WEPL Premier 1
Bath 251-9 beat Taunton St Andrew’s 225-8 by 26 runs

A CENTURY from Bath skipper Greg Hay condemned Taunton St Andrew’s to defeat at North Parade on Saturday.

The Saints were loose with the new ball and Hay was quickly into his stride, making 35 of the 44 runs he and George Hankins added for the first wicket before the latter fell to Lloyd Alley (2-77).

Justin Burke (2-31 from 10) stemmed the tide somewhat, dismissing Somerset batsman Tim Rouse (22) and wicketkeeper Ben Wells (1).

When Thomas Hankins fell to Deven Bell (1-28), Bath were 112-4 and the innings could have gone either way.

Hay found several willing partners en route to his century, however, and had reached 123 when he was bowled by Joe Wadham to leave the score on 220-7.

Wadham (3-60) took two further wickets at the death as Bath finished on 251-9, but Saints lost both openers to Paul Muchall in reply as the visitors slipped to 42-2.

Several batsmen made starts but none could kick on as the Saints fell to 97-7 to put the result beyond doubt.

A fine unbeaten 60 from Justin Burke and 27 not out from Luke Poole made the margin of defeat a lot closer than it might have been, but Saints skipper James Regan was disappointed with his side’s display.

“We didn’t really set the tone and our discipline with the new ball was not where we wanted it to be,” he said.

“In the end I thought we did well to keep them to 250 and I saw that as a chaseable total, but as a batting unit we need to take more responsibility.

“It can be difficult to get started at this level, particularly against the new ball, so we need to make sure that once we have seen off the first 15 or 20 balls that we are more ruthless and capitalise on that.

“Everyone is desperate to do well and perhaps we are putting too much pressure on ourselves. Hopefully going forwards we can start to enjoy it a bit more.”

Unlike in several WEPL matches on Saturday, there was no break for England’s World Cup quarter-final victory over Sweden as the home side did not agree to it.

Regan said: “I’d be lying if I said we didn’t have half an eye on that but that is no excuse for our performance.”

This weekend, St Andrew’s host basement side Frocester at King’s College as wickets are being relaid at the Wyvern Club.

“I’m looking forward to it - it’s a return to my old stomping ground,” Regan said.

“The facilities there are top class and it should be a good game.”

WEPL Premier 2 Bristol/Somerset
Taunton Deane 256-3 beat Bishopston 200 by 56 runs

A SPARKLING century from captain Harry Thomas helped Taunton Deane return to winning ways at Bishopton on Saturday.

After being inserted on a glorious day for batting, the veteran opening pair of Sam Shaikh (5) and Ali Warren (7) both fell cheaply against the new ball. 

What followed was an exhibition in batting as Calvin Harrison and Harry Thomas took full advantage of the batting friendly conditions to add 163 runs for the third wicket. 

Thomas was the main protagonist as he recorded his third league century for the Deane and second in as many years against Bishopston.

Harrison was happy to milk ones and twos, rotating the strike effectively in his innings of 64 before he fell pushing Mark Coombes to cover.

Sam Underdown joined Thomas and immediately looked at ease, with wristy flicks through mid-wicket complemented by forceful strokes down the ground.

Thomas, earlier bowled by a Joe Wenham no-ball, moved through the gears with consummate ease and went to his hundred to a rapturous applause as the partnership with Underdown added 80 runs from the last 11 overs.

The Deane ended on 256-3 from their 50 overs, with Thomas 121 not out and Sam Underdown unbeaten on 36. 

The Bishopston innings started in electric fashion, the Deane total looking at least 20 or 30 light as openers James Taverner and Daaryoush Ahmed came out swinging.

The score hurried to 94 in the 12th over, Tom Walsh (four overs for 35) and Liam Redrup (three overs for 26) coming in for harsh treatment before Ahmed fell for 44 from just 35 balls.

Taverner continued on his way at the other end with David O’Brien in the supporting role as they moved Bishopston to 121 at 20 overs. 

The wicket of Ahmed saw the Deane peg back the scoring rate as the spinners took a grip on the game, and O’Brien was next to go as he missed a sweep to be castled by Shohel Rana. 

His dismissal heralded as mini-collapse as Taverner (46) then fell before to make it 123-3, which became 123-4 when Mark Tapper was superbly caught and bowled for a golden duck as Calvin Harrison took a stinging return catch.

The Deane managed to force home their advantage after drinks as Rana bowled Jack Hunter (9) and Coombes (8) in quick succession.

