
United Services broke their six-game duck with a ten-wicket win at Shrewton, who were shot out for 90 by Jon Parker (4-20) and teen Freddie Gadd (3-11).
US raced to 58-0 in the 15-overs before tea when it looked as though rain might scupper their chances.
But a break in the cloud looming low over Salisbury Plain enabled them to complete the task, albeit with some fraught nerves.
Shane Vidler’s 127 put OTs & Romsey II totally in command against Sarisbury Athletic II, who mustered 142 (Steve Smith 3-66) after their hosts posted a formidable 317.
Depleted Ventnor took an eight-wicket beating from New Milton after being shot out for 104. Ralph Hussey made 44 not out.