STURMINSTER MARSHALL 192-7 (19pts) beat BRIDPORT 47 (3pts) by 145 runs

MARK Smith’s penultimate match as Bridport captain appeared to be doomed from the start, as only eight players made the trip for his side’s County Division Three fixture at Sturminster Marshall.

And the skipper’s worst fears came true when, after a sterling effort in the field kept the hosts to 192-7, Bridport collapsed to 47 all out.

Smith is set to hand over the skipper’s armband to Duane Gay after this Saturday’s home clash with Sherborne Seconds, though the former will continue playing as his successor’s vice-captain.

A combination of work commitments and personal issues means Smith feels he can’t give the role of captain “the time it needs and deserves”.

“I’m disappointed to be stepping down but the captaincy needs someone to give it more time than I will be able to,” he said.

“A new captain means we can try a different approach to getting more numbers in the squad.

“We’ve been struggling for players this year and we need to drum up support for the club.

“We’ve got a good youth set-up so we can’t let the adult side go because we don’t want to lose the younger players to other clubs in the area.

“Hopefully Duane will be able to influence more people and I’ll help him initially to see what he needs. There is a core of six or seven who are there every week but we are looking for players to help keep the club going and bolster the squad.”

Smith was proud of the way his depleted side, short of men through work commitments, bowled and fielded at Sturmin-ster Marshall, with only a late flurry of runs taking the hosts close to 200.

He added: “I can’t fault the guys for the effort they put in to restrict them to 192-7, they were absolutely superb.

“I think it was a mental thing with the bat.

“With eight players it was always going to be an uphill struggle and we just collapsed.”