WEPL Premier 1
Bridgwater 229-9 lost to Clevedon 232-6 by 4 wkts

BRIDGWATER showed flashes of their good form of recent weeks but, in a tense struggle, just failed to beat Premier 1 leaders Clevedon in front of a large supportive crowd at a sun-drenched Parks on Saturday, writes Scott Sealey.

Bridgwater chose to bat first against a strong Clevedon side boosted by Somerset and England’s off-spinner Dom Bess who appeared in the third over and, in a tight spell, claimed the early wickets of Andy Hallaran and Liam Kitch, who each made 12.

Will Smeed (20) and George Bartlett (25) repaired the damage, moving the score along to 74 before both departed along with Ian Chauhan (18) to leave the home side in trouble at 109-5.

Stuart Butt, who was to bat doggedly for his 51, and Alli Witts (16) took the score to 136 before the only substantial partnership of the innings, of 77 between Butt and the in-form Chris Skidmore, salvaged the Bridgwater score.

Skidmore’s 40 contained four 6s in his usual style before he was well caught on the boundary.

Andrew Skidmore hit the last ball of the innings for six to give the home side the last valuable batting point but 229 was to prove 40 runs light given the conditions on the day.

Despite lively opening spells from Chris Skidmore and Andy Roberts, Bridgwater’s only success came from a brilliant piece of fielding and a sharp run out of Mansoor Khan for one by Andrew Skidmore, who was to follow this up with an excellent opening spell.

He reduced the leaders to 71-4 by bowling Bess for a hard-hit 29, Ellison for seven and trapping the dangerous Jake Lintott in front on his way to 3-34 from 10 overs.

Connor Crane and Cameron Harding rebuilt the innings steadily, both riding their luck while surviving very confident lbw appeals on several occasions.

The pair added 104 before Harding (40) fell to a very sharp catch by Butt in the covers to give the unlucky Roberts (1-43) a deserved wicket.

With Roberts catching Plummer off Ian Chauhan at 185-6, the home side sniffed an unlikely victory but Crane, who went on to finish unbeaten on 101, and Will Carpenter (20no) were to see their side home with an over to spare, leaving Bridgwater to rue their disappointing top order batting performance that cost them dear.

With thanks to Match Sponsors Charles Dickens Estate Agents and Match Ball Sponsors TMB Patterns Ltd.

On Saturday, Bridgwater travel to Bedminster, who are just below them in Premier 1, in a match crucial to their relegation battle.

WEPL Premier 2 Bristol/Som
Shapwick and Polden 304-9 beat Midsomer Norton 132 by 172 runs

ON another roasting Saturday, with a certain England game a rather large distraction, Shapwick & Polden made it a hat-trick with a massive victory at home to Midsomer Norton.

Shapwick chose to bat first and it was business as usual for Stephen Tinnion (56) and Sam Edmunds (61) as they breezed their way to another 100-run opening partnership inside 16 overs.

A lack of concentration cost Tinnion his wicket, gifting a caught and bowled, and Jacques Luckins’ departure for six brought Wayne Spencer to the crease and he made an attacking 63. 

Edmunds fell with the score on 184, but John Stratton (19) struck his first two balls for four and, though the lower order failed to fire, a boundary in the last over from Harry Woolway (11*) moved the score past 300. 

Tea was taken and the first half of the England game viewed before Shapwick & Polden’s opening bowlers Tom Barr and Woolway set about their task. 

Woolway struck twice in his first over, having captain Pang caught at mid-off and overseas pro Guanathilaka caught behind second ball. 
Woolway struck again shortly after, having Cox (13) caught in the gully and Skipp caught behind first ball. 

Barr was unfortunate not to gain any success, but Rudge (2-37) had Lear (30) bowled after some close lbw calls. 

Woolway picked up his five-fer as Dredge was well caught by Luckins at mid-off, finishing his 10 overs with 5-35.

Spencer brilliantly ran out Chard with a direct hit but Nolan (49) applied himself well before Joe Mason (1-4) and Spencer (1-2) wrapped up the game. 

Shapwick & Polden sit third and travel to leaders Lansdown on Saturday.

