NORDLOCK sponsored Andover second XI had a tough away trip to top of the table Parley this week as their push for promotion continued. Parley won the toss and put Andover into bat on a dry, but grass covered surface.

Andover lost early wickets in the face of a superb opening spell from Parley quick Ollie Green. Green bowled with pace, skill and accuracy to take three wickets for just eight runs of his ten overs. The only early resistance came from Andrew Duckworth who cashed in at the other end. However, when he was removed by Green Andover had been reduced to 32-4.

The old guard of Kelum Watta and Stuart Summers then dug in to see off the fiery opening partnership and rebuild. However, when Summers was then lost for 12 and Watta adjudged to be LBW for, the Town side were left in a hole on 107-7.

Step up debutant Rory Case to save the day. A partnership of 70 runs with Rowan Duckworth left the potential of posting a solid total. When Duckworth was dismissed, Case accelerated the scoring. Including some fierce drives straight over the bowlers head, into the local pétanque game. Case ended on 69 as Andover posted a tricky 203 on a lively surface.

The Andover innings started loosely as Parley raced to 40 without loss after 6 overs. However, the introduction of the metronomic Robbie Taylor slowed the scoring rate and the gain in control brought a wicket.

Other bowlers found it hard to find the right length to bowl and the game again got away from ACC with Parley moving to 100-2.

However, a flourish of wickets before drinks, led by the impressive Rowan Duckworth (3-23), reduced the hosts to 145-5.

More wickets fell when the opening bowlers returned leaving the game in the balance at 170-7.

With the tension high, it was left to Andrew Duckworth and Max Souter to bowl the remaining overs.

Both held their nerve at the death to pick up the last 3 wickets, with Souter finishing with 3-48 off his 10 overs.

In winning this nail biter, Andover have jumped to fourth place in the league to keep the dream of promotion to the Southern Premier Leagues alive.

They face a crunch home match next weekend against third placed Gosport.