WEPL Premier 1
Bristol 314-4 tied with Bridgwater 314-9

A THRILLING finale saw Bridgwater tie with a strong Bristol side thanks to a fine batting display led by young Will Smeed and heroics from Andrew Skidmore, who took 20 from the final over.

Bridgwater skipper Merv Hallaran won the toss and elected to field but it wasn’t long before he was questioning his decision as Lisle Durrans and James Bracey began to compile a formidable stand. 

The former finally departed to Max Waller, chipping to Josh Vickery for 37 but the fall of a wicket brought no respite for the Bridgwater bowlers as this brought New Zealand overseas pro Will Young to the crease. 

Young soon followed Bracey to his half-century and the pair took the score to 212 but not before Bracey reached yet another century as he continued his excellent season. 

Young departed for a powerful 62 before Bracey finally chopped on off the bowling of Waller (2-43) for 111.

Gloucester pro Keiran Noema-Barnett and Somerset prospect Fin Trenouth set about upping the ante in the final 10 overs and Trenouth was the final wicket to fall, caught by Stuart Butt off Chris Skidmore for 33 as Bristol closed on 314-4. 

The Bridgwater reply started positively through Merv Hallaran and Liam Kitch before the former laced a short wide delivery straight to point for 19. 

This brought Smeed to the crease to construct a platform with the increasingly fortunate Kitch, whose luck finally ran out after a misunderstanding saw him run out for 39 with the score on 98.

Smeed and Ian Chauhan put on 119 for the third wicket before the latter fell to a catch in the deep off the bowling of Neil Pollard for 59 and Waller’s subsequent dismissal came prior to a rain break.

Needing 90 from nine overs when play resumed, Chris Skidmore (8) fell as he tried to get ahead of the DLS par score with more rain around. 

He was shortly followed by 16-year-old Smeed, who was once again outstanding for his 98 from 103 balls with 11 fours and a six.

With Bridgwater falling further behind the rate, Stuart Butt (31) took up the chase along with Josh Vickery (4) and Ned Leonard, who was run out for 15 to leave Andrew Skidmore on strike for the final over with 22 required.

An eventful final over saw a wide, two fours, one six and two twos and Bridgwater required three to win from the final delivery. 

Some serious scampering and a fumble saw Andrew Roberts return for a second for the scores to finish level on 314, Skidmore bludgeoning 21 runs from seven balls.

On Saturday, Bridgwater host Downend (12:30pm).

WEPL Premier 2 Bristol/Som
Ilminster 182-9 beat Shapwick & Polden 107-7 by 9 runs (DLS)

SHAPWICK & Polden returned to action with a tough loss to Ilminster - the rain being the deciding factor.

On winning the toss, Shapwick elected to bowl first and Fionn Hand (1-35) immediately had the dangerous Louis Kraucamp caught behind for 3. 

Steve Coppell (3-34) picked up the wickets of Warry, Vickery and Davis, while Ben Rudge trapped Hayward lbw. 

Ilminster found themselves 46-5 but, after a brief interlude for rain halted Shapwick’s momentum, a partnership between captain Spurway (38) and Hurford (21) was broken by Wayne Spencer (2-21) when he had Spurway lbw.

At 89-7, Shapwick were looking at a chase of less than 100, however some gritty batting from Rice (44*) supported by Montacute (12) and Grinter (19) hauled Ilminster to 182-9.

With leaden skies overhead, Stephen Tinnion got off to a flyer by taking eight boundaries from Montacute and Grinter before mistiming a pull shot to be caught for 37. 

Sam Edmunds and Will Mason saw the score past 50 inside eight overs when the rain came in, halting proceedings for around 50 minutes.

DLS calculated Shapwick required 150 from 36 overs - a further 96 from 28 overs.

Edmunds (19) and Mason (17) made useful additions but the introduction of spin was key to the home side’s chances.

Shapwick plunged into deep trouble at 98-7 and with the rain suddenly sweeping in, Rudge (10*) and Coppell were unable to seek the nine runs required to be ahead on the DLS calculation.

