WEPL Premier 1: Bridgwater 213-9 beat Gloucester City Winget 53ao by 160 runs.

A DEVASTATING spell of 5-11 off 10 overs from Chris Skidmore consigned a plucky Gloucester City Winget to defeat on their Premier 1 debut.

The game had been switched to The Parks by WEPL being one of very few fit grounds in the league and the visitors took advantage of an important toss by inserting the home side on a hard dry deck, testament to the hard work put in by Andy Higgins and his groundstaff.

Andy Hallaran was bowled early on by the excellent Chris Baldwin who with his opening partner Tom Morris kept Bridgwater under the cosh with some fine swing bowling.

Bridgwater gradually got on top however with contributions from the top order but it was Ian Bishop (46) and Ed Habberfield (32no) who gave the innings real impetus as the visitors later bowlers struggled to contain the home side, who finished on an imposing 213-9 an excellent score given the conditions.

GCW's innings never got going as the impressive Skidmore bowling a superb line, clean bowled four of his victims. Bishop was virtually unplayable at the other end and he and Stefan Jones gave excellent support as the visitors were dismissed for 53 and given a harsh lesson on the realities of Premier 1 cricket.

Man of the match: Chris Skidmore Bridgwater 180 beat Weston Super Mare 74 by 106 runs.

BRIDGWATER chose to take first use of the hard dry pitch but were reduced to 35-3 by an excellent opening spell from the lively Sean Stringer. However, a battling 72 from Stu Butt who shared vital partnerships of 41 with Josh Vickery and 85 with Stefan Jones saw Bridgwater post a competitive 180 as they were all out in the 44th over.

In reply, Weston struggled against the early accuracy of Ian Bishop and Chris Skidmore but it was Mike Coles (3-25) who started to make inroads with only an aggressive 39 from Matt Kearsey offering any real hope to the visitors. The aggressive Stefan Jones and the returning Ian Bishop who claimed the last four wickets wrapped up the Weston innings as they slumped to 74 all out.

In the second round, Bridgwater host the winners of Glastonbury and Chard at The Parks next Sunday, March 13, at 1pm.

Man of the match: Stu Butt Both matches were sponsored by: Higos Insurance Services Ltd.