SHILLINGSTONE 102ao (16pts) beat WEYMOUTH 101ao (9pts) by one run

WEYMOUTH suffered a heartbreaking one-run loss to Shillingstone in a dramatic County Division One encounter.

After an uncontested toss, the Seasiders elected to field first on a slow pitch but home openers Sebastian Street and Robin Cunningham (21) pounced upon the bad balls in reaching 53-0.

Cunningham’s departure via lbw to Lloyd Beals (1-26) sparked a horrendous collapse as wickets tumbled for the hosts.

Graham Puckett (3-24) claimed three wickets in eight balls, including the dangerous Street (25), while Matt Lawes (1-19) clean bowled skipper Tom House (12) as Shillingstone wobbled to 88-5.

Neil Walton (3-22) and Shafeek Urumancheri (2-6) clinically finished the job, quickly mopping up the tail as the home side, dismissed for 102, lost all 10 wickets for just 49 runs.

A paltry target of 103 was set and, despite away captain Harry Mitchell’s pre-match call for a “brave” batting approach, the Seasiders slipped to 20-3 as Alex Ashmore (4-15) caused havoc.

Lawes (17) and Kieron Womble (12) put on 34 runs as Weymouth steadied the ship but when Jerry Shaw (3-26) dismissed both men the visitors’ chances looked bleak.

Walton (6), Mitchell (3), Urumancheri (0) and Beals (4) also perished cheaply with the Redlands outfit still 20 runs short of victory with one wicket remaining.

Puckett (12) then threatened to clinch the win with two superb boundaries, ably supported by the watchful Sahil Dalvi (6no), until a horrid half-tracker from Steve Savage (1-0) deceived Puckett, trapping him plumb leg before to seal a nailbiting victory for the hosts.

Speaking to Echosport, Weymouth captain Mitchell admitted the narrowest of losses had been difficult to take.

He said: “It’s a tough one for obvious reasons. We just weren’t quite there.

“There are still some positives to take out of the game. GP (Puckett) and Matt as an opening pair were really impressive.

“Neil coming in and taking three wickets was good, and Shaf’s first two overs were maidens.

“For his confidence and for himself as a leggy he bowled exceptionally. His bowling was a real highlight for me. It was good to see him back to his best.

“The first half of the game was really good – we fielded a lot better. It just didn’t happen with the bat.”

On Weymouth’s batting, Mitchell added: “I think it was a bit too circumspect.

“We were thinking about it too much instead of trying to play our game.”

Elsewhere, Weymouth Seconds thrashed Puddletown Seconds by 120 runs to claim a second win from two games in County Division Six.