STALBRIDGE 204-6 (19pts) beat MARTINSTOWN 186 (9pts) by 12 runs (D/L method)

MARTINSTOWN were dealt a narrow 12-run defeat by bottom side Stalbridge in their rain-affected Dorset Funeral Plan Premier League clash.

The Villagers had been set a target of 199 after rain hampered their innings, but fell just short and in doing so were rewarded with an extra three bonus points for scoring over 90 per cent of their required total.

Nevertheless, Martinstown will feel disappointed with the contest there for the taking and are now embroiled in a relegation battle with both sides having won just one match from six this season.

Sam Kershaw’s men had made a solid start with the ball and were afforded their first wicket when Matt Camp (1-51) had James Lewis (4) caught behind.

Ten-man Stalbridge rebuilt after the early loss but saw both established batsmen ousted in quick succession when Jacob Coombs (2-44) trapped Neil Ford (21) lbw and the returning Ryan Chase (2-36) snaffled a catch from Stuart Sweatman (27).

Simon Miles (9) was next to fall when Chase pinned him leg before for 96-4 but Stalbridge soon clicked into gear.

Fine counter-attacking innings from Simon Sweatman (42no) and George Coleman (46) were reinforced by Colin Miles’ useful 20 as the hosts scampered over the 200 mark.

Rain intervened briefly and the Stalbridge openers made good use of the conditions as Simon Sweatman (3-24) removed youngsters Will Maltby (0) and Sean Williams (2) cheaply.

Stuart Sweatman (2-42) then collected the prize wicket of Kershaw (0) before Howard Batten (2-28) ended the resistance of Ed Nichols (21) as Martinstown reached 51-4.

With the top order gone, the middle order failed to progress from excellent starts as Jack Kane (24), Chase (26), Hill and Camp (both 29) perished when well set with 40 runs still needed.

And the task proved too much for the visitors’ tail to handle as Lewis (2-23) wrapped up the innings to secure the hosts’ first win.

Speaking to Echosport, Kershaw said: “They got off to quite a good start and we pegged it back really well in the middle. Towards the end they had wickets in hand and kicked on.

“We really should’ve bowled them out for around 150. With the batting we lost wickets at the wrong times.

“They were on top and then we brought it back in the middle and we just had too much to do, too late. It’s a frustrating one but they were the better side on the day.”


t: 01305 830990

e: neil.walton

twitter: @EchoSportNeil