WEPL Premier 2 Bristol/Somerset

Taunton Deane 184-9 beat Ilminster 181-6 by 1 wkt

TAUNTON Deane got their league campaign off to a winning start away at Ilminster which saw Robert Woodman’s men take the spoils after a hard-fought one-wicket win.

Having been asked to bowl by home captain Sam Spurway, Rob Pryke and Jason Squire restricted the Ilminster scoring during the powerplay and kept a watchful Louis Kraucamp quiet.

READ MORE: Club cricket returns - photo gallery and full results round-up

Pryke made the first breakthrough as he had Jon Warry caught by captain Woodman at slip on the fifth attempt.

Shohel Rana then enticed Kraucamp into a slog sweep which fell into the hands of Sam Loud on the deep mid-wicket boundary.

Runs continued to be hard to come by and a few lusty blows from Spurway were required to keep the scoreboard ticking.

However, when Spurway (32) departed caught behind off Woodman, spinners Rana and Woodman were miserly in the middle overs.

Charlie Sharland claimed his first senior Deane wicket on debut as Vickery (24) pushed a sharp catch into the hands of Tenny Harlow at short cover, before a further Woodman wicket and run out saw Ilminster fall to 150-6.

Some late boundaries pushed Ilminster to 181-6 from their 50 overs.

The Deane reply started well as Woodman was his pugnacious self and Loud more watchful at the other end.

When Loud (1) fell cheaply to Harry Montacute, Tennessee Harlow took up the mantle to assist Woodman, and the pair brought up the Deane 50 in the 13th over.

However, dangerman Woodman (39) fell soon after, caught behind off Thompson, and the Deane slipped to 90-5 as Harry Thomas (1) and Charlie Sharland (10) departed.

A partnership of 41 between Harlow and Harry Smith edged the Deane closer and Harlow reached a well deserved half century from 88 balls.

Not long after, Smith chipped a simple catch to mid-off for 19 before Harlow was excellently stumped by keeper Josh Lee for 53.

The departures of Grant Davey (9) and Sam Shaikh (4) meant 30 runs were still required as number nine Rob Pryke marched to the wicket, and still another 19 as number 10 Rana entered the fray.

However, both stood firm against the return of opening bowlers Montague and Ashby and the target of 182 came into sight.

Five wides left eight to win when Rana was cleaned bowled.

Veteran Jason Squire joined Pryke and the Deane needed three from two overs, with memories of the one-run defeat in the same fixture last year coming vividly to the fore.

With two to win, however, Pryke nonchalantly smeared a full ball through the vacant cover region for four.

The onlooking Deane players were sent into raptures as the Tony Rice bar faded into a stunned silence.

A win which was too close for comfort, but a win nonetheless.

WEPL Premier 1

Clevedon 185-4 beat Taunton St Andrew’s 182 by 6 wkts

DEFENDING WEPL Premier 1 champions Clevedon proved too good for Taunton St Andrew’s in Saturday’s season opener at the Wyvern Club.

Having won the toss and batted, the Saints lost first XI debutant James Rew early but James Regan and Eddie Byrom made steady progress to take the side past 50.

Regan fell for 24 as the hosts then lost two quick wickets, and Byrom played a lone hand thereafter.

The Somerset man struck six fours and a six in his 77 before becoming the eighth wicket to fall with the score at 171.

The final two wickets fell quickly, leaving the Saints with a modest 182 to defend, though James Hayman struck early in the reply when he trapped opener William Thirkell lbw.

Number three Greg Willows anchored the chase thereafter, making an unbeaten 86 as Clevedon got home in the 33rd over.

Saints used nine bowlers in their hunt for wickets but found little reward, with Luke Poole (1-29 from seven) and Rob Contreras (1-19 from six) the pick of the bunch.

On Saturday, St Andrew’s travel to Bedminster.

READ MORE: Buttler and Leach drop in at West Somerset League match

WEPL Premier 2 Bristol/Somerset

Midsomer Norton 142 beat Taunton 122 by 20 runs

TAUNTON made a losing start to their WEPL season as they struggled with the bat at home to Midsomer Norton on Saturday.

The visitors won the toss at Gipsy Lane and chose to bat first on a difficult wicket.

And, indeed, the batsmen toiled, with only Caleb Rowe (48) able to hang around for long.

After James Hayes (2-31 off 10 overs) removed both Midsomer openers, it was Chiragvir Dhindsa (4-33 off 9.2) and Max Toohey (3-31 off eight) who did the bulk of the damage.

The visitors’ second top scorer was Extras (34, including 26 wides), and ultimately that would prove decisive, with the away side’s attack only conceding nine extras.

The Taunton reply began badly, opener Ned Dunning out for a duck, and Dhindsa could only add 14.

Charles Clist batted very well for his 37 in tough conditions, with decent support coming from Will Abell (21).

Hugh Kelly and Toohey added 16 apiece but, ultimately, the hosts were dismissed 20 runs short, with Nick Pang claiming 4-27 off 10.

Despite the defeat, captain Kelly was in upbeat mood, saying: “It’s a pleasure to captain this side.

“I don’t think we’ve bowled as well as that in the last three or four years, especially given we have a very young side.

“If we continue to bowl well and bat as we know we can, we should have no problems in the league this season.”

WEPL Somerset Division

Minehead 163-4 beat Wellington 162 by 6 wkts

WELLINGTON reconvened in the West of England Premier League after a season away, and were pitched to play at Minehead – who had finished third in the Somerset Division in 2018 – on Saturday, writes David Derrick.

The Red & Blacks suffered a six-wicket defeat (gaining four points), despite a good start having been inserted.

Tom Chambers and Neil Hendy put on 46 for the first wicket, with scores of 23 and 31, respectively.

Several promising starts were made but they were not developed, as Arron Campbell (25), Oli Beale (14), Jack Beal (13) and Ben Evett (14) all got in the runs.

For Minehead, Archer, with 4-25, was their best performer with the ball.

Ian Buchanan, with a powerful 88, was the mainstay of Minehead’s chase, which was completed with 16.2 overs unused.

Alastair Harrison (25no) completed the job, despite wickets for Luke Desave (2-41) and Neil Hendy (1-31), as well as a run out by Sam Whitefield for Wellington.

The Red & Blacks are on home soil this coming Saturday, with Yeovil the visitors to Courtland Road.

WEPL Somerset Division

Taunton Deane 2nds 192-5 beat Street 189-8 by 5 wkts

TAUNTON Deane 2nds hosted fellow promoted club Street as both sides returned to WEPL cricket.

Deane bowled first and the standout performance came from debutant Tom Hall, who removed three of the top four to finish with 3-45 from 10.

Matt Derham (2-25) and Will Hardwick (1-19) had earlier set the tone with tight opening spells as Street finished their 50 overs on 189-8.

The Deane chase got off to a slow start at 20-2 before a 50 partnership between Sam Burgess (51) and Derham (21) steadied the ship.

Deane kept themselves in the game and Hall (59*) completed a fine all-round performance, putting on 63 with skipper Russell Jones (26*) to guide the Deane home with two balls to spare.

On Saturday, the Deane travel to North Petherton.