Cricket: Title race swings Dorchester's way

STRIKE BOWLER: Dorchester skipper Dan Belt

STRIKE BOWLER: Dorchester skipper Dan Belt

First published in Sport Dorset Echo: Photograph of the Author by , Sports Reporter

MARTINSTOWN 92 (1pt) lost to DORCHESTER 93-3 (19pts) by 7 wickets

THE race for the Premier Two title took another twist on Saturday when Dorchester regained top spot courtesy of a seven-wicket win over rivals Martinstown.

It turned out to be a relatively comfortable triumph for the hosts who showed a good deal of resolve after finding out earlier in the week they had been docked five points for fielding an ineligible player.

For the visitors, it was the second weekend in succession that they were bowled out for a total of less than a hundred, dealing another blow to their hopes of promotion.

Dorchester captain Dan Belt led by example with three wickets, while Eamonn Scott and James Dunham claimed the same number and Pete Moxom took the other wicket to fall.

Belt (41no) and Fergus Guppy (11no) then saw the home side to victory inside 24 overs, as Dorchester secured 19 points overall.

“They came into the game on the back of being bowled out for 90 and when that happens once you know it can happen again,” said Belt.

“We felt that if we could get into their middle order then we might bowl them out for a low total.

“We picked up a couple of early wickets and then took the others at regular intervals.

“A few of their batsmen got themselves out but I think we can put a few of those down to us keeping them under a good amount of pressure.”

He added: “We lost three wickets in our reply but picked up 19 points and it was a very pleasing afternoon for us.

“We’ve now got a huge game against Sherborne and if we win three of our last four games then we should win the league.”

In contrast, Martinstown skipper Ed Nichols was disappointed that no-one in the visitors’ line up made a significant contribution with the bat.

“We gave away a few wickets early on and three of the top four batsmen got out very softly,” he said.

“We were perhaps trying to force things a bit too much on a slow wicket and never recovered from a poor start.

“We’ve just got start scoring a few more runs and we have got a few batsmen coming back for the next game at Bere Regis.”

Meanwhile in County Division Two, Dorchester Seconds secured a seven-wicket victory over Weymouth Seconds.

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