WEPL Premier 1
Clevedon 329-3 beat Taunton St Andrew’s 130 by 199 runs

TAUNTON St Andrew’s were put to the sword by Clevedon pro Ryan Higgins as the league leaders ran out comfortable winners on Saturday.

Gloucestershire all-rounder Higgins opened the batting for the hosts and dominated an opening stand of 102 with Masoor Khan (30), who was trapped in front by Deven Bell (1-22).

Home skipper Max Curtis joined Higgins and the pair added 154 runs for the second wicket, at which point Higgins was eventually dismissed having struck a match-defining 153 from 118 balls with 19 fours and three sixes.

There was no let up for the Saints, Curtis finishing with an unbeaten 86 as Clevedon concluded their 50 overs on an imposing 329-3.

Nine bowlers were used in all by the visitors, with Bell (1-22 off seven) and James Hayman (1-40 off eight) the pick of the bunch on a tough day with the ball.

The Saints reply got off to a strong start as captain James Regan added 52 for the opening wicket alongside Rob Contreras.

Regan’s departure for 32 sparked a flurry of dismissals as Jack Cooper (1) and Lloyd Alley (0) fell to Higgins, who added 2-23 from eight overs to his earlier runs.

Kyle Hopper (16) and Hayman (21) displayed resistance in the middle order but another collapse put the result further beyond doubt as the visitors slipped from 100-6 to 101-9 with Jake Lintott (4-29) to the fore.

JJ Poole (10) and Joe Wadham (14*) added 24 for the last wicket, which fell with the score on 130 to leave the visitors licking their wounds.

Saints skipper James Regan said: “Their pro won them the game, so credit to him.

“When anyone scores 150 it puts you in a position to win the game and that’s what we are crying out for at the moment, someone to stay in and construct a big innings.

“One of Rob [Contreras] and I should have gone on but it’s a feature of our game at the moment - we do the hard work, see off the new ball and then lose wickets in clusters.

“We are an inexperienced side who are learning all the time and I have confidence that we’ll get it right.”

The defeat makes Saturday’s home clash with bottom side Goatacre particularly vital - defeat will leave Saints in a precarious position.

“Saturday is huge,” Regan said.

“We know we have to beat every team below us from here on in and I still believe we are good enough to beat anyone on our day.”

The Saints hope to have Tom Banton available after his stint captaining England Under-19s, though that is dependent on his Somerset commitments.

WEPL Premier 2 Bristol/Somerset
Lansdown 278-8 beat Taunton 150-9 by 96 runs (DLS)

TAUNTON remain at the foot of the Premier 2 table after slipping to defeat at league leaders Lansdown on Saturday.

The visitors chose to bowl first in damp conditions and were rewarded with an early breakthrough when James Clark (2-50 from 10) clean bowled Ryan Thorpe for 14 with the score on 21.

Brandon Allen entered the fray at number three and went on to score a fine 70 at better than a run a ball despite losing partner Jordan Smith to Archie Dunning (1-28) for a patient 25.

Allen was eventually dismissed by Will Abell (1-41 from seven) but Dominic Hooper remained in control, finishing unbeaten with 75 while the lower order played around him as Lansdown reached 278-8 from 50 overs.

William Easterfield (2-51) and Simon Manley (2-31) picked up late scalps, but the latter was one of four batsmen to fall for single figures to Dominic Hooper (4-22) early in the reply.

With the visitors left reeling on 13-4 chasing a revised target of 247 due to rain, the contest was effectively over before the chase had really got going.

Captain Hugh Kelly showed defiance alongside Dunning (37), the pair adding 81 runs for the seventh wicket as the skipper brought up his half-century.

Kelly was the ninth man out for 51 as Taunton’s reply reached 150-9 from 40 overs, leaving them well beaten and in need of a series of victories if they are to stay in the division.

They have also played a game more than the sides directly above them, though that will change this weekend as it is Taunton’s turn to sit out.

