MARTINSTOWN 110 (2pts) lost to POOLE TOWN 111-3 (20pts) by seven wickets

MARTINSTOWN slumped to a seven-wicket defeat as Poole Town dominated their Dorset Funeral Plan Premier League clash at Lower Ashton Farm.

With warm and dry conditions conducive to a big total, Martinstown struggled with the bat once more as just three batsmen reached double figures.

Sean Williams (10) was first to go, caught off Badrul Alam (3-17) before Jack Kane (6) perished to become the sole victim of Sam Greene (1-24).

Captain Sam Kershaw (7) and Will Maltby (8) were both pinned lbw as Martinstown reached 80-4, but a startling collapse soon followed.

Ed Nichols (43) had battled away, striking six boundaries and a maximum, but when the left-handed opener was given leg before to Dorset’s top wicket-taker Joe Wormington (4-14), the Villagers were soon dismissed.

Off-spinner Wormington, the county’s leading wicket-taker in 2018, took his tally to 31 for the current season in accounting for Matt Camp (1) and Ryan Chase (20) as the hosts were bundled out for 110.

In Poole’s reply, Camp (1-17) found the edge of Aryan Mehta (4) but Jacques van Wyk scored quickly to extinguish any hopes Martinstown had of a stunning turnaround.

Spinners Charlie Durant (1-29) and Chase (1-26) removed Brewster Surridge (16) and van Wyk for 81-3 but Richard Armstrong (24no) took up the mantle with four boundaries in his 44-ball knock to help record Poole’s sixth win of the season.

Speaking to Echosport following a defeat that left Martinstown in ninth, 18 points above bottom side Stalbridge, Kershaw cut a despondent figure.

“We thought the pitch would come on a bit more than it did, but it proved quite hard for batting,” he said.

“They bowled really tight areas up top. Ed fought really well for his 43 and I thought he looked more like his old self. Wickets continued to fall after that, we struggled and credit to Poole.

“Bowling wise we didn’t bowl that badly, they came out with hard hands up top and got quite a solid start. We were never really in a position to put pressure on – it was quite easy batting for them.”

Kershaw added: “It feels like we take a couple of steps forward and a couple of steps back again. We had a chat afterwards and told a few home truths.

“It’s frustrating and it really grinds your gears. We needed to have a bit more resolve about us.”

Elsewhere, Martinstown Seconds recorded a 139-run thumping over promotion rivals Ashmore in County Division Four and now sit second.