SHILLINGSTONE SECONDS 123 (17pts) beat ABBOTSBURY 103 (7pts) by 20 runs

ABBOTSBURY came up 20 runs short as their Division Four title ambitions took a blow against fellow contenders Shillingstone Seconds.

After winning the toss, Shillingstone's opening batsmen got their team off to a bright start in the opening overs.

However, Chas Duerdoth was bowling with tremendous pace and his dismissal of Tony Coubrough was followed in the same over by the run out of the incoming Ben Hull for a duck.

Grafton Straker (1-13) was also bowling well and bagged a wicket when the Swans’ veteran induced Tom Waters into feathering a catch behind without scoring.

However, Straker then had to withdraw from the attack with a tweaked hamstring.

But there was no let up at the other end as Duerdoth destroyed the middle order to finish with 4-23 from his allotted eight overs.

From the precarious position of 59-6 after 15 overs, Shillingstone mounted a mini revival as Simon Leaney, who had dropped down the batting order to avoid the threat of Duerdoth, smacked a succession of boundaries, including one enormous six over long on.

Opener Ben Andrews (22) had remained firm while wickets clattered at the other end but he was finally dislodged when attempting to hit spinner Krish Subramanian (1-24) out of the ground.

Fellow spinner Aaron Oliver (2-8) was again bowling with great control and, after he had Leaney out caught for 43, the tail was soon polished off to leave a modest target of 124 for the Swans to chase.

However, Abbotsbury got off to a poor start in reply, losing openers Simon Pengelly for nought and Nick Hodge for three to the medium pace of Alex Miles.

The extra pace of Tom Walters (2-15) saw the demise of Nick Kneebone, well caught in the slips, for 14.

With the dangerous Chris Backhouse (20) at the crease, the Swans retained high hopes of victory, but his promising innings was cut short when he swatted a long hop straight to the fielder at cover.

Robin Potter (10) resisted for a while and Duerdoth (17) was his usual belligerent self, but Miles (4-22), returning for a second spell, removed both batsmen to leave the Swans in disarray.

With pressure mounting and the required run rate rising all the time, the Abbotsbury tail were unable to find the boundary and a disappointing result for the Swans was sealed when Will Philpott played on.

Shillingstone go 10 points clear in the race for promotion after inflicting Abbotsbury’s first defeat of the summer.