West of England Premier League Premier 2 (Bristol/Somerset)
Taunton St Andrew's 1st XI 355-7 beat Taunton 1st XI 104 by 251 runs

EDDIE Byrom celebrated signing a two-year professional contract with Somerset by smashing 102 as league leaders Taunton St Andrew's thrashed hosts Taunton on Saturday.

Byrom's century was the highlight of a mammoth 355-7 posted by the visitors, for whom Deven Bell took 4-9 as Taunton were dismissed for 104 in just 25.4 overs.

Saints won the toss and elected to bat, with openers James Regan and Byrom powering their way to 125, before skipper Regan (45) fell to Jack Cooper.

Byrom was joined in the middle by Michael Leask, and together they moved to score up to 160, at which point Byrom was caught behind by Dan Quick, again off Cooper, having made 102 off just 62 balls (with 15 fours and three 6s).

There was no let-up for the Taunton bowlers, though, as Leask and Lloyd Alley continued to deal out the punishment until Leask went for 60 (off 45 balls) at 259-3.

Alley went on to make his own half-century, falling to Chris Greenwood for 58, and Rob Contreras (23), Kevin Parsons (21no) and James Hayman (21) saw Saints finish on 355-7 from their 50 overs.

Greenwood took 3-53, William Abell 2-48 and Cooper 2-76 on a difficult day for the Taunton attack – Blake Coburn, who had taken 5-19 against Ilminster last week, ended up on 0-71.

The hosts' reply could not have got off to a worse start, as Hugh Kelly (0) was run out by Alley off the first ball.

Robert Hake (20) and Quick (10) restored some stability, but Taunton were in serious trouble at 50-4, as James Hayman took two quick wickets.

Abell (19) and Justin Burke (11) postponed the inevitable for a while, taking their side up to 82, but then three wickets were lost for just one run as Hayman and Bell gorged themselves.

Bell took two further wickets as Taunton stumbled up to 100, before Harry Clements trapped Chris Greenwood (4) lbw, meaning Saints were victors by 251 runs.

Bell finished on 4-9 off four overs, with Hayman taking 3-20 off eight.

Saints collected 22 points, and they are now 29 clear off second-placed Bishopston, who were surprisingly beaten by bottom side Claverham (Yatton).

Taunton, who took three points, have slipped back to fifth after two successive defeats, and they are now looking over their shoulder as the strugglers start to pick up wins and narrow the gap at the bottom.

This coming Saturday (July 1), Saints host third-placed Glastonbury, while Taunton are at Bishopston – both matches start at 12.30pm.


WEPL Premier 2 (Bristol/Somerset) 
Ilminster 1st XI 230-6 beat Taunton Deane 1st XI 229 by 4 wkts

LORENZO Machado's fine century was in a losing cause for Taunton Deane, who went down by four wickets at home to Ilminster on Saturday.

The hosts batted first and, after losing Sam Underdown early, were heavily indebted to Machado for helping them to 229 all out.

The opening batsman hit 104, with Calvin Harrison (26) chipping in and number eight Rob Pryke adding a useful 31 lower down the order.

Pryke then took 3-36 in reply, but 59 from opening batsman Louie Kraucamp and 44 courtesy of former Somerset wicketkeeper Sam Spurway ensured Ilminster were always in control of the run chase.

Josh Lee (19*) and Craig Rice (13*) completed the victory for the visitors with 2.4 overs to spare to keep them in touch with the top three, while the Deane sit third bottom after the defeat.

This weekend sees Deane visit Lansdown (12.30pm start), which looks a crucial clash with their hosts one place below them in the table.