West of England Premier League
Premier 2 Bristol/Somerset
Taunton Deane 263-8 beat Shapwick & Polden 254 by 9 runs

SHAPWICK & Polden came within a whisker of inflicting a surprise defeat on leaders Taunton Deane as the division’s top and bottom sides went head-to-head.

The Deane batted first but were quickly reduced to 20-2 as Steve Coppell (2-36) struck early.

Captain Rob Woodman (32) steadied the ship with Harry Thomas, who went on to become the mainstay of the innings as he compiled 93 from 106 balls.

He was supported by Jamie Stephens (41) and Tom Hall (23) down the order as the Deane posted 263-8, Sean Stringer (2-61) and Wayne Spencer (2-51) also picking up two wickets each.

Shapwick started like a train in reply and reached 50 in the fifth over, with Steve Tinnion bringing up a 31-ball half century in the 11th.

Tinnion continued the charge and was three short of his century when he was caught for 97 from 58 balls, including 14 fours and four sixes.

That left the score 131-4 but Shapwick weren’t done as John Stratton (22) and Sean Stringer (26) edged them nearer.

The final pair came together needing 44 more and Steve Coppell gave it a good go alongside Ben Rudge.

With 10 needed from nine balls, Rudge was run out for 16 to leave Coppell stranded on 26 and Shapwick agonisingly short of what would have been an invaluable victory.

The division’s bottom side host promotion-chasing Winterbourne on Saturday (12.30pm).


WEPL Somerset Division
Frome 126-5 beat Wembdon 123 by 5 wkts

WEMBDON’S good run of form came to an end on Saturday, with a five-wicket defeat at home to league leaders Frome.

Frome possess the league’s leading wicket-taker in Reece Croker and, when Wembdon elected to bat first, he started with a lively spell.

Tom Lott and Tom Brooks, who were looking to build on last week’s opening partnership, started positively and the opening stand moved to 20 when Lott (5) edged Tom Barton’s wide delivery to the keeper.

Croker then got in on the action, bowling Sam Puddy (4) and Jonathan Brockwell (0) in the same over with the score on 31.

Dan Bingham joined Brooks but one of Robin Lett’s slow right-armers trapped Bingham (4), leaving Wembdon in trouble at 55-4.

Nkululeko Serame batted positively but, just as Wembdon gained momentum, Lett had Brooks stumped for 30 (from 44 balls).

Serame and Jack Lowe added 18 together but Wembdon continued to lose wickets, Serame going for 25 from the bowling of Tom Barton.

Brendan Pope and Lowe took Wembdon into three figures before legger Mark Sanger had Lowe (7) and Pope (17) trapped lbw in quick succession to put Wembdon on 111-8.

Frome reintroduced Croker and he bowled Mike Watts (10) and Matt Hubbard (0) with consecutive deliveries as Wembdon were all out for 123.

Frome started strongly with the bat, as several of Pope’s deliveries crossed the boundary, but at the other end Hubbard was extracting a lot of swing and looked most threatening.

Pope struck first, though, removing Paul Sanger (8) as Serame took the catch at mid-on.

Sam Croker joined Reece Croker and added 20 for the second wicket, but then Puddy held on to a good catch at gully to remove Sam Croker (10) from Hubbard’s bowling, then Hubbard dismissed Reece Crocker (17) thanks to a sharp catch by Brooks.

Frome were 49-3 at tea and, after the break, skipper Brockwell rotated his bowlers; Hubbard finished his fine spell with 2-12 in 10 overs.

Serame and Bingham were introduced but Frome added 42 for the fourth wicket.

Bingham eventually trapped Andy Veal (20) lbw and Serame removed Scott Lewis (25).

Frome, however, showed their class and knocked off the remaining runs without further loss, thanks to James Unwin (21no) and Charlie Smith (13no).

Wembdon are at home again this coming Saturday, as they host Bridgwater 2nds in what is likely to be a competitive derby in front of a large crowd (12.30pm start).


WEPL Somerset Division
North Petherton 129 beat Yeovil 97 by 32 runs

ALI Asif had a day to remember as North Petherton recovered from a nightmare start to beat Yeovil on Saturday.

The visitors opted to bat upon winning the toss but soon saw each of their top three back in the pavilion having recorded ducks.

Paul Short’s departure for a single left Pethy 5-4 but Asif was a cut above, striking seven fours and two sixes as he made 76 not out while wickets fell around him - Liam Winter (14) was the only other batsman to make double figures.

Asif’s knock helped Pethy to 129 and Farran Gregory (2-11) reduced the hosts to 18-2.

Paul Short (3-22) claimed the key wicket of Ben Ford (32) and Asif ran through the tail to finish with 5-32 as Yeovil were bowled out for 97 in the 31st over.

On Saturday, North Petherton host Minehead in what is, from Frome down, a tightly-contested division.