WEPL Premier 1
Bridgwater 189-5 beat Frocester 188 by 5 wkts

BRIDGWATER achieved a superb win at 2016 Premier One runners-up Frocester on Saturday, as they successfully chased down 188 with almost 15 overs to spare. 

The result was built on a solid fielding and bowling performance, plus a quick-scoring opening partnership between skipper Merv Hallaran and keeper Tom Lace, which took the game away from their opponents.

After losing the toss and being asked to bowl, the Bridgwater opening attack of Chris Skidmore and Will Williams took time to settle and gave away numerous extras.

Kiwi Williams got the breakthrough as he found the edge of Gegg’s bat after a bright opening stand of 32. 

This was followed by a needless run out as Quereshi tried for a quick single back to the bowler, and when Chris Singleton (1-23) bowled Wand in his first over Bridgwater were on top at 47-3. 

O’Doherty and Whincup worked hard to rebuild the innings and this was partially completed in a stand of 65, but Bridgwater kept the scoring in check and Liam Redrup was particularly miserly.

The introduction of spin from both ends saw Tom Bevan (1-42) pick up where he left off last week, bowling with excellent control and variety, supported by spin twin Andrew Skidmore (1-34).

Skidmore bowled Whincup (32) to get the breakthrough and this was followed by O’Doherty (27) holing out to Singleton at deep mid-wicket off Bevan.

Returning seamers Redrup (2-19), Williams (2-34) and Chris Skidmore (1-32) took wickets at regular intervals which saw a below-par score of 188 the target.

After tea, Hallaran and Lace set about the Frocester attack in a classy opening stand, with left-arm Sri Lankan Perera bowling impressively for the hosts, but unable to make the early breakthrough. 

Lace was particular quick on anything short or over-pitched and Hallaran (27), who is looking in good touch this season, also played well before hooking Perera to deep square leg with the score 71-1.

Lace was joined by George Bartlett who was to play a responsible anchor role for the remainder of the innings, as Lace continued to despatch the bowling to all parts before falling to Drake for an enterprising 62 from only 48 balls.

Gange fell cheaply as Frocester sniffed a way back into the game, however, Bevan joined Bartlett in a valuable stand of 38.

Once Bevan (13) fell lbw, Todd Barrett played an excellent innings to finish undefeated with 28 to see his side home, with Bartlett (41) falling shortly before the end.

On Saturday, Bridgwater host Bristol at The Parks (12.30pm start).

WEPL Somerset Division
Bridgwater 2nds (311-5) beat Wembdon 1sts (292-9) by 19 runs

BRIDGWATER got their first win of the season at The Parks on Saturday with a hard-fought victory over local rivals Wembdon in front of a sizeable crowd, writes Ian Higgins.

Upon winning the toss, Bridgwater decided to make first use of a good wicket and openers Tom Bellinger and Ben Coombes made a solid start, putting together a partnership of 73 before Bellinger (26) was deceived by a delivery from Dan Bingham. 

New man Stuart Butt and Coombes took the attack to the Wembdon bowlers, as both played some wonderful stokes in a partnership of 68 before both fell in quick succession.

This brought Josh Vickery and Alistair Witts to the crease, and what happened next could only be described as carnage. 

Witts was particularly explosive, depositing the ball to all parts of the ground in making 83 runs off only 48 balls (five 4s and seven 6s). 

Vickery played a great supporting role, finishing 42* with six 4s. 

Their partnership of 123 came from only 12 overs and propelled Bridgwater’s total to 311, a very competitive score from 50 overs.

Wembdon’s response got off to the perfect start against Bridgwater’s seam bowlers as they looked comfortable against everything thrown at them. 

Bingham took the attack to Bridgwater, with partner Jae Stone playing a more conservative role in their opening partnership of 109. 

Matt Habberfield made the breakthrough with two wickets in the space of two balls as he accounted for Bingham (62) and then Sam Puddy first ball. 

Things got even better for Bridgwater when Wembdon captain Jon Brockwell chipped Bellinger to the safe hands of Witts at mid-on to make the score 110-3. 

Good contributions from Billy Vickery (32) and Liam Pigden (43), along with some dropped catches, helped Wembdon on their way, but the introduction of Stuart Butt proved to be the defining moment. 

He chipped away with important wickets, with the help of three stumpings from Tom Pople, to finish with figures of 9-0-56-5, as Wembdon ended their innings 19 runs short.

Next up for Bridgwater 2nds is a trip to Minehead this Saturday, May 20.

Somerset League Division 2
Burnham-on-Sea 235-5 beat Bridgwater A 132 by 103 runs

BRIDGWATER A were soundly beaten away at Burnham on Saturday.

The visitors won the toss and chose to bowl, but Harris and Worthington got the home side off to a solid start, with Harris the first to go for a well-made 37. 

This brought captain Rob Driver to the crease, and he continued where he left off from last week.

Worthington was the next to go for 33 before Driver then departed for 61, making it two fifties in consecutive weeks. 

Carlson kept the rate ticking over with a handy 17, and Brad House got out to the middle for the remaining five overs and got the Burnham total up to 235 with a quickfire 28*.

Kieran Windsor (3-37) starred with the ball for Bridgwater.

Some good areas from opening bowlers Grant and Winton piled the pressure on Bridgwater’s opening batsmen.

Scriven replaced Grant from the Stoddens Road End and started well, finishing with figures of 3-28, while Harris ended up with 3-33.

Harding was introduced into the attack during the latter overs and picked up a couple of wickets for just the nine runs.

Will Moyse’s unbeaten 49 was the only real resistance as the visitors fell to a convincing defeat.