WEPL Premier 1
Bristol 99-4 beat Bridgwater 98 by 6 wkts

BRIDGWATER failed to kick on from their excellent victory last week as a sub-par batting display cost them at Bristol on Saturday.

The visitors chose to bat first but lost both openers early, with Merv Hallaran (4) and Chris Gange (5) both caught behind for single figure scores.

Ben Coombes didn’t last long either, and it was left to Thomas Bevan (13) and Stuart Butt to consolidate.

Bevan’s departure sparked a collapse, however, as Chris Singleton, Alastair Witts and Will Williams each made a single before departing, while Butt made his way to 41 before he fell to the bowling of Neil Pollard.

Chris Skidmore (10) and Liam Redrup (9*) battled hard but could not quite take Bridgwater past 100, with the innings brought to an end on 98 when Andrew Roberts was bowled for a duck.

Bridgwater knew they needed early breakthroughs to defend such a score, and Chris Skidmore made the first of those as he had Fin Trenouth caught by Thomas Bevan for 11.

Gloucestershire batsman Gareth Roderick followed without scoring, clean bowled by Chris Singleton (1-15), but wicketkeeper James Bracey (39) and promising Somerset youngster Louie Shaw (21) helped edge Bristol towards the finishing line.

Both fell before the chase had reached its conclusion, with Bevan (1-15) bowling Bracey and Skidmore (2-18) removing Shaw, but Paul Redwood (12*) and Ralph Hardwick (5*) ensured the hosts closed out the victory.

Bridgwater’s defeat saw them slip to sixth in a tightly-contested division - they host the team directly above them, Bedminster, at the Parks on Saturday (12.30pm). 

BRIDGWATER’s 2nd XI defeated Minehead by 72 runs in the Somerset Division.

Having been asked to bat, Bridgwater lost two early wickets before Scott Clapp (42) and Tom Bellinger (46) repaired the damage at the top of the order.

Useful contributions from Andrew Skidmore (38), Ed Habberfield (26) and Kyran Devitt (26) followed as Bridgwater ended their innings on 223-8.

Minehead’s top five batsmen all made starts in reply and, despite Matt Habberfield (2-36) checking their progress, the visitors were well placed on 122-3.

The dismissal of top scorer Braden Taylor for 37, dismissed by Bellinger (2-23), was the beginning of the end, however, and Ian Higgins (3-23) excelled as Minehead lost their last seven wickets for just 32 runs to hand Bridgwater the victory.

This weekend, Bridgwater’s second string visit struggling Wellington.