WEYMOUTH 143 (6pts) lost to MARNHULL 204-7 (20pts) by 61 runs

WEYMOUTH began their Dorset ‘Thank You NHS’ League Division Two season with a 61-run loss at Abbotsbury.

The Seasiders were forced to locate an alternative home ground for the fixture, with Abbotsbury kindly stepping in after normal hosts Redlands declined to prepare a pitch amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Marnhull, at near full strength, won the toss and elected to bat with opener Tim Horn and star batsman James Vitali (25) moving to 48-0 until home skipper Harry Mitchell ran the latter out.

Horn (34) was joined by the aggressive Ashley Young (29), the duo adding 58 before Mitchell had the number three caught.

Dom Webb’s off-spin then accounted for Horn and two quick wickets had Marnhull checked at 135-5.

Mitchell (3-37) claimed the key wicket of opposing skipper Paul Woodrow (25) but a rapid 31 not out from Zach Caunt steered Marnhull to 204-7 from 40 overs.

Weymouth’s chase of 205 began poorly when Edwin Ralph (3-21) tore through an under-strength top order.

Openers Mitchell (9) and Webb (5) plus Kevin Tissera (0) all perished to the swing bowler and, when Kieron Womble (29) fell to James Hardy, Weymouth were on the racks.

Hardy (5-18) bowled superbly to claim a five-wicket haul, dismantling the lower order as Marnhull pocketed maximum points.

Speaking to Echosport, Mitchell praised his young side amid availability issues.

“I thought overall the performance was pretty good,” he said.

“We had four or five first-teamers out. The batting was especially under-strength, so to get 143 I thought was a pretty good effort.

“I thought we stuck at it in the field well and the bowling was good in spells.

“It was always going to be a difficult game with the football (Weymouth v Dartford) on. You can’t say no to the boys when they want to watch the football. It was the bigger thing for the town.

“The youngsters were brilliant in the field, I thought Ben (Hunter) bowled well in the middle, Kevin fielded especially well and Pete (Sapsworth) batted well.

“To keep them to 205 with the strength of side they had out we’d have been pretty happy with that.

“Everyone did their bit in the field, we just didn’t have enough with the bat.”

Mitchell expressed his gratitude to Abbotsbury for the use of their picturesque ground.

He said: “A big thank you to them. Without them we wouldn’t have been able to play a game at home this week.

“It’s a beautiful place to play anyway, it was a fun day of cricket with the sun out. It’s just nice to be back playing cricket.”


t: 01305 830999

e: neil.walton


twitter: @EchoSportNeil