CATTISTOCK & SYMENE 288-5 (20pts) beat PORTLAND RT 94 (3pts) by 194 runs

CATTISTOCK & Symene claimed their first win of the Dorset ‘Thank You NHS’ League Division One season with a massive 194-run victory over Portland Red Triangle.

Rivals in County Division One last season after a minor altercation at Reforne, the two sides went into this clash with added interest.

With the threat of rain, and muggy, overcast conditions, visiting captain Matt Randell won the toss and chose to bowl first on a green wicket that was offering a bit of extra zip for the bowlers.

Sam Baker and Ben Golledge made a watchful start and reached 42-0 after eight overs when rain brought the players off.

After a short delay, play continued and a flurry of runs saw the hosts to the first batting point at 75 and then quickly to the second at 100 runs. Golledge passed 50 for the second time this season and with the partnership at 107, Baker fell for 39 – Rich Samuel (1-59) bagging the only wicket to fall to a Portland seamer.

Portland’s seam attack was unusually errant and Dorset man Jon Legg came to the crease and got off to a quick start, striking four boundaries before he was trapped lbw for 25 by Randell (1-44).

Golledge departed soon after for a well made 72 including 11 fours and two sixes as off-spinner Jack Marsh (1-61) struck.

This brought Steve Tucker to the crease to join Liam Toohill, the duo putting on 85 for the fourth wicket in just 10 overs, catapulting the score to 243.

Toohill rode his luck with two of Portland’s seven dropped catches but notched his second half century of the season. With a new target of 300 set to aim for in the final 10 overs, Tucker looked to unleash his trademark powerful hitting, striking a six high into the trees but was then dismissed by a smart catch from Chris Leake.

Toohill also tried to up the rate but mistimed a hit over the top and was caught in the deep for 70 off Matt Barrett (2-29). Billy Wallbridge (24no) along with Brad Damen (7no) took the score up to 288-5 at the close.

With conditions still favouring bowlers, Foxes’ openers Damen and Joe Etherington caused early damage.

Damen (2-23) lead by example and picked up the wicket of his opposite number, Randell (0) in the first over as he gloved one behind and was smartly caught by Golledge diving forward at slip.

At the other end Etherington (1-19), called up from the seconds, struck to remove the dangerous Leake (14).

Damen then dismissed Callan Laws (3) to leave the visitors 26-3 at the end of the opening spell. A brief recovery was started with Rich Samuel and Chris Theakstone (13), who took the score to 59 before Brad Mullins (2-28) struck twice in an over to remove Theakstone (13) and Barrett (2).

Baker (3-23) then took two wickets in two balls thanks to his own quick reflexes, pouching two return catches, the first struck firmly back at him and the second requiring him to change direction and dive across the next strip at full stretch to claim the chance.

Baker struck again to leave the visitors at 90-8 and the hosts only required one more wicket for victory as Cameron Midgley was unable to bat. Samuel (33) held firm and looked on course to remain unbeaten until Ollie Legg (1-0) was introduced into the attack and struck with his first ball to complete a monster victory.

Post-match, Damen said: “With the weather that came before the game and the forecast for the afternoon it was brilliant to get some cricket played. Both sets of players and the umpires were happy to get the game on which was great to see.

“Our innings was well paced, Sammy and Ben did well to see us through some tough conditions and set it up perfectly for the middle order to push on which Liam, Steve and Billy did superbly.

“288 was an above-par score but we know Portland have some good batsmen and would come hard at us.

“The bowlers stuck to their plans well, Joe hit great areas with the new ball and Brad and Sam did well through the middle overs to pick up wickets. They were backed up well in the field with some great catching. It was great to pick up our first win of the season with a great team performance.”

Portland skipper Randell felt poor bowling had cost the islanders.

He said: “We felt it was a good day to bowl with the overhead conditions and the pitch was wet and green – I thought we’d get something out of it.

“I don’t think we hit great areas early on and they were about 60-0 after nine overs. When you put a team in, it’s not the ideal.

“We had to bowl about 20 overs of spin to make up for it. We let ourselves down and fielding, we dropped seven catches and let 40 (runs) through us along the floor, so it was a pretty bad day.”

He added: “Cattistock bowled well in the conditions and made our lives difficult, which is what we should’ve done to them.

“That was the difference between the two teams.”