Successive defeats by Hook & Newnham Basics II and Hythe & Dibden dropped the islanders’ four places in the County Division 1 log.
And put massive emphasis on the outcome of today’s SAT rain-threatened visit to Longparish and the August 5 meet-up with Portsmouth & Southsea.
Ryde looked to be running away with it a fortnight ago, but a two-wicket defeat by Hythe at Jones Lane (after losing to Hook) are serious setbacks to their aspirations.
It looked as though Hythe might make easy work of Ryde’s 205 when Matt Young (27) and Inam Agam (36) opened up with a 62-run start.
It was a different ball game with Hythe 105-5, but Bath University ace Zac Millar, pictured, produced a match winning 63 not out, his stand with Matt Howe (25) putting the Watersiders back in the driving seat.
Ryde’s stutter has allowed pre-season favourites Portsmouth & Southsea to break ten points clear of Longparish at the top, with high scoring Lymington II third.
P & S reclaimed top spot with a three-wicket win at Bishops Waltham – a victory which owed much to Jack Peach (35) and Chris Turrell (29), who got the visitors home after a late wobble had threatened to damage their chances.
Bishops’ built their 200-9 around Don Quincey (57) and Sam Medhurst (30), whose three wicket spell dropped Southsea from the comforts of 150-4 (Shaun Briggs 41).
Promoted each of the past two seasons, Longparish will relish their prospects of another upgrade if they emerge unscathed from Ryde’s scheduled visit.
They were in holiday mood, taking their overnight camping tents to Steephill, where they beat depleted Ventnor II by nine wickets in a match that was done and dusted inside 30 overs.
Like many clubs, Ventnor are struggling to field sides these days and it was little surprise when Longparish bundled them out for a meagre 73, with Jack Levy and Matt Jackman sharing six of the wickets.
Will de Cani’s unbeaten 49, which completed formalities, took his season’s run tally to 545 – and to within sight of Ben Wadmore’s 631 aggregate for Ryde.
On paper, Longparish don’t appear to have a terribly taxing run-in, but the Test Valley club are all too conscious that mid-table Shrewton thrashed them earlier this summer, so are taking nothing for granted.
Lymington II ran amok on Sarisbury Athletic’s compact Allotment Road ground, smashing their hosts for 379-4 before running out enormous 304-run winners.
Australian Billy Quigley, left, led the run romp with two sixes and 14 fours in his 114 which, with Tom Atkins (63) alongside, saw Lymington to 227-2.
The dispirited Sarisbury attack was then taken to the proverbial cleaners as former Hampshire Academy prospect Felix Ambrose literally destroyed them with 91 off 48 balls – with six maximums and another seven fours. Josh Royan (45) compounded the agony.
Kieron Moors (6-37) and Trevor Phillips (3-35) bowled Sarisbury into total submission at 75 all out.
With three defeats in ten, Ropley need a winning last third if they are to break into the top three – but a Jack Ireland inspired five-wicket victory over Shrewton was a start.
Dan Bingley (56) enabled the Shrews to recover from 136-5 (Martin Peters 3-30) to post 207-8 – a total Ropley chased down, thanks initially to some silky shot selection from Jimmy Hawkings (30).
Ropley wobbled at 72-3, but Ireland’s forceful 67 not out got them home.
Jack Robson’s 85 was a match winner for Hook & Newnham Basics II, who checked OTs & Romsey’s recent surge with a five-wicket win at the KGV. Gus Flack and Mike Trodd earlier hit fifties in OTs’ 216.
The season can’t end quick enough for Rowledge II, who have been out of their depth in County 1 since the start.
Their tenth defeat in 11 outings came after James Burridge (77) and Kevin Neave (50) had guided visiting St Cross Symondians III to 228-6 and the seasoned Alan Whitman had taken 5-50 to reduce the R’s to 158.
Fareham & Crofton’s wins are seldom without drama, so chasing down a modest United Services total of 172 (Ben White 4-7) eight down had a few finger nails being gnawed.
Tom Kent (45) was a steadying influence, but it needed Dan Reader to make a key 33 and get Fareham home.