West of England Premier League
Somerset Division
Staplegrove 1st XI 97-6 beat Bridgwater 2nd XI 95 by 4 wkts

SKIPPER Ian Bishop was the toast of the Grove on Saturday as he produced a vital all-round performance.

When Bridgwater batted, opener Scott Clapp provided a solid platform on what seemed a difficult track.

From 23-1, Bridgwater plummeted to 69-8 as Paul Hardy, Peter Horton and Bishop made their good line and length tell.

Once Clapp was run out for 24, there was little resistance from Bridgwater, with only Andrew Jeanes really troubling the scorer with 21.

Bishop cleaned up the last four wickets to reduce Bridgwater to 95 all out, ending with 5-15 off just four overs.

The Grove were not out of the woods, however, despite chasing a low total.

Clapp, Matt Habberfield and Tom Bellinger combined to knock the stuffing out of the Grove’s top order.

As the innings began to disintegrate at 38-4 it was left up to Richard Rowe (21) then Bishop to repair the damage.

After a few more hiccups, Bishop saw his side over the line, still there on 28 alongside Henry Graydon (9).

Staplegrove should be just about safe and on Saturday they travel to North Petherton, depleted by the football season’s return (12.30pm).


WEPL Somerset Division
Temple Cloud 1st XI 102-7 beat Wellington 1st XI 99 by 3 wkts

WELLINGTON suffered a dent in their survival hopes after they were beaten by relegation rivals Temple Cloud.

Wellington lost the toss and were asked to bat on a tricky wicket.

Cloud’s Chris Diaper and Simon Mahoney made life difficult for the Wellington batsmen, with Mahoney using his cutters well to reduce Wellington to 30-5.

Neil Hendy and Ben Evett combined to rebuild the innings, but a four-wicket burst that removed Hendy for 11 and Evett for 26 left Wellington at 78-9.

Mark Bray and Ian Hewson added 21 runs for the last wicket, before the latter was bowled by Kev Curtis.

Wellington knew they needed early wickets, and Luke Desave and Ian Hewson combined with three apiece to leave Cloud 28-6.

Cloud skipper Curtis remained though, and alongside Diaper he edged his side closer to the target Curtis sealed the win with a 4 to finish the game on 48 not out – a fine captain’s innings – with Diaper ending on 16 not out.

This was a tough defeat for Wellington to take, but they still have three games remaining, and if they can win those there is still a chance of staying up this season.


WEPL Somerset Division
Minehead 1st XI 255 all out beat Chard 1st XI 200 all out by 55 runs

MINEHEAD claimed their second successive win on Saturday, when they convincingly defeated Chard by 55 runs at home to further improve their survival chances in the WEPL Somerset Division with three games to play.

Batting first, the home side got off to a blistering start as Ian Buchanan and Liam Muggeridge punished some loose opening bowling to race up to 100 in just the 20th over, Muggeridge passing 50.

The scoreboard read 105 by the time Buchanan was dismissed for 44, clean bowled by Joe Draper, and he was followed shortly afterwards by Angus Marsh (6).

Dan Bowditch (1) also fell cheaply, before Muggeridge was well caught at second slip for an excellent 84 that included 14 4s and two 6s, leaving the Minehead innings teetering on 140-4.

The introduction of Alastair Harrison tipped the momentum back in the hosts’ favour, however, as he rotated the strike and found the boundary when the opportunities arose.

Aided by Andrew Stevens (14) and Robbie Garwood, Harrison took the score past 225 for maximum batting points, rushing to a superb 49-ball 51, with seven 4s.

A couple of late blows from Garwood and Gregg Howard (8no) added some late impetus, before the former was stumped for 26 off the penultimate ball of the innings to give Minehead a total of 255 all out from 49.5 overs, In reply, openers Nathan Johnson (23) and Alex Hunt (12) offered very little aggression early on as Bowditch and Darren Sherring bowled with impressive accuracy.

Bowditch who made the breakthrough in the 12th over, Hunt caught well at mid-on by Ellis Taylor.

The pair, with figures of 1-23 and 0-23 respectively, continued to bowl impeccable lines, as Chard tip-toed to 46-1 after 20 overs.

The introduction of Taylor (3-53) provided instant results as he removed Johnson and then Pete Moxom (0).

Matt Micale and John Scott pushed the score past 100 in the 33rd over, and it took an over from part-time bowler Stevens (1-5) to break the partnership, as he clean bowled Scott for 38.

Chris Scott (0) was run out at 143-5 and Micale was bowled by Taylor for 79, before Muggeridge (2-33) continued his impressive performance with two wickets as the Chard innings ended on 200-8, 56 runs short of victory.

Minehead sit seventh, 22 points clear of the relegation spots, and travel to Wembdon on Saturday (12.30pm), looking to all but secure safety.