TWO, if not three, games have now been won single-handedly by Ed Stennett, Ropley’s opening bowler turned resolute all-rounder. Ropley are the early Hampshire League County One leaders after beating promoted Rowledge 2nd XI on Saturday.

The Rowledge seamers had bowled brilliantly on a tricky batting wicket, Simon Bonser (2-19) leading the way with impressive economy and an ability to move the ball off the seam. He was ably supported by skipper Shea Taylor (3-49), who had Australian Jack Ireland caught for a powerful 41, and Harry Neate (2-40), while keeper Harry Cann took a brilliant catch to dismiss opener Rob Smith for 21.

Ropley were in deep trouble at 98-6 when Stennett came to the wicket. Fourteen-year-old Joe Austin gave staunch support and the pair added a game-changing 68 to take the hosts to 182, Stennett top-scoring with 55.

Rowledge’s very young side started badly in reply, but Ollie Baker (11) and Cann (24) survived an impressive spell from Ireland to put on 30 in a composed third-wicket stand.

Seb Newens then caused a collapse with his unorthodox spin and five wickets fell for 19 runs, leaving Rowledge on 84-8.

Will Ryman (31), playing his first game for the club, came in at number 10 and struck the ball beautifully to get his side to within 50 runs, but Ireland and Newens returned to finish the job. Rowledge all out for 137.