Standing (from left): Ben Harding, Chris Pratt, Henry Glanfield, Dan McGovern, Will Hardman, Shahryar Khan. Seated: George Marshall, George Harding, Spencer Le-Clerq, Jonty Oliver, Mark Butcher.
Henry Glanfield was agonisingly stumped on 99, one short of his century, but was content enough to play the match defining innings as Hambledon swept to a seventh straight victory, beating nearest Southern Premier Division 3 rivals Hook & Newnham Basics II by 44 runs at Ridge Meadow.
He hit two sixes and 12 fours – several being exquisite shots off his legs and through the covers – in his 74-ball stay at the crease, which would have ended the ball before his stumping had young Oli James pouched a fiercely struck shot to wide mid-wicket, aka cow corner.
“I just planned to run the ball down through the vacant slip area to bring up my century, but my back foot slipped and I was stumped on 99. What’s one run ? We won the game,” he smiled.
Glanfield, who looks a level or two above Division 3 standard cricket, shared a decent stand of 87 with Chris Pratt (34) before Jonty Oliver (24), teenage son of Dan (ECB Sussex Premier League vice-chairman), pushed the Hambledon total to 232-7.
Hook, now a significant 36 points adrift of Hambledon, needed one big individual contribution, but having dropped from 52-0 to 82-4, the best they could manage was 30-plus scores from Charlie Neville (38), Tom May (37) and James (32).
Bowling his seam up stuff, Glanfield (3-32) caused that top order wobble, while spinner Oliver bagged 3-37 as Hook closed at 188-8.
Hook remain in second place - the top two go up - but Gosport Borough closed the gap with victory over Langley Manor, who badly missed the SPL’s lead run maker Jack Budd.
Asked to chase Langley’s 193-9 (Graham Noble 79), Borough openers Lee Harrop (50) and Ollie Creal (51) both made a half-century. Jacob Harris, with 49 not out, was relieved to avoid jug buying as Gosport got home in the penultimate over.
Earlier, Scott Taylor had continued his superb bowling form as Langley failed to build on reaching 108-1, Graham Noble (79) taking the lead role.