SWANAGE 216 (11pts) lost to MARTINSTOWN 231-8 (20pts) by 15 runs

MARTINSTOWN moved to the brink of Dorset Funeral Plan Premier League safety with an excellent 15-run win away to leaders Swanage.

Ed Nichols’ men need just one more point from their three remaining games to guarantee their survival, with bottom side Shillingstone’s extremely slim hopes resting on taking three maximum-point victories and three zero-point scores from Martinstown to overtake them.

Teddy Andrews was the visitors’ star performer as he cracked a superb 73, including a mammoth 26 off an Ian Booth over.

Martinstown batted first on a slightly damp wicket but made solid progress through the first half of their innings before Nichols (23) was bowled by Mike Hernandez (5-58).

George Pope (28) helped Sean Williams (21) move the away team to 82-2 before Pope was bowled by Booth (1-58), which brought Andrews to the crease.

He scored the majority of the runs in a 79-stand with Williams, before Hernandez removed Ben Doidge (2), Andrews and Monty Payne (1) to leave Martinstown on 174-6.

But late blows from Matt Camp (14) and Ryan Chase (33) helped their side to 231-8.

Swanage lost Mike Salmon (0) to Camp (2-35) early in their response, with Chase (2-49) snaring Booth (20) and Francis Kerins (0) to leave the hosts on 67-3.

But Dan Salmon (53), Ryan Norman (44) and Hernandez (28) all weighed in with hefty scores to worry Martinstown, yet they held firm to bowl the Swans out with 15 runs to spare.

Speaking to Echosport after the game, Nichols said the challenge for his side was to produce good displays on a more regular basis.

He said: “We can beat any team in the league if we find the consistency. I don’t think we’re a weaker side than Swanage, we just need those kinds of performances on a consistent basis.

“We played really well, everyone was chuffed. With it being close at the end it gives you that extra adrenaline when you come out on top. I think we showed a good amount of composure.

“It was a tricky track and we were really pleased to get 230. It was still a bit damp, not too hard to play on, just hard work for the batters coming in.

“Teddy played a really good innings, including taking 26 off an over, but there was a 10-over spell where we could have pushed on and got 270 which would have put them out of the game.”