ROPLEY beat Shrewton by five wickets in a crucial mid-season encounter in the Hampshire League County One.

Shrewton reached a solid 72-2, but experienced spinner Martin Peters (3-30) bowled a canny spell in the middle period and the visitors limped to 136-5 off 40 overs.

However, Shrewton used their wickets in hand to accelerate and excellent running between the wickets took them to a competitive 207-8.

Ropley started positively in reply, with Jimmy Hawkings (30) and Tom Wood (19) putting on 52 for the first wicket in 12 overs.

Paul Clancy (2-36) and spin bowler Chris Breiner (1-43) had Ropley in a spot of bother at 72-3 from 20 overs, but Jack Ireland counter-attacked with powerful shots down the ground. Skipper Alex Stogdon demonstrated his repertoire of sweep shots and then Peters (17 not out) helped Ireland (67 not out) knock off the last 50 runs.

Fifth-placed Ropley need to keep winning if they are to climb back into the top three.