West of England Premier League
Premier 1
Bridgwater 263-7 beat Taunton St Andrew’s 144 all out by 119 runs

A BLISTERING opening spell from Chris Skidmore stunned Taunton St Andrew’s and helped secure Bridgwater’s Premier 1 status for another year with a 119-run win at the Parks on Saturday.

Liam Kitch’s 76 led the hosts to a score of 263-7, which proved beyond the away side after Skidmore had rooted out their top order batsmen.

Saints won the toss and put Bridgwater in to bat, but there was no early breakthrough forthcoming, as Merv Hallaran (30) and Kitch reached 76 without loss.

Hallaran was trapped lbw by Jack Cooper, but Kitch and George Bartlett took their side up to 144, at which point Kitch was stumped off Luke Poole, having hit 11 4s and one 6.

Poole would go on to claim 5-64 off nine overs for the visitors, as he also dismissed Bartlett (44), but Calum Haggett kept the hosts’ score moving with a 38-ball 43, before also falling to Poole.

The same bowler removed Skidmore and Stuart Butt, but only after they had scored 11 and 32, respectively.

With Jonathan Vickery adding 3no and Andrew Skidmore 7no, Bridgwater’s final total was 263-7.

Bridgwater Mercury:

VICTORY: George Bartlett in batting action for Bridgwater. Pic: Steve Richardson

Then it was over to Chris Skidmore, who clean bowled Tom Banton (0), James Regan (4) and Eddie Byrom (12) to leave Saints 5-2 and then 16-3.

It was a position they would never recover from, despite the efforts of Rob Contreras (20) and Lloyd Alley (23).

They fell to Andrew Roberts (2-29 off 8.2) and Chris Singleton (2-18 off five) in quick succession, leaving their side on 66-5.

Haggett (2-38 off 10) and Chris Skidmore then worked their way through the middle order, Skidmore finishing with 4-38 off 10.

Poole continued a fine individual performance for the away side with an unbeaten 26 off 15 balls, but when Harry Clements (7) was caught by Bartlett off Roberts, that was game over.

Saints were all out for 144 in 37.2 overs, 119 short of the home side’s total.

Bridgwater can now heave a sigh of relief after an up-and-down season, with survival already secure heading into the last weekend of the season.

The win sees them sit in sixth place, 32 points clear of second-bottom Frocester, who are 17 points behind the still-endangered Taunton St Andrew’s.

Bridgwater’s final match is away to basement side Goatacre this Saturday, the game starting at 12.30pm.


WEPL Somerset Division
Bridgwater 2s 187-6 beat Minehead 1st XI 184 by 4 wkts

BRIDGWATER enjoyed a comfortable victory, despite letting home side Minehead off the hook on Saturday.

Electing to bat, Minehead made a disastrous start being reduced to 58-7 as Dan Rossiter, Ian Higgins and Scott Clapp gained success.

Dan Bowditch (52) and Angus Marsh (25) saved the day in style, adding 68 for the eighth wicket.

Darren Sherring (23) and Andrew Woodward (12no) joined in the tail-wagging and Minehead closed on a respectable 184.

When Bridgwater replied, there was an early stutter as Sherring took two quick wickets but James Duckering (36), Sethan Locke (24no) and Clapp (33no) steadied the ship and saw them home.

Bridgwater 2nds close their league season on Saturday with a derby clash at home to North Petherton (12.30 start).