SHROTON 157-5 (20pts) beat MARTINSTOWN 156 (4pts) by five wickets

MARTINSTOWN endured a difficult day at the Fairfield as Shroton avenged their defeat at Lower Ashton Farm in May with a five-wicket success.

Going into the game, the two sides were eighth and ninth in the Dorset Funeral Plan Premier League and, after winning the toss, captain Ed Nichols elected to bat first on a small ground.

A decent start was rapidly halted by Shroton as Sean Williams (13) and Sam Kershaw (0) perished to Ryan Doble (2-33) and Mark Shepherd (1-34) to leave the visitors on 25-2.

Doble then bowled Fraser Hill (11) before Matt Pike (4-36) picked up two quick wickets as Martinstown stuttered to 120-6.

Meanwhile, Nichols, who had made serene progress to 74 from 83 balls, was removed by Matthew Hewitt (2-8) who took two wickets in his first over when also ousting Mike Kennedy-Barnard (0) to leave Martinstown on 123-8.

Late runs from Liam Banfield (19) helped Nichols’ men over the 150 mark before Pike returned to end with four wickets.

Martinstown battled well with the ball and took four wickets inside the first 16 overs to leave the Shroton nerves jangling.

Banfield (2-40) was key to their riposte as Hewitt (5) and Shepherd (16) were dismissed, while 15-year-old Nathan McNab (1-38) impressed with the wicket of Ryan Boardwell (20).

When Kershaw (1-20) had the dangerous Pike (11) caught by Tom Pope, Shroton were stumbling at 71-4 until their fifth-wicket partnership revived them.

Heavy-hitting duo Marc Doble (43no) and Darren Ball (26) shared 49 in their crucial stand, yet when Teddy Andrews (1-20) was rewarded for a tight spell with the wicket of Ball, Martinstown had a flicker of hope.

But Doble continued to drive his side to their 157 target as Shroton eventually proved too strong.

Martinstown skipper Nichols told Echosport post-match that his bowlers didn’t have a sufficient total to defend.

He said: “I think we were far off a par score. We looked to target their attack but we didn’t bat smartly. There were some really loose shots which has been a little bit of a theme this season. A total of 150 doesn’t take a lot of chasing on a really small ground.”

Nichols also conceded that his side had not often performed with bat and ball in the same game.

“It’s a case of not getting both disciplines together with the exception of last week. We haven’t had both together enough this year but there’s still time to change that,” he added.


t: 01305 830990

e: neil.walton

twitter: @EchoSportNeil