PUDDLETOWN 182 (pts) beat RIOYAL CHALLENGERS SPORTS CLUB (pts) by 122 runs

PUDDLETOWN'S assault on the County Division Four title continued unabated on Saturday with a convincing 122-run thrashing of Royal Challengers Sports Club.

A tired-looking Puddletown were surprisingly put into bat on the long grass, and the Challenger's opening bowlers bowled economically from the get-go, with Alby Stevens out lbw to Eldho John for nine.

Lucas Allen's unprepossessing opening gambit was, however, highly effective.

Failure to pouch chances in the field cost the Challengers dear, as Allen gravely accrued 67 runs in what was to be the highest score of the match.

Supported well by Orford (22) and Barrett (45) and using a tombstone for a bat, Allen guided the team to a total of 182.

This meant full batting points for the home side and a total that always looked too many for a side low in confidence and on numbers of players. Matthew was the pick of the bowlers who used the wicket to good effect in a brilliant spell of 5-34.

Challenger's top order was effectively dismembered by a brilliant spell of seam bowling from Laurie Stevens, returning to the side with style. Stevens, most important victim was the dangerous Jobi Matthew, an aggressive free-scoring batsman, who could only watch on in horror as he scooped the ball to Orford at mid-off.

Stevens finished with figures of 3-14 to hammer a significant nail into the Challenger's coffin.

Wickets tumbled too at the other end, with the cadaverous-looking Weir bowling menacingly (3-8) despite a clearly visible deterioration in pace. A late order resurrection from Elias Eldhose (23) was prevented by Barrett, who claimed the final wicket with his first ball in his spell.

After other results going Puddletown’s way in the division, Puddletown now though that they require just 18 points from their final two games to guarantee promotion.

This can be achieved this weekend, when they travel to Cerne Valley Seconds.