WEPL Premier One

Bridgwater 291-8 beat Corsham 215 by 76 runs

BRIDGWATER Cricket Club's first XI secured their place in WEPL Premier One for another season after securing the victory they needed at home to Corsham and watching other results fall in their favour.

Late fireworks from Chris Singleton (55) and Chris Skidmore (54*) led the hosts to 291-8 before four wickets apiece from Alfonso Thomas and Liam Redrup helped bowl already relegated Corsham out for 215.

Bridgwater went into the match occupying the final relegation spot and, after winning the toss, made a poor start with the bat as opener Chris Gange fell without scoring.

George Bartlett's subsequent departure for 18 left the home side on 30-2, but captain Merv Hallaran steadied the ship with Chris Butt as the pair added 68 for the third wicket.

Both fell in quick succession for 36 and 28 respectively, but Alfonso Thomas (33) and Will Williams (21) provided useful contributions to set up the grand finale to the innings.

Singleton hit three 4s and four 6s in his excellent 55, while Skidmore launched a brutal assault on the Corsham bowling and smashed two 4s and six 6s in an unbeaten 54 that took him just 18 balls to compile.

The pair ensured Bridgwater had the momentum at the interval, and Williams made the breakthrough with the new ball as the first wicket fell with the score on 29.

Corsham were still in the hunt as they passed 100 for the loss of just three wickets, but Redrup halted their momentum on his way to 4-72 before Thomas stole the show by tearing out the lower-middle order.

The former Somerset seamer ended with 4-48 from 10 overs and, once Redrup had dismissed the dangerous Romano Esau (49), Corsham were 165-8 to leave the writing on the wall.

The tail offered stubborn resistance, but Williams (2-35) returned to take the final wicket as Corsham's innings was ended on 215 to hand Bridgwater a 76-run victory and 20 points.

The champagne had to remain on ice until news of the other results filtered through and, though fellow strugglers Potterne picked up a shock win at champions Bath, Lechlade's thumping 240-run defeat against Bristol ensured they dropped into the final relegation place.

Though Bridgwater came closer to the trapdoor than they may have liked, survival is no mean feat in such a tightly-contested league which saw second top and second bottom separated by just 53 points, and the club will be delighted to have secured their place at the top table once again for the 2018 season.