Rowledge under-19s failed at the final hurdle to become Hampshire champions – but can still look back on an outstanding season.

Fair Oak produced a mid-innings assault on the bowlers which eventually turned the T20 Cup final towards them.

Fair Oak won the toss and batted on a damp-looking wicket at the Green Jackets ground in Winchester.

The Rowledge opening bowlers Goldsworth and Houghton bowled tightly and got an early wicket and remained on top.

A change of bowling from skipper Olly Ryman produced a big wicket as Ollie Hinchliffe sent the dangerous-looking Abbas back to the pavilion.

The Fair Oak middle order slowly and watchfully took a stranglehold with Smith (47)and Reed (29) getting themselves in and then batting superbly to move the score from 49 for two after ten overs to a final total of 154.

Number five batsman, captain and wicketkeeper White also contributed with a well-hit 34 at the end of the innings.

The Rowledge bowlers took some heavy hitting at the end of the innings but the fielding remained excellent throughout and the total appeared to be par for the ground and well within their capabilities.

The innings started with a bang with Ollie Hinchliffe hitting two sixes off the opening left-arm spinner’s first over and Marshall smashing two fours off opening quick Smith in the second over.

Unfortunately both fell in the next over and with Bertie Chilcott going first ball, the villagers fell to 25 for three and were in big trouble.

It was left to Zac Le Roux and Olly Ryman to rebuild the innings and they did that brilliantly and started to turn the game in their favour.

At 72 for three after ten overs they appeared to be on their way – but then Ryman was bowled by a full toss.

Le Roux was joined by Ryan Littlewood and the game still looked well within Rowledge’s grasp. But when Le Roux fell, stumped off Abbas, the pressure started to show and the innings fell away.

Littlewood showed plenty of determination and power but he was unable to get another partnership going.

Harry Chilcott remained steadfast and did his best to see Rowledge home, but the innings fell short by 25 runs as Fair Oak celebrated a well-deserved victory.

The young Rowledge team have had a fantastic season, finishing runners-up in the Hampshire county and beaten semi-finalists in the Surrey county sections. The majority of the team will remain together and will improve through the experiences they have had in these big competitions.

Chris Yates