WEPL Premier 2 Bristol/Som
Taunton 308-9 beat Claverham 168-4 (revised) by four runs

TAUNTON just came out on top in a rain-affected encounter with Claverham that went right down to the wire on Saturday.

The visitors lost the toss and were asked to bat, but Taunton openers Simon Manley and Charles Clist soon made that look a foolish decision.

The pair added 126 for the first wicket before Manley fell for 44, but Dan Quick joined Clist and kept the scoreboard ticking over.

Clist was eventually dismissed for an excellent 84, which came from just 67 balls and included 14 fours, but Quick and Blake Coburn combined to take the score past 200.

Both departed in quick succession, Coburn having hit three 4s and three 6s in his rapid 39 and Quick for a more restrained 38, and a flurry of wickets saw Taunton fall to 257-7.

Justin Burke (21) and captain Ben Phillips (23) joined forces to take the total towards 300, a milestone which was passed with the help of final pair Joe Gore and William Easterfield as Taunton closed on 308-9.

A period of rain then saw Claverham's target adjusted to 172 from 27 overs, but Taunton made the ideal start with the ball as Gore clean bowled James Copeland (1).

Fellow opener Mitchell Bench proved more difficult to remove, but Phillips clean bowled the batsman for 28 before having Ryan Thorpe caught by Gore for 11 as the hosts fell to 77-3.

Captain Lloyd Richardson was proving a thorn in the Taunton side, however, and aided by Dominic Hooper, who hit two 4s and two 6s before falling for a quickfire 25, set up a tense finale.

Justin Burke picked up the key wicket of Hooper and, despite Richardson finishing on an excellent unbeaten 82, Taunton were the victors by just four runs.

The win lifts Taunton to fifth in the table ahead of this weekend's visit of Glastonbury.

ELSEWHERE, both Taunton Deane and league leaders Taunton St Andrew's were frustrated by the weather.

The Deane were 91-3, having bowled out visitors Bishopston for 206, when the rain ruined what looked set to be a close match.

Saints did not even get that far, reducing Ilminster to 86-5 before the weather intervened after just 30 overs.

Luke Poole (2-14) led the way with the ball for St Andrew's, who stay top and host second-placed Bishopston in a crunch encounter on Saturday.