WEPL Premier 1
Goatacre 200-8 beat Taunton St Andrew’s 196

A DROPPED catch proved costly as Hampshire and England’s Liam Dawson consigned Taunton St Andrew’s to another defeat on Saturday.

The spinner, who struck a 41-ball 82 for his county in last week’s T20 defeat at Somerset, played an influential role for his club side at the Wyvern Club, taking 1-10 from 10 overs before firing 83 at just under a run a ball in the chase.

It could have all been so different had a chance been taken before he got into his stride, as Goatacre would have been left on 40-5 without a great deal in the way of batting to come.

Dawson was eventually dismissed, clean bowled by Lloyd Alley, with 13 runs still needed, at which point the Saints took their eighth wicket to leave the visitors wobbling.

But Kevin Iles (8no) and Josh Langley (6no) saw the visitors home - Goatacre still occupy the final relegation spot, but the gap between them and the Saints is now just 13 points.

Saints were again made to pay for losing wickets in clusters with the bat as they saw a good start fade away.

Eddie Byrom played nicely for his 67 at the top of the order, putting on 74 with Rob Contreras, but 119-1 became 122-4 as the innings lost momentum in the middle overs.

Kyle Hopper’s counter-attacking 42 helped lift the Saints to 196, a total which looked like being enough when they reduced their visitors to 32-4.

Enter Dawson, who played superbly after riding his luck early on to anchor the chase - Bradley Dawson contributed 38.

Saints skipper James Regan said: “Frustration is the only word to use.

“The drop of Dawson was the key moment. He controlled their chase after that and he’s a class player - there’s a reason he has played Test cricket for England.

“Our middle order were off the mark, myself included [Regan was dismissed first ball]. It’s very frustrating from a personal point of view as I’m desperate to be the one to step up and score the runs to lead us to survival but it’s just not happening at the moment.

“After our start, 225 should have been the minimum we were aiming for so we fell short with the bat.

“That said, I can’t fault the effort of the guys and I’m really pleased with how we’re sticking together as a side.

“All the boys are training really hard and I really believe we’ll turn it round.”

Saints have the chance to bounce back at Potterne on Saturday.

WEPL Premier 2 Bristol/Somerset
Ilminster 219-8 beat Taunton Deane 218 by 1 run

TAUNTON Deane’s promotion hopes took a dent as they slipped to an agonising one-run defeat at second-placed Ilminster on Saturday.

Having won the toss and opted to field, the Deane made a good start with the ball as Edward Mellor (2-35 from eight) claimed the scalps of opener Charlie Male (7) and home skipper Sam Spurway (2).

The visitors met resistance in the form of Matt Davis, who came to the crease at number six and provided the bedrock for the other batsmen to play around.

Davis struck nine boundaries in his 79 before eventually becoming one of three victims for Liam Redrup (3-42) off eight having helped his side to a total of 219-8 from their 50 overs.

The Deane flew out the traps in reply as they threatened to make the home side’s total look rather inadequate.

Skipper Rob Woodman and Henry Mellor took on the home attack and found the boundary at will as they raced along at nearly nine an over in the first eight overs.

The introduction of spin saw the home side fight back as 14-year-old leg-spinner Michael McNee, making his first-team debut for Ilminster, claimed the prized scalp of Woodman, who was caught on the boundary for 59 from 40 balls, including 10 fours and a six.

McNee’s fellow spinner James Thompson then ran through the rest of the top order on his way to 4-46 from 10 overs as, from looking in control, the Deane were now firmly on the back foot.

The visitors made a game of it down the order, as first Sam Underdown (13) and Sam Shaikh (20) kept the home side on their toes.

Another cluster of wickets saw the game change direction again - Davis adding impressive figures of 2-25 from 10 to his earlier runs - but Shohel Rana and Tom Walsh put together a useful ninth-wicket stand to ensure the game was far from done.

Walsh fell for 15 with 10 runs still required, and Rana tried to farm the strike as he and Edward Mellor inched towards the finish line.

Mellor was on strike with the Deane two runs short of victory, and the number 11’s eyes lit up as spinner George Hayward sent down a full toss.

With every fielder bar one crowded around the bat, Mellor went big - and picked out the one man not in the circle, Louis Kraucamp at deep mid-wicket, who gratefully held on to the catch to seal a victory for his side by the narrowest of margins.

The Deane stay third but are now 41 points behind leaders Lansdown, who have a game in hand.

This weekend is Taunton Deane’s turn to have a week off due to the pre-season withdrawal of Glastonbury.

WEPL Somerset Division
Minehead 117-3 beat Wembdon 113 by 7 wkts

MINEHEAD recorded a comfortable win at Wembdon on Saturday.

Skipper Dan Bowditch’s decision to bowl first was vindicated immediately as Steve Hayes (2-25) removed opener Dan Bingham (1) in the second over.

Tom Brooks (15) and Sam Puddy (24) looked to consolidate but could only add 40 before both fell in quick succession to Ellis Taylor (3-36).

Will Anning offered the greatest resistance with some delightful strokeplay but wickets fell regularly around him before he was unluckily run out at the non-striker’s end for 31 to leave score 100-7.

Spinners Ian Buchanan (1-5) and Andrew Woodward (2-10) accounted for the remaining Wembdon batsmen as they were dismissed for a paltry 113 in just 32.4 overs.

In reply, Minehead lost Buchanan (14) early as he was run out but fellow opener Angus Marsh and Dan Godfrey (16) took the score to 61.

Marsh departed five runs later for 29 before Alastair Harrison and Matt Sully set about knocking off the remaining runs.

They did so with very little alarm, Harrison finishing on 9 not out and Sully 40 not out from 37 balls.

Minehead stay third and host struggling Uphill Castle on Saturday.

WEPL Somerset
Uphill Castle 283-8d beat Staplegrove 227 by 56 runs

STAPLEGROVE remain rooted to the bottom after defeat at Uphll Castle.
Peter Horton (3-38 from 10) was the pick of the Grove attack as the hosts racked up 283-8.

The visitors made a good start as Thomas Pantling (67) and Henry Graydon (42) batted well, but the Grove fell 56 runs short.