CAPTAIN Ryan Beck was delighted to see title-chasing New Milton negotiate a “banana skin” as they eased to a five-wicket win over Division One rivals Fawley.

Bidding to bounce back following a first defeat of the season against Hambledon the previous week, the Green & Golds had Nick Elliott (3-7) and George Watts (3-43) to thank for restricting Fawley to 181 for nine.

Elliott (54) also starred with the bat with James Park (46), Ryan Beck (24) and Nick Park (21) ensuring New Milton would ease home at 183 for five.

And the leaders’ victory celebrations were sweeter after they discovered nearest pursuers Sarisbury had suffered defeat at Hambledon, leaving New Milton within touching distance of promotion.

Beck said: “I know we were expected to win but these are tricky games. It is hard when you play teams who are pretty much down or in mid-table because they play carefree cricket whereas we have to win so anything can happen. But we are still not getting ahead of ourselves.”

An heroic captain’s innings from Simon Beetham all but helped dispel Lymington’s fears of relegation following a dramatic one-wicket win over St Cross in the Premier Division.

Beetham (56) and Ed Freeman shared an unbroken stand of 49 for the last wicket as Lymington snatched victory from the jaws of defeat at 216 for nine (Damien Mortimer 72).

Lymington were kicking themselves after St Cross had recovered from 86 for seven and 120 for eight to post 211 (Matt Metcalfe 3-42, Beetham 2-31, Freeman 2-39, Paul McCann 2-37).