BRIDGWATER fell at the first hurdle in the National Club Championship on Sunday as they fell to a five-wicket defeat to plucky Winterbourne. 

Bridgwater, missing a number of players due to injury, county and school commitments, slumped to 8-4, but were rescued by a back-to-the-wall innings from Alfonso Thomas.

The former Somerset man expertly crafted an unbeaten 104, sharing stands with Andy Roberts, Liam Redrup and Chris Singleton (41*) to take the home side to a respectable 205-8 off their 45 overs. 

Andy Roberts and Chris Skidmore reduced the visitors to 16-3, but a superb fourth-wicket stand helped Winterbourne win with an over to spare.

On Saturday Bridgwater had a good workout at Taunton Deane, new recruit Tom Bevan hitting a superb 90. 

The 3rd XI hosted a strong Minehead side and put up a good account of themselves in a five-wicket defeat.

This Saturday the pre-season preparations conclude with a home friendly against Devon Premier side Bovey Tracey in a match that begins at 1pm.