WEPL Premier One
Bridgwater 157-1 beat Downend 153 by 9 wkts

BRIDGWATER produced the complete performance in a must-win encounter at Downend on Saturday, notching their sixth away win of the league campaign with a resounding nine-wicket victory with 26 overs to spare.

They went into the game only two points clear of the relegation zone after last weekend’s very disappointing performance at home to Lechlade. 

On winning the toss, Downend chose to bat first but struggled against Bridgwater’s exceptional opening bowling attack of Chris Skidmore and Kiwi Will Williams. 

Skidmore dismissed both Downend openers in his first over and, when Williams had Gloucestershire professional Ian Cockbain caught behind, the hosts had slumped to 7-3.

Williams picked up a further wicket in his first spell, and the Downend innings was in tatters.

A mini revival was led by Dan Lezar, who played well for his run-a-ball 44; however, the Bridgwater attack never let Downend back into the game, with off-spinner Andrew Skidmore (2-12) outstanding.

The returning Chris Skidmore wrapped up the innings in the 39th over as the home side were dismissed for a much below par 153. 

Chris Skidmore led the attack expertly with 4-35 and Williams returned with figure of 2-22, Thomas 1-28 and Singleton 1-30. 

Skipper Merv Hallaran, after a superb keeping display, led from the front with a sublime innings which has been long overdue for a man of such batting class. 

Hallaran, alongside Chris Gange, brought up 34 in the first four overs with some superb shots, and the opening stand was worth 40 when Gange (17) was adjudged lbw. 

This brought George Bartlett to the wicket and he supported Hallaran well as the pair continued the relentless boundary count that gave the home bowlers no respite. 

The partnership was so ruthless the game was finished before the 25-over drinks break as Hallaran moved sublimely on to 91 from only 77 balls, including 15 fours and four 6s, while Bartlett finished unbeaten on 38 in an excellent innings to see Bridgwater home and to a 21-point haul.

The 1st XI travel to second placed Clevedon on Saturday, while, on Sunday, Bridgwater are playing in the Somerset Cricket Board Major Cup Final at the County Ground, Taunton. 

A coach will be leaving the Parks at 11am and returning at 6pm, where a supper will be provided. 

If you would like to reserve a space on the coach, please contact Andy Higgins on 07788 530607 or Marc Crisp behind the bar at the club.

WEPL Somerset
North Perrott 249-7 beat Bridgwater 2nds 139 by 110 runs

BRIDGWATER 2nds fell to a convincing defeat against a strong North Perrott outfit on Saturday.

As so often this season, it was overseas player Troy Johnson who proved a class above for the high-flying visitors, and his excellent 124 was the cornerstone of Perrott’s innings.

Useful contributions also came from Gordon Whorlow (35), Alex Eckland (29) and Nick Taylor (28) as Perrott closed on 249-6.

Bridgwater’s bowlers kept plugging away on a testing afternoon, and Ian Higgins (2-37), Andrew Roberts (2-53) and Matt Habberfield (2-47) were rewarded with two wickets apiece.

Chasing 250 was always going to be a difficult ask, and so it proved as only two Bridgwater batsmen made it into double figures.

Ben Coombes was the pick of the bunch with 57 but, apart from himself and Ed Habberfield (22), there was precious little resistance as Bridgwater fell to 139 all out to lose by 110 runs.

On Saturday, they face North Petherton.