ROPLEY suffered their first defeat of the season and gave way to Ryde at the top of Hampshire League County One.

Missing half their regular players and losing the toss on a hot day, Ropley wilted as Hythe & Dibden chose to bat and piled up 298-7.

Ropley did not help their cause by bowling 29 wides and dropping catches. Hythe took full advantage, with skipper Tom Richards hitting 63 and New Zealander Tarin Mason missing his century by just one run, caught by Ed Stennett.

Ropley had to score at almost six an over in reply and the top order all got a start, only to then get out.

However, skipper Alexander Stogdon played an audacious innings, dispatching the ball to all parts of the ground and out of it with a wide array of shots – some orthodox, many not. He might even have won the game for Ropley, but lacked support until Sam Graham dug in.

The fairytale outcome was not to be. Stogdon missed a good inswinger from Ahmed Ahmedzai and was bowled for 94. Ropley were all out for 220 in the 47th over, Hythe winning by 78 runs. Talented all-rounder Richards took 3-29 in nine overs.

HYTHE & D 298-7 (T Mason 99, T Richards 63; E Stennett 3-70).

ROPLEY 220 (A Stogdon 94, J Ireland 28, T Wood 22, E Stennett 20; T Richards 3-29).