Accreditation problems torpedoed Parley’s promotion bid last year, but with the local West Parley Parish Council having recently taken back the ownership of the premises and sports field off Christchurch Road following the expiry of the lease and adult soccer no longer being played on the outfield, their prospects appear a good deal brighter.
Playing wise, Parley certainly deserve to go up.
Pipped to the title by a single point by Hythe & Dibden last season, Parley finished five ahead of runners-up Hook & Newnham Basics II and with nine more points than third-placed Gosport Borough, who crushed Shrewton (139) by ten wickets after teenage duo Jacob Harris and Jack Richards had shared eight of the scalps. Half-centuries by Lee Harrop and Tom Larner eased Gosport home.
They have achieved a staggering seven promotions in the ten years since joining Regional 4 South West back in 2009 and only on two occasions – in 2012 and 2015 – did their on-field performances not warrant elevation.
Half-centuries by Roshan Embalagama [pictured above](74) and Alex Nippard (57) eased Parley to victory over St Cross, whose 217-9 was trimmed to a 202-run chase off 43 overs.
Doing the damage with the ball was Parley’s music man Adam Fowler Watt, not only a talented seam bowler, but a singer-songwriter (not to mention DJ) who has just begun his final year degree course at Leeds University.
Fowler, equally at home with ball in hand as he is singing and composing his own music, took 5-37 as St Cross dropped from 89-2 to 107-6 before Mark Padwick (57) and Steve Fryer (46) came to the rescue.
Fowler Watt, whose appearances for Parley are restricted by his growing on-stage popularity, hails from the same Bryanston School stock as actor Freddie Fox (son of Edward Fox and sister to Emilia), who was no mean cricketer in his Dorset school days, coincidentally also an opening bowler. Freddie batted 11 for the school team, but once underlined his skills with the willow by denying the XL Club a victory in a match there a decade or so ago.
If Adam Fowler Watt [pictured on the keyboards] follows the same successful career path as Freddie Fox, he’ll have much to be proud of - alongside helping Parley become County Division 1 champions, of course ….