West of England Premier League
Premier 2 Bristol/Somerset
Taunton Deane 262 beat Taunton 163 by 99 runs

TAUNTON Deane secured the Premier 2 Bristol/Somerset title with a game to spare on Saturday, as they beat cross-town rivals Taunton by 99 runs at the Convent Field.

The Deane needed 19 points from the match to wrap up the title, and they got 20, in no small part thanks to a fine all-round display from Jamie Stephens.

Taunton put their hosts in to bat first, but Deane opener Robert Woodman was in good touch with 49 off 55 balls.

But despite decent support scores from Charlie Sharland (19), Harry Thomas (14) and Calvin Harrison (28), the Deane found themselves losing regular wickets, with Will Abell (4-46) and James Clark (3-47) prominent for the visitors.

Stephens counter-attacked with 75 from number 7, coming off 83 balls and including nine fours.

Sam Shaikh contributed 22 and Jason Squire 16, as the home side were all out for 262 in the final over.

Stephens then turned his attention to the Taunton reply, removing four of their top six to finish with figures of 4-48.

Simon Manley (25), Charles Clist (25) and Dan Quick (27) all scored well enough for the visitors, but no-one could push on for that really big total.

Harrison (2-38) and Woodman (2-14) both chipped in with the ball for the Deane, as Taunton were dismissed for 163 off 43 overs.

The victory gives Taunton Deane an unassailable 26-point lead at the top of the table, and they will be playing Premier 1 cricket next season.

As for Taunton, they find themselves in relegation danger after being leapfrogged by Weston-super-Mare; now third from bottom, they host North Perrott in their final match of the season this Saturday.