West of England Premier 1
Bridgwater 333-8 beat Goatacre 327-7 by 2 wkts

ONE of the greatest run chases ever seen at The Parks ensured Bridgwater made it a hat-trick of Premier 1 wins as they overcame Goatacre’s mammoth 327 with three balls left, writes Scott Sealey.

Chris Skidmore provided the icing on the cake, finishing the game with three consecutive sixes.

With 25 overs to go, Bridgwater needed an unlikely 229 for victory, however Ian Chauhan’s magnificent 88, supported by Josh Vickery’s crucial 38, set things up for Skidmore to break visiting hearts with a sublime 74 from only 24 balls, including 10 sixes.

On winning the toss at a sun-drenched Parks, the visitors had no hesitation of making first use of a flat wicket with a lightning outfield.

They got off to a good start with openers Ed Wilkins (59) and Josef Breet (90) building a healthy partnership. 

Chauhan (2-70) got the breakthrough bowling Wilkins, however further acceleration was provided by Breet and Gloucestershire all-rounder Benny Howell (56) as Bridgwater struggled to stop the boundary being hit on a regular basis. 

Max Waller stemmed the tide with a tidy spell in the context of the game of 2-43 off 10 overs, and a total of 327 was imposing but clearly not out of reach of Bridgwater’s batsmen. 

All the home bowlers bowled with application through the 50 overs and, with a little bit of luck, things could have been different, but the first half of the game was clearly Goatacre’s.

Bridgwater set off on their run chase and, while Liam Kitch (43) played nicely at the top of the order, the Goatacre bowlers kept things tight, bowling an excellent length in their initial spells. 

At drinks, Bridgwater had fallen to 99-4 and things were looking bleak for the home side, but in Chauhan (88) and Waller (35) they started turning the tide slightly in a quick-fire partnership of 60 before Waller was run out. 

This brought Vickery to the crease and he supported Chauhan’s onslaught with the perfect support innings, hitting the singles and boundaries when required. 

Chauhan took the game to the visitors and no bowlers could cope with his rapid approach. With 10 overs to go and 95 required, the home side had a real chance.

The loss of Chauhan, caught on the ring for a masterly 88 from only 42 balls including nine fours and two sixes, again swung the game against Bridgwater.

However, Goatacre hadn’t catered for the entrance of Skidmore’s hitting power at number eight, as he smacked two maximums in the first few balls he faced.

Ned Leonard joined Skidmore on Vickery’s demise and he played with intent, however, it was Skidmore who kept clearing the ropes to keep Bridgwater in the game. 

Anything full was drilled over the ropes and anything short was lifted to the boundary. 

With 30 required from three overs, the game was in the balance and, with 12 from the final six balls, the large crowd were on the edge of their seats. 

The home support needn’t have worried as Skidmore hit the first two balls for six to level the scores, with the third six winning the game with three balls to spare, and a quite unbelievable innings of 74 not out off only 24 balls including 10 sixes seeing his side home.

It was difficult to see the previous home win over Bath being beaten in terms of a turnaround in the game and pure entertainment, however this topped it and some, sending the home support home happy and

Bridgwater looking up the table at the half-way point in the season.

Thank you to match sponsor JTD and Friends and match ball sponsors TMB Patterns Ltd. 

On Saturday, Bridgwater host league leaders Clevedon at the Parks (12.30pm) in what will be another mouth-watering contest.

WEPL Premier 2 Bristol/Som
Shapwick & Polden 295-5 beat Keynsham 216 all out by 79 runs

SHAPWICK and Polden made it back to back wins on Saturday in a dominant display, beating Keynsham by 79 runs.

After winning the toss, Stephen Tinnion and Sam Edmunds began in their usual positive manner, taking a number of early boundaries.

Edmunds was reprieved when dropped in the slips and he made Keynsham pay, as he put the away side to the sword on a sweltering afternoon. 

Edmunds accelerated to his 50 after the first drinks break with a number of sumptuous drives and Tinnion soon followed, with deft sweeps mixed in between power hitting. 

The partnership was worth 168 when Tinnion (71) was trapped in front trying one sweep too many.

Will Mason continued his fine form and picked up the mantle with his usual array of dabs, scoops and lofted drives. 

Edmunds had moved into the 90s when the second drinks break came with score at over 200, but at this point Edmunds found himself on the dreaded 99 and was caught at cover looking to move to three figures. 

His innings lasted 123 balls and he hit 14 fours.

Wayne Spencer kept the aggressive intent going with a quick 30 and Mason moved to 55 before being bowled as Shapwick finished on 295-5 from their 50 overs.

The heat didn’t relent after tea, but this didn’t stop Steve Coppell continuing on his fine form with the ball, keeping it tight early on. 

Steven Spencer (2-35) picked up the first wicket and Harry Woolway (1-26) returned to form with a good spell of swing bowling and deserved more wickets. 

