WEPL Somerset
Bridgwater 240-7 beat Taunton St Andrew’s 217 by 23 runs

BRIDGWATER recorded a second victory on the spin led by a century from 16-year-old Will Smeed and a six-wicket haul from Ian Chauhan.

Skipper Merv Hallaran won what was a vital toss and elected to bat on what was always going to be a challenging pitch for the batsmen.

Bridgwater didn’t get off to a great start when Liam Kitch was caught behind for a duck off of an absolute ‘jaffa’ from James Hayman, however this brought Smeed to the crease.

He and Hallaran set about creating a platform and obliged with a partnership of 88 before the skipper was dismissed for a patient but crucial 54 from 84 balls.

Bridgwater Mercury:

DRIVE: Bridgwater's Stu Butt in action against Taunton St Andrew's

Wickets would fall steadily around young Smeed, with Max Waller being the only other batman to make it to double figures (27).

Having seen Bridgwater to 240-7 after dispatching two balls of the final over for six, Smeed closed the innings on a breathtaking 106 not out from 136 balls (seven fours and four sixes), with the game management shown by a player so young quite astonishing.

Needing 241, Taunton St Andrew’s set about their run chase in a hurry, capitalising on anything loose from the seam attack and dispatching the ball to all parts.

Somerset’s Tom Banton led the way with some clean striking and superb innovation, with a reverse lap over the slips for six from a free hit arguably the highlight.

The end of the powerplay saw the introduction of spin, and it wasn’t long before Banton went after one too many off Waller (2-42), smashing straight to short mid-wicket where Andrew Skidmore held a very sharp catch.

Banton departed for 74 from 47 balls and a steady procession of wickets followed, as Skidmore picked up the crucial wicket of James Regan early, with only Lloyd Alley offering support for opener Rob Contreras, as the Saints struggled against the Bridgwater spinners.

When Contreras fell to a fine diving catch from Stuart Butt for the seventh wicket with the score on 170, Bridgwater may have been forgiven for thinking the hard work was done, but James Hayman was determined not to let the bowlers dominate.

As Chauhan continued to chip away at the lower order Hayman struck three sixes and two fours before he finally succumbed lbw to the bowling of Chauhan (6-20) for 33, the final wicket as Taunton St Andrews were all out for 217.

Matchball sponsor: TMB Patterns LTD and travel sponsors Charles Dickens Estate Agents and Falcon Vehicle Solutions.

Saturday sees Bridgwater entertain Goatacre at The Parks (12.30pm start). 

On Thursday, Bridgwater Under-19s host Wembdon at The Parks (6pm). England v Belgium will be on in the clubhouse, and a BBQ will be available.

WEPL Somerset
Shapwick & Polden 269-7 beat Taunton Deane 266-8 by 3 runs

SHAPWICK and Polden got back in the winners enclosure with a nail-biting victory at Taunton Deane on Saturday.

Stephen Tinnion (18) and Sam Edmunds (28) started in their usual positive manner before Tinnion was caught on the crease to one that kept slightly low. 

Wayne Spencer (4) followed and, as seems common this season, the Shapwick top order played themselves in before getting out, with John Stratton (29) and Ben Rudge (16) taking Shapwick to 119-5. 

Matt Boswell (35) and Will Mason (61*) added 63 and Steve Coppell (36) and Mason then added a further 69 as Shapwick posted 269-7.

The second innings started brilliantly for away side, with a direct hit from Spencer being followed up by Coppell’s first victim two balls later. 

It took Mason (2-26) to have Woodman (44) - who was dropped twice - strangled at short fine leg after a partnership of almost 100 and two more quick wickets followed as Josh Luckins backed up his dismissal of Smith with a superb one handed catch at mid-off off Mason.

Shaikh (42) and Thomas (92) set about rebuilding the Deane innings.

Harry Woolway returned and had Thomas caught at mid-off, but the onslaught continued as Glichrist (47 off 25) landed some huge blows.

Boswell brilliantly stumped Gilchrist off a leg-side wide and it was left with Deane needing 17 off 12 balls.