At 7.30pm, the umpires decided the ground was unfit for play and that was that.

WEPL Somerset
Wembdon 290-6 beat Staplegrove 129 by 91 runs (DLS)

WEMBDON recorded back-to-back victories as they dodged the rain to defeat struggling Staplegrove on Saturday, writes Dan Bingham.

Skipper Jon Brockwell lost yet another toss and Wembdon were put in to bat. 

With rain and a strong wind, the Staplegrove bowling attack struggled as Dan Bingham and Tom Brooks got Wembdon off to a positive start. 

At 47-0, Brooks (24) was caught behind off the final ball of Cleverly’s fifth over.

Sam Puddy (20) joined Bingham (31) and the pair added another 30 runs before Greenwood claimed both.

The fourth-wicket partnership was the biggest of the game as Brockwell and Jack Lowe added 84 in 15 untroubled overs.

Lowe played a good supporting role and Brockwell looked back to his best as he struck 11 4s and two 6s on his way to a half-century.

The Wembdon middle/lower order went after the Staplegrove attack with skipper Brockwell leading the way with 88.

Karl Trunks blasted 26 while Josh Henry managed to strike two rare maximums in a quickfire 48 not out off just 24 balls with Wembdon reaching 290-6.

Heavy rain fell at tea and in the third over of the reply as play was halted for around an hour - the game reduced in overs.

After the delay, Wembdon went straight for the spin of Henry and Bingham with the plan to get to 20 overs as quickly as possible and force a much-needed result.

The decision had an immediate impact as danger man Thomas Pantling was caught in the deep before Bingham trapped fellow opener Grant Arden lbw.

Staplegrove blasted a couple of sixes to the short boundary but, at 80 for 3 after the 14th over, more rain fell and the game was suspended once again - the game was reduced to 31 overs with a revised target of 221.

Henry claimed a wicket as Lowe took another good catch in the deep.

Puddy’s off-spin was then introduced and he claimed a wicket with his very first delivery, removing Ian Bishop, and he went on to claim 5-21 in 5.2 overs. 

The hosts were dismissed for 129 with Wembdon taking 20 valuable points to close the gap on several sides above.

Wembdon are at home on Saturday as they welcome Minehead to The Green (12.30pm).

WEPL Somerset Division
Uphill Castle 162, North Petherton 0-0
Match Abandoned - rain

THE wall-to-wall summer sunshine came to an abrupt end on Saturday as the rains forced North Petherton’s home fixture to be abandoned.

The visitors were put in as the rains threatened and opener Dayne Siede bolstered the total to 162 as Lewis Knight took 3-32 and Paul Short and Ryan Meppem two apiece.

The rain came with tea and no further play was possible.

On Saturday, Pethy travel to Yeovil (12.30pm start).

WEPL Somerset Division
Frome 153-3 beat Bridgwater 2s 150 by 7 wkts

BRIDGWATER failed to recover from an early collapse as they were well beaten at home to high-fliers Frome on Saturday.

Put in to bat, Bridgwater slumped to 7-3 as Frome’s Tom Barton and Reece Croker took control.

Alastair Witts (43) and Ed Habberfield (18) recovered the situation to 61-4, then Will Moyse (32) continued the restoration work with Witts.

It was all tough going against a frugal attack which held a stranglehold throughout.

Tom Bellinger (14) and Sethan Locke (12no) added useful runs but it was never likely to be a winning score at The Parks.

As it was, Bridgwater were all out for 150 as Croker (3-8 off 7) and Barton (3-46 off 10) were well rewarded for fine spells.

When Frome replied, Ian Higgins made an early breakthrough but that was the end of the joy as Robin Lett cut loose, hitting nine fours and three sixes in a fine unbeaten 74.

He was joined by Croker (34), then Andy Veal (25) as Frome cruised home with seven wickets and 20 overs to spare.

Higgins (2-43) was the pick of the home attack.

On Saturday, Bridgwater travel to face league leaders North Perrott.