West of England Premier League
Premier 1
Bridgwater 263-7 beat Taunton St Andrew’s 144 all out by 119 runs

TAUNTON St Andrew’s Premier 1 status remains in the balance after a blistering opening spell from Chris Skidmore inspired Bridgwater to a 119-run win at the Parks on Saturday.

Liam Kitch’s 76 led the hosts to a score of 263-7, which proved beyond the away side after Skidmore had rooted out their top order batsmen.

Saints won the toss and put Bridgwater in to bat, but there was no early breakthrough forthcoming, as Merv Hallaran (30) and Kitch reached 76 without loss.

Hallaran was trapped lbw by Jack Cooper (1-31 off seven overs), but Kitch and George Bartlett took their side up to 144, at which point Kitch was stumped off Luke Poole, having hit 11 4s and one 6.

Poole would go on to claim 5-64 off nine for the visitors, as he also dismissed Bartlett (44), but Calum Haggett kept the hosts’ score moving with a 38-ball 43, before also falling to Poole.

The same bowler removed Skidmore and Stuart Butt, but only after they had scored 11 and 32, respectively.

With Jonathan Vickery adding 3no and Andrew Skidmore 7no, Bridgwater’s final total was 263-7.

Then it was over to Chris Skidmore, who clean bowled Tom Banton (0), James Regan (4) and Eddie Byrom (12) to leave Saints 5-2 and then 16-3.

It was a position they would never recover from, despite the efforts of Rob Contreras (20) and Lloyd Alley (23) in adding 48 for the fourth wicket.

They fell to Andrew Roberts (2-29 off 8.2) and Chris Singleton (2-18 off five) in quick succession, leaving their side on 66-5.

Haggett (2-38 off 10) and Chris Skidmore then worked their way through the middle order, Skidmore finishing with 4-38 off 10.

Poole continued a fine individual performance for the away side with an unbeaten 26 off 15 balls, but when Harry Clements (7) was caught by Bartlett off Roberts, that was game over.

Saints were all out for 144 in 37.2 overs, 119 short of the home side’s total.

Bridgwater’s win secures survival, but Saints remain in danger, 17 points ahead of second-bottom Frocester.

Saints welcome third-placed Downend to the Wyvern Club for their final match of the season on Saturday (12.30pm).

Captain James Regan said: “The Skidmore spell was certainly one of the defining moments in the game; it could have been a very different game otherwise.

“But credit to Bridgwater, they played better than us on the day.

“It was a wicket receptive to spin, and [Luke Poole] got the most out of it for us.

“[Survival] remains well within our hands.

“We have to focus on ourselves and play our own game; do that, and I believe we’ll stay up.”


WEPL Premier 2 Bristol/Somerset
Taunton 185-5 beat Weston-super-Mare 183-8 by 5 wkts

A STUNNING opening stand between Charles Clist and Ollie Sale has given Taunton a lifeline in their belated bid to avoid relegation.

A fading Weston side were the visitors to Gipsy Lane on Saturday and they elected to bat on the hallowed wicket.

Former Somerset keeper Rob Turner opened up and was first to go, trapped lbw by Sale (1-30 off eight overs).

Andy Fear joined Jack Press and, together, they put on 40 before the latter fell to Chiragvir Dhindsa (2-25 off 10) by the same mode for 26.

Fear went on to reach a fine half-century but Weston struggled against the bowling of James Clark (1-45 off 10) and Will Abell (2-29 off 10).

As a result, they were restricted to 183-8 in their 50 overs, with Matt Huxtable adding a late 23no.

Clist and Sale took up the challenge with aplomb and punished the wayward early attack.

They put together a match-winning stand of 151 before Sale fell for 74.

Clist carried on the challenge as the middle order creaked in the face of Somerset’s Paul Van Meekeren (2-29 off 10) and Ashley Allen (2-60 off 10).

When Taunton crossed the finishing line in the 32nd over, Clist was still there on 70, and 19 vital points were in the bag.

Taunton, currently bottom, now sit just a point behind second-bottom Keynsham and five adrift of Shapwick & Polden.

