WEYMOUTH 226-8 (20pts) beat MARNHULL 110ao (5pts) by 116 runs

WEYMOUTH cantered to their first win of the County Division One season with a comprehensive 116-run success over Marnhull at Redlands.

With the Redlands pitch sprinkled with overnight rain, Marnhull elected to bowl first after an uncontested toss but bowled poorly early on as Weymouth’s first 14 runs went down as extras.

However, the visitors were rewarded for their persistence when Cameron Cudlipp (1-57) bowled the returning John Wilson (2) at 25-1.

Kieron Womble then batted aggressively, scoring 37 in a 52-run stand with Dom Webb, who was twice dropped, before chopping onto his own stumps, via his spikes, off the bowling of Edwin Ralph (1-24).

Webb (42) continued to punish the bad balls, cracking four boundaries and three sixes, but Matt Lawes (17) was next to fall to David Lockyer (1-29) after Ralph pulled a calf muscle, forcing him out of the attack.

Webb fell short of a half-century, adjudged leg before despite edging onto his pad off the bowling of Dan Crockett (1-12).

Weymouth skipper Harry Mitchell (2) followed soon after to wily spinner Stuart Cundy (1-30) as the Seasiders were halted at 145-5.

Marnhull threatened to restrict their hosts until a flurry of boundaries from Simon Browne (41), including three superb cut shots, plus a six, set the hosts on their way to a score in excess of 200.

Browne was eventually caught behind off Zack Caunt (3-44) before a late cameo from Neil Walton (28 off 15) helped Weymouth to 226-8 off 45 overs with a quick contribution from Jack Sapsworth (10).

Marnhull’s reply got off to a poor start when Tim Horn (2) offered a simple return chance to Lawes (1-18) with only five runs on the board.

Weymouth then turned the screw, Graham Puckett (2-25) bowling Caunt (10) and Will Primrose (0) either side of Walton (1-12) removing the dangerous Ash Young (16) thanks to a well-judged backpeddling catch from Lloyd Beals.

Beals (3-31) was responsible for tearing through the Marnhull middle order, bowling the injured Ralph (6) before having Cudlipp (11) caught by Webb and trapping Cundy (1) lbw.

Joseph Ralph (23) proved obdurate, hitting three boundaries, but spinners Shafeek Urumancheri (1-14) and Mitchell (1-1) took late wickets prior to a bullet throw from Lawes which ended the innings with Ralph’s run-out.

Speaking after the much-needed triumph, Mitchell felt his side delivered the all-round performance he desired before the match.

“The all-round performance was what I wanted and we got that,” Mitchell said.

“Everyone stepped up and produced something. It was a superb performance, especially with the ball.

“With the bat, going from 190 and trying to get it up to 225 was what we wanted. We took our batting to the next stage.”

Commenting on another impressive bowling display, having dismissed Shillingstone for 102 the previous weekend, Mitchell feels his attack “offer everything”.

He said: “Most teams look at our bowling attack and say it’s our strength.

“It offers everything: left-arm, right-arm, pace, people can change it up with slower balls, a leggy and an offy – it’s a captain’s dream to have all of that at your disposal, it’s a luxury.”

Mitchell reserved praise for Webb, who delivered another mature innings.

He said: “Dom continues to improve. He’s class, year on year he’s going to get better and will hit big, big scores.

“Browner gives a wealth of experience to the batting order, he ticked it over. Having him deeper means we can hit bigger scores because he’ll hit boundaries.

“Then Neil, he had an excellent innings batting at eight. That’s a long batting order, it proved the difference going into the 220s.”

Commenting on what was the Seasiders’ opening victory of 2019, Mitchell confessed he had eyes on the win sooner rather than later.

“It’s a big relief. I didn’t want to go on and on and make it three or four weeks.

“You look at Portland last year losing their first five – that’s what I didn’t want to have happen to us,” he said.

“To get that early, against a good team in Marnhull – they were superb last year – I thought it was a good performance and especially at home as well.”

Elsewhere, leaders Weymouth Seconds continued their perfect start to the County Division Six campaign with a nine-wicket demolition of Poole Fourths.


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