WEPL Premier 1

Bridgwater 92-5 beat Clevedon 91 by 5 wkts

BRIDGWATER got back to winning ways and moved into third place in Premier 1 with a five-wicket win against defending champions Clevedon at The Parks on Saturday.

The win was set up by a fine bowling performance from the Bridgwater attack led by Chris Skidmore, who took five wickets on his reappearance from an injury sustained at Cheltenham in May.

The Bridgwater ground staff did a stellar job to allow the game to start on time and skipper Andrew Hallaran won an important toss, inserting Clevedon in helpful bowling conditions.

Skidmore and Somerset Academy paceman Ned Leonard both started with maidens, keeping the Clevedon openers under pressure from the off.

Skidmore then picked up two wickets in his second over, Thirkell caught at point and Gloucestershire’s Greg Willows well caught by a diving Jason Oakes at the wicket to reduce the visitors to 1-2.

Harry Ellison briefly provided some impetus to the innings with a cameo 21 at a run-a-ball, however Skidmore soon got his man lbw playing across the line.

The introduction of Chris Singleton and Max Waller kept the pressure on, however the players were to leave the field due to a rain shower with the visitors 52-3 off 17 overs.

This rain delay lasted hour and 20 minutes, which saw 12 overs lost and the game reduced to 44 overs per side.

On the resumption, Waller dismissed Crane, well stumped by Oakes, and Singleton picked up the key wickets of Kahn and Lintott to leave Clevedon is disarray at 65-6.

From this position Clevedon’s lower order tried to recover some respectability, however the damage had already been done with Leonard and Skidmore returning to finish off the innings.

A total of 91 all out with 10 overs unused reaffirmed the strong bowling performance with Skidmore picking up 5-22, Singleton 2-23, Leonard 1-15 and Waller 1-25.

After a superb tea, Bridgwater promoted Waller to the top of the order and he started aggressively before skying a catch to cover.

Liam Kitch and Hallaran both batted sensibly in a period of consolidation with Bridgwater able to take their time.

The stand was worth 46, excellent in the context of the game, when Kitch (8) fell to Thirkell to spark a mini-collapse as Haggett and Oakes both fell to balls that warranted the treatment.

Meanwhile the captain was batting well at the other end and was to find an able partner in Stu Butt to take the home side close to victory.

Hallaran eventually fell for a well made 42 from 86 balls, but Steve Davis (6no) joined Butt (14no) to see their side home to a comfortable five-wicket win with 16 overs to spare.

Match Sponsor: Waterman’s Garage; Match Ball Sponsors: TMB Patterns Ltd.