WEPL Premier One

Bridgwater 300-6 beat Taunton 215 by 85 runs

BRIDGWATER enjoyed an excellent weekend with progress in the National Cup on Sunday alongside a home league victory on Saturday.

On Saturday they hosted Taunton CC and pulled off a resounding victory by 85 runs.

The win was largely due to a strong batting performance which saw the hosts make 300 on the fast scoring Parks ground, led by George Bartlett who showed his growing class with a destructive 114 off only 84 balls.

Bartlett came to the wicket at number three after Adam Hose (11) had been unluckily caught down the leg side, and he was to share a match winning stand of 144 with skipper Merv Hallaran (70), which included 11 fours and five sixes. It was a welcome return to form for the skipper, who played watchfully to set a platform.

Hallaran holed out to deep mid off with the score on 166, and this brought the in form Chris Gange (29) to the wicket, who shared another 47 with Bartlett before the latter was very unfortunately caught at short third man off the back of the bat, as he went to smash a leg side delivery to the boundary.

Steve Davis (38no) gave the late overs some impetus with a swashbuckling cameo off only 25 balls, as Bridgwater set the visitors a stiff task of 301 to win.

The hosts started well with the ball, with Chris Skidmore (3-44) and Liam Redrup (1-22) bowling hostile opening spells to reduce Taunton to 15-3.

Sam Puddy (40) counter attacked impressively as he made hay against too much short pitched bowling and shared a good stand of 81 with Australian overseas player Josh Phillippe.

The introduction of Alex Frick stemmed the flow of runs as he once again bowled a quite superb spell, picking up both Puddy and Phillippe (58) in taking 2-37 off his 10 overs. Steve Davis provided a controlled spell of off spin from the Park Road end to keep the visitors behind the asking rate, despite a good half century from Grant Davey.

Chris Singleton (1-16) was to make the breakthrough in a good spell, and Andy Roberts (1-27) and Skidmore finished things off as Bridgwater maintained their position at the summit with 20 points.

Many Thanks to Match Sponsors Millennium Catering and Match Ball Sponsors TMB Patterns Limited. Next Saturday the 1st XI visit Downend CC (12:30pm)

On Sunday, Bridgwater visited Cornish Champions Werrington in the third round of the ECB National Club Championship, and supported by a coach load of supporters were able to progress to the Group final with a comfortable five-wicket victory.

Merv Hallaran won an important toss and Chris Skidmore (1-27) and Andy Roberts both bowled superb opening spells, having the hosts in trouble at 18 for two off 10 overs. The introduction of off spinner Matt Habberfield paid immediate dividends as he was to pick up a wicket first ball, and three in total in a fine spell of 3-31 as Werrington slumped to 78-6.

Cornish Minor Counties batsmen Paul Smith (80no) steered the home side to respectability at 197 for 9 at tea, which was hampered by an inspired spell from Roberts, who picked up 5-33 to keep the visitors on top.

Bridgwater lost an early wicket, but George Bartlett (35) and Hallaran picked up where they had left the previous day peppering the boundary with ease in the powerplay to leave Bridgwater firmly on top at 78-2 from only 12 overs when Bartlett was caught. Chris Gange continued the aggressive style with his captain as they were to put the victory beyond little doubt with a further stand of 77 in good time before Hallaran fell for a fine 68 that included 8 fours and 4 sixes.

Gange was to see his side to within two runs of victory with a superb knock of 59 including nine boundaries, as Bridgwater raced home with seven overs to spare, and will face Frocester CC in the Group Final at the Parks on Sunday, June 19.