WEPL Premier 2 Bristol/Somerset

Taunton Deane 192-9 beat Winterbourne 84 by 108 runs

TAUNTON Deane reclaimed top spot after a thumping win at title rivals Winterbourne on Saturday.

The home side opted to field first and Deane openers Grant Davey (8) and Charlie Sharland (22) made a steady start, adding 32.

Both departed in quick succession but Harry Thomas played the anchor role in the middle order, making 39 from 71 balls before he was the fifth wicket to fall with the score on 113.

Harry Smith (35) and Jamie Stephens (36) also chipped in with more than useful contributions before falling to Jamie Studley (3-47) as the innings closed on 192-9 after 50 overs.

The Deane opening bowlers were straight into their groove after tea, with Matt Derham and Jason Squire quickly reducing the hosts to 3-2.

In the absence of their Gloucestershire duo Chris Dent and James Bracey, James’ brother Sam Bracey was the key home scalp.

It was a pivotal moment, therefore, when he was run out by Stephens for 10 and there was no way back from 15-3.

Squire (3-47) and Derham (2-17) continued to chip away and a counter-attacking 32 from 13 balls (three fours, three sixes) from Chris Shine was as good as it got for Winterbourne.

Shine’s cameo was ended by Tom Hall (1-10) and Calvin Harrison took 3-10 from 3.3 overs as the Deane kept the pressure on, dismissing their hosts for just 84 in the 22nd over.

This Saturday sees a top versus bottom encounter as Taunton Deane welcome Shapwick & Polden, who have won just once so far this season.

The Deane won the reverse fixture by 24 runs earlier in the season and they will be looking for a double to consolidate their lead at the summit, which currently stands at 14 points.

WEPL Premier 1

Taunton St Andrew’s 184 beat Bath 139 by 45 runs

YOUNG paceman Craig Dourado took five wickets as Taunton St Andrew’s gave their survival hopes a shot in the arm with a fine win over title-chasing Bath at the Wyvern on Saturday, writes Paul Martin.

Having opted to bat, the Saints lost both openers cheaply but James Rew (21) and Eddie Byrom (35) carefully steadied the ship in adding 42 for the third wicket.

There were further useful contributions from Steven Jenkins (18), Dourado (17) and 14-year-old Josh Thomas, who twice cleared the ropes en route to 33, as the Saints reached 184 before being bowled out with an over to spare.

The tone with the ball was set immediately as Dourado had Greg Hay caught behind without scoring from the third ball of the innings.

Bath were soon in disarray at 7-3 and, despite Ben Ackland (33) and Thomas Hankins (28) stemming the tide, the Saints kept the pressure on.

James Hayman’s eight overs yielded 2-32 while Lloyd Alley, Harry Clements and Luke Poole also took one wicket apiece.

Fittingly it was Dourado who returned to take the final two wickets, completing his five-wicket haul as he finished with 5-35 from 9.2 overs.

The Saints remain second bottom, 23 points adrift of Clevedon, and have a must-win clash at bottom side Bristol this Saturday (12.30pm).

St Andrew’s captain James Regan said: “This could be a real momentum changer for us.

“We posted a decent score on a tough wicket and defended it really well.

“One thing that has never gone this year is the unity between ourselves.

“We have stayed strong as a club and I truly believe that is what will keep us up.

“Craig [Dourado] has just finished at Wellington School and we wanted to give him an opportunity, which we are happy to provide for all up and coming school cricketers.

“He is a bowler with genuine pace and in club cricket that gives you an option other teams potentially don’t have.”

Regan is hoping to be able to call on Dourado’s services for the majority of the rest of the season.

WEPL Premier 2 Bristol/Somerset

Taunton 247-7 beat Weston-super-Mare 246-6 by 3 wkts

TAUNTON moved further clear of danger in Premier 2 Bristol/Somerset after a terrific run chase at Weston-super-Mare on Saturday.

The hosts batted first and, after an early breakthrough for George Rowe (1-46), Scott Harris (61) and Shabil Ahmed (74) added 134 for the second wicket.

Matthew Kearsey added a quick 40 before falling to Will Easterfield (2-50), who then bowled Weston skipper Chris Davidson as the hosts finished up on 246-6.

Taunton slipped to 16-2 in reply but Charles Clist stood firm and was joined by Dan Quick.

