WEPL Premier One

Bristol 203-5 (35ovs) beat Bridgwater 202-6 (35ovs) by one run

BRIDGWATER’S hopes of making a late charge for the Premier One title were ended in the cruellest of fashion as they slipped to a one-run defeat at Bristol on Saturday.

Set 204 to win of 35 overs, excellent knocks from Andy Hallaran (71) and Stu Butt (55) had set the platform for the visitor’s dashers - getting them within 40 with four overs remaining. Steffan Jones (35no) and Steve Davis reduced it to 15 from the final over, to be bowled by Bristol Skipper Will Rudge.

With the aid of five no balls and two other boundaries from Jones, two were needed to win off the last two balls. Unfortunately for the visitors, they were unable to pierce the ring for the crucial runs, to the delight of the home side.

Earlier, excellent opening spells from Andy Roberts and Chris Skidmore had restricted Gloucestershire's Gareth Roderick and former player Steve Snell to 26-1 off the first 12 overs before a heavy storm drove the players from the field. After a delay of more than two hours the match was reduced to 35 overs per side, which meant Bristol had to up the tempo considerably. This they did with Roderick moving quickly to his 50 despite being dropped. Ralph Hardwick (34) clubbed four big sixes but Bridgwater were restricting the home side well until the last five overs when a rapid 38 from Rudge, aided by a couple of dropped catches and several sloppy miss fields saw them to 203 off their allotment, which despite Bridgwater's best efforts proved to be just one run to many.

Match Travel Sponsor: Falcon Vehicle Solutions.

On Saturday, Bridgwater host Taunton St. Andrews who are involved in a tight relegation battle at 12.30pm while the 2nd X1, who are closing in on the Championship, travel to the Saints for the reverse fixture.