Shaikh struck a six first ball of the penultimate over and it looked like Deane were home and hosed - they needed seven from the final over, bowled by Coppell.

The key dismissal of Shaikh, caught brilliantly at mid wicket by Rudge, left Coppell (2-31) the honours of bowling two dot balls to finish the game and secure a fantastic victory.

WEPL Somerset Division
Chard 164-5 beat North Petherton 160 by 5 wkts

A POOR batting performance saw Pethy slip to a five-wicket defeat at leaders Chard on Saturday.

Opting to bat first, skipper Paul Short opened with Lloyd Irish and was the first wicket to fall for two.

Irish battled away as wickets fell around him and, when he fell for a fine half-century with 96 on the board, it was left to Nick Revans to take up the mantle.

But he was left high and dry on 32 as Jonathan Scott (3-16) and Akhona Jeremiah Mbanga (3-39) finished off the Pethy batting line-up.

As a result, they were all out for 160 with Extras (37) being the second highest scorer.

It was never enough but Lewis Knight and Will Pope ripped into the early Chard batting with some success, Pope removing opener Nathan Johnson with just one on the board.

At 62-3 it looked evenly balanced but for the fine form of Harvey Dening.

He was joined by Danny Cleal and the pair pushed the score on to 144 before Dening rfell to Short for a fine 72 which included 11 fours and one six.

Cleal saw out the innings to guide Chard home with five wickets to spare.

Lewis Knight (0-23 off 10) bowled well without luck and Ryan Meppem took 2-47 off 10.

WEPL Somerset
Minehead 212 beat Bridgwater 2nds 185 by 27 runs

HIGH-flyers Minehead were just too strong for Bridgwater at The Parks on Saturday.

Batting first, Minehead reached 212 all out against a strong home attack, with only Freddie Wilson (46) and Andrew Woodward (37) looking comfortable.

There were two wickets apiece for Scott Clapp, Tom Bellinger and Todd Barrett.

Bridgwater’s reply was based around a fine 58 from Jonathan Vickery but 27 was the next highest score as Ian Buchanan and Dan Bowditch took four wickets apiece to ensure victory.

Bridgwater 2nds travel to North Petherton on Saturday.

WEPL Somerset Division
Frome 292-5 beat Wembdon 133 by 159 runs

WEMBDON visited Frome on Saturday and were well beaten by their high-flying opponents.

The visitors won the toss and elected to bowl first sensing that the best chance of dismissing two of the leagues most prolific scorers was in the first half an hour of the day’s play.

Brendan Pope and James Annison did cause the Frome openers some problems but with no luck.

The pitch became easier to bat on and both Lett and Sanger, increased the run rate significantly, going on to share a stand of 160 for the first wicket.

Lett was first to reach his half-century closely followed by Sanger, with the latter first to depart for 56 when he was caught in the covers off Josh Henry.

The dangerous Crocker came and went quickly with Liam Pigden claiming a good stumping off Henry.

After 30 overs, Frome had reached 189-3 with the ball reaching the boundary far too easily.

Lett would go on to make his century but Tim Bennett eventually bowled him for 116.

Sam Puddy was successful in claiming two middle order wickets but Frome went on to declare on 292-5.

Wembdon’s innings started positively with Bingham striking the first ball for four and Jack Lowe striking two glorious drives through the covers.

With the score on 12, Lowe got a leading edge and was first to be dismissed.

Bingham and Puddy moved the score along to 25 when Puddy was unlucky to be caught and bowled - a great catch by Crocker.

Bingham shortly followed caught in the slips and now Wembdon were 37-3.

Pope (21) and Daniel James-Stone (18) moved the score to 51 when Pope was caught, bringing the in-form Henry to the crease to accompany James-Stone.

The pair added 51 for the fifth wicket in a classy partnership with some flowing drives and good running.

With the score on 102-5, Frome captain Mark Sanger accounted for three of the lower order quickly.

Wembdon’s innings fizzled out in the 33rd over for just 133 - a disappointing result but no change to the league position.

Match sponsors: Ian Falconer & Maxwells Chartered Accountants.