They took the score to 69 when Quick was caught and the game was firmly in the balance when Clist was bowled by Ahmed on 39, leaving Taunton 90-4.

Will Abell joined skipper Hugh Kelly as the pair looked for a repeat of the partnership which saw them home against Shapwick & Polden last weekend.

They added 43 before Kelly, on 28, chipped a return catch back to Matthew Kearsey (2-40).

Abell then took centre stage, dominating a sixth-wicket stand of 47 with James Clark (12) as he struck nine fours and two sixes and progressed at better than a run a ball.

He was five short of his century, and Taunton five short of victory, when he was run out for an excellent 95, but there were to be no late jitters as Max Toohey (22*) and James Hayes (3*) completed the job with two overs to spare.

Taunton are now 29 points clear of the bottom two but face a stern test on Saturday at home to promotion-chasing Winterbourne (12.30pm).

WEPL Somerset Division

Frome 203-4 beat Wellington 55 by 148 runs

FROME made up for having lost at Wellington in the Somerset Division back in May by rushing out the Red & Blacks in just 17.1 overs to demonstrate their credentials as champions in waiting, writes David Derrick.

Wellington had started well with the ball, as Frome lost openers Paul Sanger and Robin Lett for just 11 runs, but a knock of 106no from Sam Croker was the basis of the home side’s innings which lasted the full 50 overs, but did not ever exceed a run rate of more than four an over.

Reece Croker (23) and Scott Lewis (48) topped matters off for Frome, as Luke Desave (2-29 off 10 overs), Will Derrick (1-40 off 10) and Jack Beal (1-27 off 10) were successful with the ball for Wellington.

Frome are a cut above the other sides in this division and look to be playing Premier 2 cricket next season.

So they proved once more to be the best that this division can offer, as Reece Croker (7-24 off nine overs) and Tom Barton (3-26 off 8.1) bowled clinically and accurately.

With some fine catching too, the game was up in under 20 overs with Desave (14) and Rob Moysey (11no) the only players to make double figures for Wellington.

Four of the visitors’ top five were out for ducks, and that was never likely to be a position that the Red & Blacks could recover from.

This coming Saturday sees Wellington, now seventh in the table, host second-placed Chard (12.30pm).

WEPL Somerset Division

Minehead 87-3 beat Chard 86 by 7 wkts

MINEHEAD’s topsy-turvy season continued at second placed Chard on Saturday as they coasted to victory, building on the momentum started by their excellent win over leaders Frome the previous weekend.

Put in to bat, the home openers looked comfortable early on.

Then spinner Ian Buchanan struck twice in quick succession to begin a collapse from which Chard - who are having an inconsistent season of their own - would never recover.

Akhona Mbanga offered resistance at the top of the innings but, when he was needlessly run out for 19, it was the beginning of the end for the home side.

They slumped to 42-5 before Niall Crouch hit a defiant 27.

However, it was a token gesture as Dan Bowditch (3-18) came on to dismiss him and mop up the tail.

When Minehead replied, Buchanan’s hit-and-miss season continued when he was out to Scott Wells-Burr for four.

Mbanga reduced Minehead to 43-3 before Phil Barraclough and Alastair Harrison arrive at the crease to steady the ship.

Barraclough hit eight fours in his innings of 37no and Harrison proved the perfect foil as he remained on 13 as they carried Minehead over the line in the 23rd over.

The defeat sees Chard slip further behind leaders Frome as the next three sides are separated by just four points.

Next are Minehead and a string of victories in August could still see them join the front-runners.

Minehead will be looking for big points on Saturday when they face strugglers Street at home (12.30pm start).

WEPL Somerset Division

Wembdon 202-2 beat Taunton Deane 2nds 201-9 by 8 wkts

TAUNTON Deane 2nds remain at the foot of the WEPL Somerset table after Wembdon made light work of chasing just over 200 at the Convent Field.

Only Henry Mellor (39) got going of the top order and it took defiant knocks from numbers eight and nine, Ben Osborne (30) and Edward Mellor (43*), to see the Deane up to 201-9 having earlier been 120-7.

Tom Lott and Tom Brooks set the tone in reply, adding 102 at a steady rate of knots before Brooks was caught behind for 33 off Dan Trick (1-22 off seven).

Lott progressed to 67 when he was also caught behind, Edward Mellor (1-48 off eight) the bowler, but Sam Puddy (39*) and visiting captain Jon Brockwell (35*) saw Wembdon home.