STALBRIDGE 143-9 (5pts) lost to WEYMOUTH 144-7 (18pts) by three wickets

WEYMOUTH completed their second away win of the Premier One season in a closely-contested encounter against Stalbridge, chasing down the hosts’ total with just four balls to spare.

The result means that the Seasiders move up to joint-third in the league standings, level on points with Swanage.

And as they did against the Swans two weeks ago, Weymouth bowled first and immediately put the brakes on the opposition batsmen in a controlled display in the field.

Opening pace duo Matt Lawes and Dan Hutchens only went for 36 between them from a combined 20 overs, as the home side stuttered to just 53-3 from their first 25, before eventually posting 143-9.

But on another tough early season track, Weymouth got off to the worst possible start with the bat when openers Jim Ryall and Lawes were both back in the shed without scoring.

Up stepped Dean Janaway to dig in with a gritty 22, before an impressive innings from Neil Walton saw him score 41 to help set the game up for the Seasiders.

Simon Browne and David Trotter then came to the crease with the score on 99, and the pair calmly knocked off the remaining runs to give their side the all-important victory.

Club chairman John Ryan, who also claimed economical figures of 0-18 from seven overs on the day, told Echosport: “It was excellent and a really solid all-round performance.

“Stalbridge are a decent side and they are strong all the way through but, even though we got off to a terrible start with the batting, we rallied.

“At the beginning of the season you would have said that Swanage, Stalbridge and Weymouth would have been probably towards the bottom of the league because the East Dorset teams are stronger, but at the moment we are playing some very good cricket.

“Matt Lawes did really well with the ball opening up with 3-18 and Simon Browne bowled really strongly at the back end of the innings, but everyone chipped in and it was a very good team performance.

“Batting wise, Neil Walton is relatively inexperienced at this level, but he really dug in and almost took us home.”

Weymouth now turn their attentions to what will hopefully be their first home game of the campaign against Ferndown Wayfarers this Saturday.