WEPL Somerset Division
Weston-super-Mare 151-4 beat Staplegrove 148-9 by 5 wkts

STAPLEGROVE felt the full force of leaders and star-studded title favourites Weston on Saturday, as they returned to the seaside with a five-wicket victory.

In a match reduced to 44 overs, Staplegrove were put in to bat and were immediately in trouble, losing Thom Pantling to former Somerset star Charl Willoughby without a run on the board.

Jake Pantling was soon to follow, needlessly run out.

After the third wicket fell, Richard Rowe (24) and Paul Oliver did their best to repair the damage, taking the score on to 61.

Matt Dimond joined Oliver and hit five 4s in an innings of 22 which ended with the total at 98 and Oliver could only keep a watching brief at the other end as wickets fell at regular intervals.

Willoughby then picked up the vital wicket of captain Ian Bishop, then eventually claimed Oliver for a stubborn knock of 60 - the last wicket to fall.

Peter Horton added an unbeaten 12 to take Staplegrove on to 148-9 but it was never going to be enough against a side which has only suffered one defeat this season.

As hard as the Staplegrove attack responded, Weston had no need to rush and Andy Fear and Tom Ford put on 53 for the first wicket.

Bishop bowled Ford for 18 and Thom Pantling toppled Fear for 27.

Pantling and Bishop claimed another scalp each to leave the total on 75-4 but that was it as Shabil Ahmed (35no) kept a calm head and skipper Rob Turner (33no) kept the scoreboard ticking over to see Weston home with six overs to go.

Staplegrove will have the chance to pick up points on Saturday when they travel to Chard (1pm).

WEPL Somerset Division
North Perrott 202-2 beat Wellington 140-8 by 62 runs

WELLINGTON were on the end of a batting master class from North Perrott overseas player Troy Johnson, as he guided North Perrott to a 62-run win in a match that was reduced to 20 overs due to rain.

After numerous showers through the afternoon the prospect of play was looking unlikely, but a combination of the rain stopping at around 3pm and some excellent work from the North Perrott players and ground staff ensured a 20-over game began at 5pm.

Wellington won the toss and elected to bowl, but Retter counter-attacked immediately and launched his first ball for a massive six. 

Following that statement of intent, Retter continued to play his shots but was dismissed for 23, which took him just nine balls, thanks to a good catch from Arron Campbell from the bowling of Ian Hewson.

Perrott skipper Gordon Whorlow joined Johnson at the crease, and it was at this point the overseas player really started to put his foot down. 

After a missed opportunity on 20, Johnson went on to make Wellington pay as he showed his full range of shots, hitting the ball to all parts of the ground. 

He was well supported by his captain, with the pair running well between the wickets before Whorlow was run out by Luke Desave for 48. 

Johnson brought up his century and went on to finish on 121 not out from 68 balls after a fine innings which included 16 fours and a six.

Johnson’s fireworks helped Perrott end their 20 overs on an imposing 202-2, and the visitors knew a tough chase was in prospect.

Wellington set out needing over 10 an over from the start, and Ben Evett played his shots early on before he was clean bowled by Joshua Marshall-James for 12. 

With the rate required going up from each ball faced, Wellington were never really in contention to win the game but refused to surrender their wickets easily. 

There were solid contributions from the middle order, with Robin Davies (34), Alex Sparks (25), Luke Desave (14) and Kayden Hine (33) all contributing to help Wellington achieve a respectable 140-8 from their 20 overs.

Wellington stay second bottom as a result of the defeat, and they are currently nine points adrift of third-bottom Minehead and just a point above Temple Cloud at the foot of the table.

The strugglers welcome fourth-placed Bridgwater 2nds this Saturday.

WEPL Somerset Division
Bridgwater 2nds 226-8 beat Minehead 154 by 72 runs

MISSED opportunities were again to blame as Minehead suffered a second straight defeat away at Bridgwater 2nds on Saturday.

After winning the toss and bowling, Minehead made the ideal start when Jay Darrell removed opener Liam Kitch for a golden duck in just the second over. 

And when Darren Sherring had number three Tom Pople caught at mid-off for just 5, the hosts were in early trouble at 13-2.

An invaluable partnership followed between Scott Clapp and Tom Bellinger as they both capitalised on early let-offs to build a solid platform for their side. 

Clapp (42) fell with the score nearing 80, but Bellinger (46) pushed on with the assistance of Andrew Skidmore (36) and Ed Habberfield (26) before Archie Marsh (11) and Kyran Devitt (28) added the finishing flurry to leave their side 226-8 from their rain-shortened 43 overs.

The Minehead reply started in tame fashion, with scoring opportunities for Ian Buchanan and Andrew Stevens very few and far between thanks to some tight bowling from openers Clapp and Ian Higgins. 

It was a change of bowling that gained the crucial breakthrough, though, as Ed Habberfield trapped Stevens in front for 12 and Matt Habberfield had Buchanan (26) caught at deep mid-wicket just three overs later to leave Minehead 45-2 after a steady start.

Liam Muggeridge and Braden Taylor set about reducing the deficit with some watchful overs but both found boundaries hard to come by as they pushed the score towards the 100 mark. 

It was Muggeridge who took the initiative after drinks with a couple of boundaries through the leg side, before finding the long-on fielder to depart for 23. 

Taylor followed him shortly after, caught for 37 after striking a straight six, but his side now needed more than 10 runs per over from their remaining 12.

The middle and lower order never gained the required momentum, as some tight bowling and poor running meant they lost their last six wickets for just 25 runs to fall 72 short of the target

Taking just six points from the game means Minehead failed to improve upon their vulnerable position in the table where they sit eighth, just 10 points above bottom spot. 

Next up for Minehead is a tough visit from North Petherton this Saturday, as the hosts hope for vast improvement in their battle to avoid relegation from the Somerset Division.