This coming Saturday, they wind up their league season with a tasty visit to second-placed Ilminster (12.30 start).


WEPL Premier 2 Bristol/Somerset
Taunton Deane 237-7 beat Shapwick & Polden 211-9 by 26 runs

A SKIPPER’s innings at the top of the order from Robert Woodman set up the Deane’s victory at Shapwick on Saturday.

The Deane will finish the season just off the pace after a frustrating season which could have been a big success.

One constant has been the form of Woodman, who lost partner Henry Mellor with just four on the board.

He was joined by Calvin Harrison and the pair laid the foundation to a challenging total, adding 88 in quick time.

When Harrison fell for 36, Harry Smith (17) put on 43 until Woodman fell for a fine 75, hitting 10 4s and two 6s.

Luke Williams was next up to t ake up the reins and keep the momentum going smiting a fine 38 at a run a ball.

Sam Shaikh was unbeaten on 26 and he and Liam Redrup (11no) saw the total to 237-7 off 50 overs.

Joe Mason and Wayne Spencer took two wickets apiece for Shapwick.

When the home side replied, Sam Edmunds and Steve Tinnion had put 30 on the board when Edward Mellor trapped the dangerous tinning lbw for 12.

Wickets fell regularly as tom Walsh tied up the middle order.

Edmunds fell for 43 and Fionn Hand for 14.

Spencer looked in form as he went to 33 but became Mellor’s second victim.

At 176-9, it looked all over for Shapwick but the last pairing of Harry Woolway (20no) and Joe Mason (14no) kept the tail wagging defiantly until the overs ran out at 211-9.

The Deane used seven bowlers, all of whom restricted the run rate, with Shohel Rana being the pick, taking 2-27 off 10.

The victory sees the Deane leapfrog Weston into third who, surprisingly, were beaten by a Taunton side fighting for their survival (see left).

Saturday’s last round of matches throws up some interesting permutations, as the Deane entertain leaders Lansdown at the Convent Field (12.30pm start).

If the visitors suffer a resounding defeat and Ilminster beat visiting Taunton, Ilminster could finish top.


Somerset County Gazette:

TOP SCORE: Shaun Lee on his way to 28 for Staplegrove against North Perrott. Pic: Steve Richardson

WEPL Somerset Division
North Perrott 73-0 beat Staplegrove 69 by 10 wkts

THE gulf between champions and bottom club was all too apparent at Manor Road on Saturday.

Put in to bat, Staplegrive lost Ian Bishop without a run on the board and although Shaun Lee (28) provided stiff resistance, he ran out of partners at regular intervals.

Matt Dimond added 13 and skipper Ryan Cleverly 10 but none had an answer for the spinning guile of young Lorraine Szczepanski who snapped up 6-7 off 5.4 overs.

Stacy Hawes added 3-16 off 10 and the Grove were dismissed for 69 in 30 overs.

Perrott’s reply was a formality as skipper Gordon Whorlow (26no) and Nick Taylor (25no) coasted home in the 12th over.

Staplegrove finish their league season at Yeovil on Saturday then can start preparing for life in the Somerset League in 2019.


WEPL Somerset Division
Bridgwater 2nd XI 187-6 beat Minehead 1st XI 184 by 4 wkts

MINEHEAD’s late order brought their side back from the brink of a rout before narrowly losing at home on Saturday.

Batting first, Minehead slumped to 58-7 before skipper Dan Bowditch (52) led the fightback in style.

No 9 Angus Marsh added 25, Darren Sherring 23 and last man Andrew Woodward 12no to allow Minehead to close on 184.

Scott Clapp was the pick of the Bridgwater bowlers, taking 3-37 off 9.

When Bridgwater replied, Darren Sherring captured both openers with 21 on the board.

At 103-5, the visitors were stuttering along in the face of fine bowling from Sherring (2-26 off 10) and Ellis Taylor (2-23 off 6).

A victory seemed on the cards but the middle order held firm as James Duckering hit 36 and Sethan Locke (24no) and Scott Clapp (33no) took the score from 131-6 to 187 and victory.

Minehead finish a promising league season on Saturday when they travel to Frome.