DORCHESTER 206-8 (19pts) beat BERE REGIS 105 (5pts) by 118 runs (DLS method)

LEADERS Dorchester moved a step closer to the Dorset Funeral Plan Premier League title with a convincing 118-run victory over neighbours Bere Regis at the Rec.

James Dunham’s men extended their buffer over second-placed Poole by one point after their rivals could only collect 18 from their seven-wicket victory at Broadstone.

And, despite a fourth defeat in four games to Dorchester, Bere are now mathematically safe from the drop after Martinstown defeated bottom side Stalbridge by six wickets.

Dorchester’s victory was a much-needed tonic after a difficult midweek which saw the theft of sheets from the club’s pitch covers.

With heavy rain late in the week the county town side managed to hold the game and unsurprisingly Bere elected to utilise the uncontested toss rule and bowl first.

Battling through tricky conditions, Dorchester’s Jim Ryall and Jack Owens (46) constructed a fine century opening stand until the latter was caught behind off young talent Harry Green (1-34).

At 113-1, Ryall (57) followed 12 runs later courtesy of a run out before rain intervened, eventually cutting Dorchester’s innings by seven overs.

After the resumption, left-arm seamer Rob Murphy (3-36) struck thrice as Nick Roe (20), Dan Belt (6) and debutant David Proctor (0) all succumbed.

Bere captain Rich Cole (2-45), who had opened the bowling, then returned to dismiss Simon Mitchem (23) lbw and bowl Mike Peak (5) as Dorchester reached 206-8 off 43 overs.

Chasing 224 on the Duckworth-Lewis-Stern method, Bere lost Dave Griffiths (2) early, the all-rounder edging Dan Belt (1-13) behind.

Mitchem (3-27) made further progress for the hosts with the key wickets of Matt King (19) and Murphy (32), the latter sparking a dreadful collapse.

From 79-2, Bere were dismissed for 105 as a scintillating 7.2-over spell of 4-5 by spinner Jack Walklett tore through the visitors’ tail to complete a superb win.

Speaking to Echosport, Dunham was delighted by Dorchester’s resilience against the conditions.

He said: “Bere felt that when we played against them last time the uncontested toss and weather didn’t play in their favour.

“In the reverse fixture the weather was in their favour, so it’s evened out. To get the score we did with the conditions, and the covers going missing, we were extremely happy with 206.

“We batted very, very positively and Jim batted very well for his 50. We took advantage of the weather not really being in our favour.”

Commenting on another ruthless bowling display, Dunham added: “We’ve got eight blokes that can bowl 10 overs straight through and that’s the difference between the two sides.

“We’ve played a very good game of cricket and they haven’t – the depth shows. We just keep plugging on, we’ve got three games to play and we’ll keep being ourselves.”

On Mitchem and Walklett’s spell with the leather, Dunham said: “Simon and, more importantly, Jack have taken the ball and completely turned the game on its head.

“At one point we felt they could kick on and win the game, but Jack showed his class. He’s been an influential bowler for us for the last few years. In the situation he came on it wasn’t easy but he bowled very well.”

Bere skipper Cole, who was hampered by selection problems, paid credit to his side’s young talent in defeat.

He said: “It was pretty clear that we had availability problems throughout the week. Some positive was the performance of the youngsters.

“We hope they continue that form throughout the season – we want to promote the youth in our team.

“Harry’s bowling was the real surprise, he took the wicket of Owens and gave the batsmen a challenge. It wasn’t a catch in the deep, it was a caught behind and he was finding the edge quite regularly.

“Dorchester focused on making sure they had a really good wicket – praise to them to make sure the game went ahead considering the theft of their covers.”


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