Rowledge lost a rain-affected game against Hook & Newnham Basics by 19 runs in Division One of the Southern Premier Cricket League.

Winning the toss and batting, the visitors made a steady if not spectacular start against the all-spin bowling attack of Ollie Baker and Max Martin.

Openers Charlie Neville and Harry Robson looked comfortable, and it was only when veteran David Lloyd (four for 26) was introduced that the breakthrough came when Robson tried to sweep Lloyd and was judged leg before wicket.

The steady start was carried on by Richard Willcock and the score continued to rise slowly.

Pace was introduced to the bowling attack and Will Ryman (three for 55) struck with another leg before wicket – this time Neville was plumb in front – but at 71 for two the game was there for both teams to take control.

The early batters all got in but did not make the big score necessary to take the game away from the home side.

Lloyd produced another spell of superb spin bowling as Hook fell to 144 for five with ten overs left. The pressure told on the Hook lower order and the innings fell away as the visitors were bowled out for 200 in the 49th over.

A rain break just after tea reduced the target to 174 off 38 overs. Rowledge’s innings started disastrously with Chris Yates and Ethan Martin soon back in the pavilion as the home team slipped to one for two. Max Martin and Zac Le Roux steadied the ship, but just as they looked to take control Martin fell to the spin of Aniket Divecha. Le Roux and Ollie Baker took the score to 93 before Le Roux (38) fell leg before wicket to Divecha.

Connor Cook joined Baker and the pair scored freely and looked to be taking the game away from Hook. Rowledge had put themselves in a good position to win the game, but then Baker (34) was stumped and Cook fell to a spectacular caught and bowled. The tail fell away to the medium pace of Neville, who took the last five wickets as the hosts were bowled out for 154 in the 35th over. Neville finished with superb figures of five for seven to win the game for the visitors.

The defeat leaves Rowledge precariously poised in the Division One table – only 17 points clear of Hambledon with one left game to play.

Hambledon face already-relegated New Milton tomorrow (Saturday), while Rowledge are at home to fellow strugglers Ventnor. With Ventnor also at risk of relegation it promises to be a tense game with both sides desperate for bonus points to secure their safety.