Dorchester THIRDS 173-7 (19pts) beat HENSTRIDGE 172-8 (8pts) by three wickets
A FINE unbeaten innings of 97 by Jae Miller secured Dorchester a close three-wicket victory over Henstridge on the final day of the season.
The victory secured a fifth-place finish in Dorchester’s first season in Dorset League Division Five.
Henstridge batted patiently, losing their first wicket of Will Eaden for 22, who was brilliantly caught by the diving Sam Roles at extra cover off Nick Beer with the score on 41.
Pete Travers and Tim Eaden then built a dangerous partnership, taking the score to 105-1 in the 25th over before Pete Tucker (1-15) bowled the latter for 24.
The introduction of left-arm spinner Rhys Cole (2-22) saw two more wickets fall, including that of opener Pete Travers for 54 stumped by Lucas, and Biddescombe, well caught by Joe Prior on the mid-wicket boundary, off Cole.
The returning medium pace of 15-year-old Peter Horne (4-25) was then too accurate for the Henstridge batsmen, claiming 4-9 in five overs to restrict Henstridge to 172-8 at the close.
Dorchester lost their first wicket of Beer on 14, bowled by John Swinburn for two.
A quickfire partnership of 56 in only nine overs between Miller and Cole then pushed the Dorchester score to 66-1 before a flurry of wickets saw Biddescombe bowl Rhys Cole (31) and Cameran Lucas (0) with Mike Williams having Scott Parker (0) leg before with the score on 66-4.
The young county town side could have easily found the pressure too much but with the experience of vice-captain Miller and key contributions from four 15-year-old players in Joe Prior, Taylor Quinten, Roles and Horne, Dorchester went on to claim victory with three overs to spare.
Captain Pete Tucker said: “It was fitting that Jae not only carried his bat throughout the Dorchester innings but also hit the winning run.
“The quality of Jae’s innings cannot be under estimated because not only did he score the lion’s share of the Dorchester target but he also had to create winning partnerships with the young lads and help and guide them through their innings.
“The Thirds has been a mixture of youth and experience since it was formed four years ago and the victory was a great advert to what we are trying to achieve.
“To finish fifth in Division Five after three consecutive promotions was a good performance from the young lads at Dorchester Cricket Club and I think this league is ideal for the introduction of young cricketers into senior Cricket.”