WEPL Somerset Division
North Petherton 102-3 beat Bridgwater 2nds 101 by 7 wkts

NORTH Petherton ended their recent indifferent run with a comfortable victory at home to Bridgwater 2nds on Saturday.

Bowling first, Pethy made the ideal start when Lewis Irish had Tom Bellinger caught by Ian Blackwell for no score.

Irish went on to dismiss Bridgwater’s other opener, Liam Kitch, on his way to 2-18 from 10 miserly overs which set the tone for his side.

Blackwell then took over, rolling back the years to take 4-9 from his 10 overs, eight of which were maidens, to tear the heart out of the visiting middle order.

Will Pope (2-18) and Liam Winter (2-32) also impressed with the ball and, despite resistance in the form of Kyran Devitt (28), Bridgwater were dismissed for 101 after 42 overs.

The target looked a modest one, but the reply got off to the worst possible start from the home side’s point of view when Brad Porteous was trapped lbw by Ian Higgins and departed for a duck.

Tom Williams steadied the ship with Liam Winter, who remained at the crease for the duration of his team’s successful chase.

The departures of Williams (27) and Blackwell (12) held up the momentum slightly, but Harry Bowditch (4*) completed the victory alongside Winter, who continued to anchor the innings and ended with an unbeaten 48 to his name.

This Saturday, North Petherton face a tricky trip to Weston-super-Mare and Bridgwater host Chard looking to avoid a third straight league defeat.

WEPL Somerset Division
Wembdon 228-7 beat Staplegrove 227-9 by 3 wkts

JON Brockwell and Sam Puddy struck Wembdon to victory against Staplegrove on Saturday.

Wembdon’s decision to bowl first looked a good one early on as Brockwell dismissed Tom Pantling with the third ball of the game.

Brockwell was soon in the action once again as Dan Buller held on to a difficult catch to remove Richard Rowe to leave Staplegrove struggling at 22-2.

A solid partnership of 61 for the third wicket between Jake and Joe Pantling tilted the game in Staplegrove’s favour, however, and the visitors raced to 70-2 from just 12 overs.

Wembdon introduced the spin of Josh Henry and seam of Dan Bingham. The pair bowled well together, proving difficult to score off and returning some very economical figures - just 31 runs were scored between the 12th and 26th over as the game swung back in Wembdon’s favour.

During this time, Bingham claimed two wickets, including that of danger man Ian Bishop, while Henry took three backed up by some good slip catching from Sam Puddy.

The introduction of Matt Hubbard and Puddy removed two more Staplegrove wickets, leaving the opposition 135-8 with 15 overs to go. 

The game was firmly now in Wembdon’s hands but, once again, it tilted in favour of the opposition thanks to top lower order striking from Harry Graydon, who hit 70 off 66 balls.

Grove finished on a strong 227-9 from 50 overs and took momentum into their bowling as Bishop removed Bingham second ball and, in the sixth over, Wembdon were really struggling at 12-2 from six overs.

Wembdon, however, had a match-defining partnership for the third wicket of 152 runs as Puddy (79) and Brockwell (87) batted superbly with a mix of good running and explosive hitting including 24 boundaries and several maximums.

Wembdon, after a shaky start in a topsy-turvy game, were now cruising to victory, requiring 53 runs from 16 overs with eight wickets intact.

Once again, though, the game changed as Puddy was well caught off a rising delivery and Pigden went soon after.

A running mix-up between Brockwell and Billy Vickery saw the latter on his way and when Brockwell was caught in the deep Wembdon were suddenly 209-7 having lost five wickets for 30 runs.

This set up a very tense finish with the Wembdon tail lacking 1st XI experience, but a solid performance at the death from Josh Henry (21) and Aaron Rees saw Wembdon home with four overs to spare.