Bridgwater Cricket Club win WEPL championship for first time

Bridgwater Mercury: CHAMPAGNE MOMENT: The team celebrate their WEPL success. PHOTO: Geoff Hall Buy this photo » CHAMPAGNE MOMENT: The team celebrate their WEPL success. PHOTO: Geoff Hall

WEPL Premier 1

Bridgwater 257-5 dec beat Gloucester City Winget 100 by 157 runs.

CAPTAIN Mike Coles described winning the West of England Premier League title at the weekend as the 'proudest moment' of his time at Bridgwater Cricket Club.

Bridgwater scooped maximum bonus points with their 157-run win and once news filtered through that challengers Bath could not catch them, scenes of delight shone over The Parks.

Coles said: “It has been a superb season for the club and certainly my proudest moment.

“Yesterday went as we had planned and we knew it was in our own hands.

“There have been so many individual performances that have contributed to this title but Chris Skidmore has been the difference taking early wickets and setting us up in games and Steffan Jones has brought valuable runs and experience down the order.”

Bridgwater clinched their first ever Premier 1 Championship with a powerful display against a sporting, plucky but ultimately outclassed Gloucester City Winget team who have struggled all season in the top Division.

At the start of the day Bridgwater were level on points with title challengers Bath and to maximise possible bonus points they needed to bat first to try to set up a declaration by the 45th over, so a solid start was crucial.

This they achieved as the returning Andy Hallaran (71) and partner Mitch Windsor (44) compiled 123, their best partnership of the season, despite a fine spell from opening bowler Craig Baldwin.

The brakes were applied somewhat when the pace was taken off the ball until skipper Coles came to the crease and, supported by Chris Gange, the pair blasted 66 from six overs with Coles' 48 coming off only 30 balls and including six sixes before he was stumped.

A breezy 21 from Ian Bishop and a big six from Tom Clarke who both joined Gange, who finished on 38no, saw the home side to maximum batting points and a declaration after the 45th over.

In reply, Ian Bishop (3-29) and Chris Skidmore (4-27) reduced the visitors to 27-6 by the 10th over and all but ended the match.

But a stubborn partnership of 61 from Jennings (29) and keeper Scott Montgomery (27) threatened to upset Bridgwater's hope of extra bonus points by bowling GCW out for less than 120.

Mitch Windsor had other ideas though and with Coles (2-9) in support, Gloucester fell for 100 to give Bridgwater maximum bonus points.

# Match Sponsor: The West India House# Match Ball Sponsor: TMB Patterns Ltd. # The 1st X1 would like to thank Scorer Chris Cowley for his superb efforts this season, bringing the Club into the electronic age and Andy Higgins and his grounds team plus the many supporters and helpers whose efforts have seen only one match cancelled at The Parks this season during what has been the wettest Summer on record.

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