WEPL Somerset Division
Bridgwater II 226 beat Wembdon 152 by 74 runs

INABILITY to bat out their overs cost Wembdon at home to local rivals Bridgwater 2nd XI on Saturday.

Bridgwater won the toss and elected to bat first, but lost Scott Clapp (16) early on, caught and bowled by Jonathan Brockwell (2-30 off 10 overs).

The visitors’ 21-1 became 32-2, but opener Tim Netto battled hard to survive and added 63 for the third wicket with Ben Coombes.

With the score on 95, James Annison cleaned bowled Netto for a solid 35.

The next five Bridgwater batters all scored less than 10 runs, with six wickets falling for 50 runs in the middle overs as Josh Henry took 3-43 off 10 overs, Sam Puddy 1-53 off eight and Tim Bennet 1-15 off five.

Coombes passed his half-century, though, and added 67 invaluable runs for the ninth wicket alongside captain Ian Higgins.

Higgins made 42 from 40 deliveries, including six boundaries, before being run out by Trunks.

Coombes was the last man to go for 74, bowled by Annison (2-35 off 9.2), as Bridgwater posted 226 from 49.2 overs – a healthy score having been 146-8.

After a long tea break (a crowd of 200 watching England v Sweden at the Green), Dan Bingham and Tom Brooks opened the Wembdon innings. 
Brooks (5) played on early in Clapp’s opening spell and Puddy (2) fell to the same bowler (2-22 off six). 

Bingham (15) saw off the opening overs but then misjudged the bounce as Ed Habberfield dropped one short and was bowled, leaving Wembdon 26-3.

Jack Lowe (6) and Henry (4) followed, with Habberfield claiming a match-defining 4-33 off nine overs.

Brockwell remained at the crease and together with Karl Trunks added 65 for the sixth wicket, reaching 110 when Trunks (21) was caught.

But any hope of a Wembdon revival vanished when skipper Brockwell was also caught, three short of a deserved half century.

Brendan Pope and Max Sellick moved Wembdon past 150, but the spin of James Duckering (2-16 off four) removed Pope (30) and Bennett before Higgins bowled Annison to end the game.

For Wembdon, dismissed for 152 off 35.4 overs, the failure to bat anywhere near the 50 overs has proved costly once too often.

Wembdon are on their travels next Saturday, at the picturesque North Perrott.

Match sponsors: Rachael & Clive Lilley

WEPL Somerset
North Petherton 216 beat Staplegrove 89 by 127 runs

HALF-CENTURIES from Harry Bowditch and Tom Williams helped North Petherton to a comfortable win at Staplegrove on Saturday.

Pethy chose to bat first on a scorching afternoon and opened with the Irish brothers, Lloyd and Lewis, though the former fell early having made nine.

Captain Bowditch joined Lewis Irish and the pair added 48 for the second wicket before Irish was clean bowled by Thomas Pantling (3-39) for a well-made 39, which included eight fours.

Bowditch passed his half-century but his departure for 53 left Pethy 122-5, which became 142-7 after Ian Bishop (4-25) tore into the middle order.

It took a fine 67-run partnership between Williams (50) and Lewis Knight (18) to push the score beyond 200, though Pantling returned to mop up the innings and dismiss the visitors for 216.

Pantling was the only home batsman to show much in the way of form in reply, making 38 at the top of the order as wickets fell around him.

Richard Rowe was first to go, run out by Lewis Irish, and Lewis Knight (1-37) then had dangerman Henry Graydon caught by Bowditch for 14.

From there it was over to Liam Winter (4-7) and Ryan Meppem (4-18), who polished off the remainder of the batsmen between them as struggling Staplegrove were skittled for 89 to hand Pethy a 127-run win.

On Saturday, Pethy host high-flying Minehead.

NORTH Petherton were narrowly beaten by three runs in their SCB Major Cup semi-final at home to Ilminster on Sunday.

Scott Briffett (2-15) impressed with the ball, while each of the five-man attack kept it tight to restrict the visitors to 106-9.

In reply, several Pethy batsman made starts but none could progress past Owen Irish’s top score of 20 as the match went down to the wire.

Harry Montacute, who had taken 7-7 the day before as Ilminster bowled out Weston-super-Mare for 21, took 4-30 and last man Alistair Bunce was run out with Pethy just three runs short of the visitors’ total.