WEPL Premier Two Bristol/Somerset
Keynsham 164-4 beat Taunton Deane 200-9 (revised target 160, rain) by 6 wkts

THE machinations of Duckworth Lewis ended with the Deane suffering a home defeat on Saturday.

With intermittent rain (including one downpour), the Deane made the positive decision to bat decided to bat against a side desperate for points to stave off relegation.

Skipper Rob Woodman backed up his positivity with a solid opening stand with Nathan Gilchrist.

They had moved the score on to 80-1 when Woodman fell three short of his half-century.

That precipitated something of a collapse as Keynsham seamer Paul Robbins struck down five of the top order in relatively quick time.

Sam Underdown was the first to join the procession, followed by Nathan Gilchrist as he reached 34.

Harry Smith did his best to stop the rot but Sam Shaikh went for a duck, as did Liam Redrup.

Henry Mellor added 11 and Shohel Rana added some stability before Smith became Robbins’ fifth victim.

When the overs ran out, Rana was still there on 20 and the total on 200-9.

Robbins took 5-38 off his 10 overs

The visitors’ reply was rain-affected and they were given a revised target of 160 for victory.

The innings was anchored by opener Robbins who mixed a bit of luck - he was dropped three times - with a series of well-struck boundaries.

The introduction of Gilchrist gave the Deane hope as he took three quick wickets to leave Keynsham on 76-4.

But Robbins found a reliable partner in Reg Keates and they took Keynsham to what turned out to be a comfortable victory.

Robbins was still there on a fine 88 which included 10 fours and four sixes, while Keates reached 28.

Next up for third-placed Deane is a trip to second-placed Ilminster (12.30pm start) and Somerset and England spinner Jack Leach is in contention for the fixture.

WEPL Somerset Division
North Perrott 151-3 beat Minehead 149 by 7 wkts

ANOTHER poor batting display was the cause of a seven-wicket defeat in the WEPL Somerset Division for Minehead when they travelled to league leaders North Perrott on Saturday.

After winning the toss and batting first, Minehead openers Ian Buchanan (11) and Angus Marsh (33) set a decent platform for their side but their fellow top order colleagues couldn’t capitalise on decent starts.

The spin of Lorraine Szczepanski (2-29) and Gordon Whorlow (5-26) did the majority of the damage as the visitors collapsed from 100-3 to 149 all out in just 36 overs.

In reply, Perrott lost both openers early but number three Alex Eckland looked a cut above as he latched onto anything loose.

Joined by overseas player Jack Henderson, the pair reduced the deficit in quick time, Eckland passing 50 before being trapped lbw for a fine 64 from just 59 balls.

Henderson (42no) remained undeterred as he hit the winning runs in just the 32nd over to hand his side victory by seven wickets and 20 valuable points to cement their position at the top of the league table.

Minehead only mustered two points from the game and currently sit fourth, albeit still within touching distance with five matches still to play.

They travel to mid-table Wembdon on Saturday hoping for a much-improved batting performance.

WEPL Somerset Division
Wembdon 290-6 beat Staplegrove 129 by 91 runs (DLS)

THE writing looks on the wall for Staplegrove, who slipped to their 12th defeat in 13 matches this season as Wembdon proved too strong on Saturday.

Home skipper Jon Brockwell cracked 88 as the hosts racked up 290-6, with Joe Greenwood (3-72 from eight) among the wickets but proving expensive - Ian Bishop (0-33 from 10) was more miserly in his spell.

After losing both openers early in the reply, Henry Graydon (26) and Jack Lewis (23) made starts and Staplegrove, chasing a revised target of 221 due to rain, were handily placed at 90-3.

But the middle and lower order collapsed at the hands of Sam Puddy (5-21) as struggling Grove were shot out for 129 in the 26th over.

This weekend, Staplegrove travel to fellow strugglers Uphill Castle needing a win to keep their faint survival hopes alive.