Gary Booth kept the game alive with a flurry of boundaries, but when he fell for 32 at 182-7 the Deane were on the brink of victory.

Leg-spinner Luke Williams claimed home captain Frank Connelly before the returning Jason Squire claimed Joe Wenham lbw for 17.

It was left to skipper Thomas to finish off a fine day’s work as he accounted for Lawrence Cook and seal the first victory for the Deane in five league matches.

The win lifts the Deane to sixth ahead of Saturday’s derby against Taunton at The Convent Field.

WEPL Premier 2 Bristol/Somerset
Taunton 236-3 beat Keynsham 235-4 by 7 wkts

BEN PHILLIPS fired an unbeaten 127 to help Taunton complete an excellent run chase against Keynsham at the Vale on Saturday.

The hosts chose to bowl first but had to be patient early on as Lewis Townsend (35) and Tom Bancroft (20) got the visitors off to a solid start.

James Hayes (1-34) and James Flatt (1-26) broke through and Dan Quick ran out number three Paul Robbins without scoring, but visiting skipper Daniel Jarman was in good touch.

Jarman anchored the remainder of the innings, ending unbeaten on 80 as he and Reg Keates (45*) led Keynsham to 235-4 from their 50 overs.

George Cook (1-54) took the other wicket to fall for Taunton, while Phillips (0-25 from seven) was economical.

Phillips then went out to open the batting in reply and he and Simon Manley (29) laid the foundations for a successful chase.

The innings stuttered when Oliver O’Livey (0) and Quick (6) departed shortly after one another but George Cook steadied the ship alongside Phillips, who soon passed his century as Taunton closed in on victory.

The opener finished with 127 not out, with Cook walking off unbeaten on 63 as the hosts completed a surprisingly comfortable chase with more than 15 overs to spare.

Taunton’s victory lifted them off the foot of the table, with Keynsham now occupying bottom place in what has become a very tight division.

Just nine points separate Taunton from their cross-town rivals Taunton Deane, and the two sides meet on Saturday at the Convent Field.

Taunton are looking for revenge having lost the early season encounter.

WEPL Somerset Division
Minehead 232 beat Chard 189 by 43 runs

MINEHEAD returned to winning ways with a comfortable 43-run victory over fellow promotion-chasers Chard on Saturday.

Batting first, Minehead lost Freddie Wilson (5) early on, but Ian Buchanan and Angus Marsh set about anchoring the innings to great effect.

Somerset County Gazette:

DIGGING IN: Minehead's Angus Marsh (left) made 69

The introduction of spin allowed runs to flow more freely from one end, but Akhona Mbanga continued to restrict both batsmen, finishing with 1-6 from his 10 overs. 

He couldn’t find the breakthrough, however, as first Buchanan and then Marsh brought up half-centuries.

The score read 134-2 when Buchanan fell for 64, caught off the bowling of the league’s leading wicket-taker Chris Scott (3-32).

Somerset County Gazette:

CRUNCH: Ian Buchanan flashes outside the off stump

Marsh finally met his demise, stumped for 69, before both Sean Mosquera (13) and Steve Hayes (16) struck straight sixes in pursuit of a competitive score.

But Minehead lost their last four wickets for just 32 runs, Gav Paviour (0) the last man out as his side posted a below-par 232.

Chard lost both openers early, but Pete Moxom settled in with some fine strokeplay to halt the flow of wickets. 

Liam Cleal (7) and Danny Cleal (1) both fell to the bowling of Dan Bowditch, though, leaving the innings teetering at 70-4 as the players settled in to watch England’s win over Sweden.

Bowditch struck again straight after the break, as he removed the dangerous Moxom (35) with his first ball back before also removing Chris Scott (0) to record figures of 4-29 and leave the opposition reeling at 75-6.

A partnership of 83 followed between brothers Richard and Jonathan Scott, as they gave the away side a sniff before Darren Sherring (2-43) removed the former with an in-swinging delivery.

He repeated the feat just two balls later as he clean bowled visiting skipper Nathan Warren (0), before Angus Marsh removed the stubborn Jonathon Scott lbw for 47 with 60 still needed.

George Gladman added a spirited 21 but was last man out, caught off the bowling of Marsh (2-16), as Minehead won by 43 runs.

On Saturday, Minehead travel to North Petherton.

STAPLEGROVE were beaten by 141 runs at home to North Petherton on Saturday.

Ian Bishop (4-25) and Thomas Pantling (3-39) bowled well for the Grove as Pethy were dismissed for 216, but only Pantling (38) was in form with the bat as the hosts limped to 89 all out.