At 114-3 the home side knew the partnership of Robbins and Jarman was an important one to break, and despite both scoring freely, the impressive Luckins (3-44) had Jarman caught at slip with the score on 164. 

Coppell (3-34) returned and picked up two wickets in the next over and Luckins then had Robbins (57) well caught by Tinnion at mid-wicket. 

Keynsham went from 164-3 to 176-8 in the space of five overs, all but sealing victory for the home side. 

Some late hitting from Keynsham tail took them above 200 before Wayne and brother Steven Spencer took the last two wickets.

Shapwick & Polden are third at the halfway stage and host Midsomer Norton on Saturday.

WEPL Somerset 
Chard 93 beat Wembdon 82 by 11 runs

WEMBDON welcomed high-flying Chard to The Green and, having won the toss, the visitors took no time at all electing to bat first.

It was Wembdon who made the brighter start, however, with Brockwell having the dangerous Harvey Denning caught for 0 in the second over.

A great opening spell of bowling by Brendan Pope ripped through the Chard top order as Pope claimed four wickets, three of which were clean bowled, leaving Chard 20-5 from nine.

Chris Scott top scored for Chard with 24 as he targeted boundaries with his team in a spot of bother.

Wembdon rotated the bowlers in the heat and the left-arm spin of Josh Henry was brought on to immediate effect as he claimed 3-21 from 5.4 overs.

Pope returned to claim his five-wicket haul (5-21) and Wembdon had dismissed Chard for 93 from 25.4 overs.

Wembdon’s reply didn’t start too well as Jack Lowe went in the second over caught at slip and the incoming Puddy was fortunate to be dropped next ball.

Bingham and Puddy struck a couple of boundaries before the Mbanga accounted for Puddy, edging a short ball.

Brockwell looked to stem the flow of wickets and make the most of the more comfortable pace of Richard Scott but he was trapped lbw to a cross-seaming delivery which stayed low.

Bingham remained and moved on to 14 and Wembdon, on 36-3, still remained confident the total would be chased if they could negotitate the fiery spell of overseas Mbanga.

Bingham then fell to a short ball from Mbanga and James-Stone and Henry fell soon after as Mbanga found the edge of the bat with ease.

Wembdon were now 45-6 and the pressure of a poor run of results was clear to see with Chard, in good form, now very buoyant.

Rees and Pope added 26 for the seventh wicket and Wembdon moved on to 71 and, with 23 required, there was hope once again.

Regrettably, Pope, who top scored with 19, then holed-out at long-off when he looked to be the man to lead Wembdon to a much-needed victory.

Wembdon were grateful of some extras towards the end of the innings and the returning Billy Vickery, after two months out, was grafting hard for the team.

Mbanga took 6-42 from his 10 overs but it was Chris Scott who eventually trapped Vickey lbw with Wembdon on 82, 11 runs short of victory in another woeful batting display.

Wembdon host Bridgwater 2nds on Saturday (12.30pm) which is set to be a big day with live music to follow from VooDoo Seven.

Match sponsor: Gary Parker Carpentry & Maxwells Chartered Accountants.

WEPL Somerset Division
Bridgwater 2nds 265-7 beat North Petherton 193 by 72 runs

AN excellent unbeaten century from Ben Coombes guided Bridgwater 2nds to victory in the derby against North Petherton on Saturday.

The visitors won the toss at Heathfield Park and elected to bat first on a scorching afternoon.

Bridgwater lost Daniel Rossiter (20) with the score on 33, caught by Lewis Irish from the bowling of Will Pope (2-45), but this brought Coombes to the wicket and he joined forces with Todd Barrett to make Pethy pay.

The pair added 109 for the second wicket in a match-defining stand.

The partnership was ended when Barrett departed for 58, providing Ryan Meppem (2-46) with his first wicket, but Coombes went on to complete his century as wickets fell around him.

The batsman struck nine fours in his unbeaten 103, his first century of the summer.

Lewis Knight picked up 2-55 and skipper Paul Short took 1-41, but Bridgwater’s total of 265-7 looked a tough proposition for the hosts to overcome.

So it proved, with four of the top five batsmen falling for single figures and only opener Harry Bowditch providing much in the way of resistance as he moved to his half-century.

Bowditch hit 12 boundaries in his 77 but his departure left Pethy on 127-5 and ensured the game was as good as up.

Late contributions from Tom Williams (29) and George Western (23) helped the score along, but opening bowler Scott Clapp returned to mop up the tail and finish with 3-30 as the hosts were bowled out for 193 with two balls remaining of the 46th over.

Tom Bellinger (3-44) and Scott Higgins (2-31) also impressed with the ball for Bridgwater, who are fifth in the table at the halfway stage with North Petherton one place below them.

Both sides are away on Saturday, with Pethy travelling to struggling Staplegrove and Bridgwater making the short trip to Wembdon.