ANDOVER recorded a thumping 224-run victory against Rowledge to end their season in style, writes MATT HOOPER.

It meant the town club finished a creditable fourth in the the first division of the Southern Premier Cricket League.

Andover sponsored by Nordlock welcomed back Will Arnold to open the batting and Babu Veettil to open the bowling.

Andover skipper Hooper, won the toss and elected to bat first on a good looking pitch at London Road.

This decision looked vindicated when Arnold and fellow opener, Glyn Treagus, immediately set about the Rowledge bowlers.

Andover cruised to 29 off the first four overs before Arnold (19) was bowled playing another big shot.

The rate continued and Treagus was joined by young star Alex Ayers. Treagus was next to go after taking a quick single and he was unfortunately run out for an enterprising 23.

This brought Alex’s brother, Charlie, to the wicket and both started cautiously. This partnership then went unbroken for 206 runs.

What followed was absolute mayhem with the ball disappearing to all parts of London Road.

No bowler was spared as Alex Ayers played with great poise, skill and creativity to manoeuvre the ball where the fielders were not.

Charlie, not to be outdone, was particularly brutal on anything full hitting a number of sixes.

Andover were cruising and the Rowledge bowlers were running out of ideas when the rain arrived with Andover on 260-2 with 12 overs to go.

The rain break saw an early tea taken and when the sun returned Andover had 12 overs to add as many runs as they could with eight wickets left. The Rowledge bowlers obviously regrouped and they dismissed Alex Ayers with the first ball after the break.

Ayers had recorded a career best of 135 and this saw him cement himself as Andover's top run scorer for the season.

Only another seven runs were added before Charlie Ayers was caught for an excellent 84.

Nathan Birks hit three sixes in a row in a rapid 27 but the last 12 overs saw Andover dismissed for an excellent 324 from 49 overs.

After the calculators had come out during the innings break Andover’s score was reduced to 295.

Andover opening bowlers, Babu Veettil and Mike Adams, started brilliantly and had the Rowledge batters under pressure.

The pitch, with a bit of rain in it, started to move around and Andover got a double breakthrough with the score on nine.

Alex Ayers held a skier off Adams and Adams then dismissed the dangerous Chris Yates with a beauty that saw off stump cartwheeling.

Veettil was bowling brilliantly the other end and it wasn’t long before he got a deserved wicket. Hooper, having just moved himself to the gully, took a good catch and Rowledge were 27-3.

Chasing a total this big was always going to be a struggle but things got worse for Rowledge when Veettil got two more wickets in as many balls. The first gave Hooper his second catch in the cordon before he clean bowled Rick Yates. Richard Taylor replaced Adams and he immediately bowled overseas player Wilson.

Taylor quickly followed this up with the wicket of Lloyd and Rowledge were reeling on 34-7.

Aidan Jansen replaced Veettil and he too got in on the act with another wicket caught in the slip cordon, this time by Charlie Ayers who took a sharp chance.

The Rowledge tail then struck some lusty blows before Taylor finished his season with a bang with two quick wickets and Rowledge were bowled out for 70 from 20 overs.