West of England Premier League
Premier 1
Cheltenham 176 beat Bridgwater 94 by 82 runs

BRIDGWATER’S title hopes were dented as their batting crumbled against Cheltenham at The Parks on Saturday.

The day had started well for the hosts, who put Cheltenham in upon winning the toss and promptly reduced them to 32-5.

Ian Higgins (3-29 off 10) claimed three of those early wickets, with Chris Skidmore also striking early before his spell was cut short midway through his second over.

Cheltenham needed a captain’s innings and Nick Evans provided it, ably supported by George Pritchard (27), who helped him add 41 for the sixth wicket.

Bridgwater’s bowlers continued to chip away, particularly Scott Clapp (3-29 off 10), and at 109-8 they had the chance to be chasing a particularly modest total.

Evans remained, however, and he was joined by Luke Sellers who enjoyed himself at number 10.

The pair added 39 for the ninth wicket, at which point Evans fell to Clapp for 55, but Sellers continued to an unbeaten 34 as part of a 28-run last wicket stand with Sam Didcote.

Steve Davis (2-12 off 6.5) wrapped up the innings in the 48th over, by which time the momentum was with the visitors.

Sellers (2-24 off four) took his confidence with the bat into his new ball spell and removed both Bridgwater openers, skipper Merv Hallaran (9) clean bowled and Clapp trapped in front for six.

The hosts continued to struggle in putting partnerships together, with Liam Kitch (11) and Davis (15) two of only three home batsmen to make it into double figures.

The game was arguably in the balance at 55-3, however, until Josh Breed came into the attack for a spell which decided the outcome once and for all.

Before long, Bridgwater were 63-6, Breed accounting for Jason Oakes (5), Will Moyse (0) and Chris Skidmore (0).

The same bowler later removed Jonathan Vickery (15) and Chris Singleton (2) to complete a five-wicket haul, ending with figures of 5-17 from nine overs.

Andrew Skidmore (1) was the final wicket to fall with the score on 94 as Bridgwater picked up just five points from the match.

Bridgwater are now fourth, 28 points behind leaders Potterne, which is the destination for Bridgwater’s next match on Saturday (12.30pm).

Victory for Bridgwater would set up an exciting finale to the title race, with up to four teams potentially involved.


WEPL Somerset Division
North Petherton 242-7 beat Bridgwater 2nds 91 by 156 runs

NORTH Petherton gave their survival hopes a shot in the arm with a thumping derby victory over Bridgwater 2nds at Heathfield Park.

Having opted to bat upon winning the toss, Pethy lost Lloyd Irish (7) early as Daniel Rossiter (4-57) picked up the first of his scalps.

Skipper Harry Bowditch made 20 and, after his departure, Owen Irish (42) added 82 for the third wicket with opener Lewis Knight.

Knight went on to make 71 and Ali Asif made a fine unbeaten 64 as Pethy finished their 50 overs on 247-7.

Bridgy slipped to 31-3 in reply and, though Rhys Hayward (27) and John Hill (22), stemmed the tide for a time, Asif entered the attack and took 4-6 from 2.5 overs to seal the victory.

Scott Briffett (2-30 off eight), Ben Meek (1-14 off 10), Farran Gregory (1-15 off six) Jack Rees (2-1 off 1) were the other wicket takers.

On Saturday, Bridgwater host Taunton Deane 2nds and Pethy travel to Yeovil.


Bridgwater Mercury:

ECONOMICAL: Bradley Rawles claimed 1-22 off nine overs in Bridgwater 3rds' win at Ilminster 2nds on Saturday.

IN Division 2 of the Monmouth Scientific Somerset League, Bridgwater 3rds hit a big 274-5 at Ilminster 2nds and won by 111.

Half-centuries for Michael Skidmore, James Salt and Sam Robinson saw Bridgwater into a dominant position.

When Ilminster replied, opener T. Towill carried his bat for 71 as the rest of the order crumbled, with Salt taking 3-20.