SHILLINGSTONE 154-7 (5pts) lost to WEYMOUTH 155-3 (18pts) by seven wickets

WEYMOUTH recorded their second straight victory with a comfortable seven-wicket success at Shillingstone in the Dorset ‘Thank You NHS’ League.

Shillingstone had agreed to host this Division Two Group B clash as Weymouth’s home ground Redlands declined to prepare a pitch for the Seasiders this shortened season.

Although playing away, Weymouth made a quick start after winning the toss and bowling on a green wicket.

Lloyd Beals (2-34) enjoyed immediate success, trapping opener Chris Cole lbw before yorking Matthew Trehy (both 0).

In early trouble at 2-1, Shillingstone’s Ian Paulley (36) took the fight to Weymouth, exhibiting immaculate timing to blast two sixes and two fours.

Graham Puckett (0-29) helped stifle the Dorset Over-50s batsman in the second half of his spell but the dangerman was dropped four times as the Seasiders’ catching proved sloppy.

Paulley eventually perished to Neil Walton (3-19), who castled his stumps to end a dangerous innings before clean bowling Luke Rhodes (7) to leave Shillingstone on 68-4.

Weymouth’s spin attack of captain Harry Mitchell (1-42) and Shafeek Urumancheri (1-20) then picked up two more wickets, Mitchell skidding one low to bowl the obdurate James Miles (21).

Les Elsworth continued to fight from 91-6, hitting five fours and two maximums to single-handedly drag his side back into the game during the middle overs.

Walton and Beals returned at the death, bowling tightly, but Elsworth (52) reached his half-century before Walton rattled his off stump as Shillingstone closed on 154-7 from 40 overs.

Weymouth’s batsmen made a good start in pursuit of 155 despite quick, accurate bowling from Miles (0-24).

John Wilson (19) was unlucky to chop onto his own stumps off Michael Angell (1-31) before a match-winning partnership from two of Weymouth’s biggest talents.

Batting with maturity and authority, Joe James (58) and Dom Webb (57no) blasted 15 fours and two sixes between them, bringing up their fifties with minimal fuss.

Their stand was only broken when James was stumped by Paulley off Rhodes (2-24), who then snared Walton (0) thanks to a fantastic diving catch at mid-wicket.

Two wickets in four balls were not enough to prevent defeat for Shill, though, as Weymouth cruised home with 10.4 overs remaining.

Speaking to Echosport, Mitchell said: “I thought we were brilliant. Apart from a few dropped catches we had a near-perfect day.

“The opening spell, especially from Lloyd swinging it, was really positive and exactly what I wanted before the game – a bit more bite with the ball early on.

“GP (Puckett) backed him up well, bowled a good length and Neil bowled well with the new ball then carried on with the old ball.

“With the batting, the opening stand was pretty good and the two youngsters batting together batted very well.

“With two 19, 20-year-olds at two and three, looking from afar that’s amazing for the club.

“For the first time you can see our identity as a club moving forward with the youth setup – it’s fantastic.

“The age of the side, it’s exciting. In the next five years if we can keep it together and add a few more, we’re really moving in the right direction on and off the field.”

Weymouth sit third behind leaders Marnhull and Stalbridge in Group B, and one place ahead of Saturday’s rivals Beaminster.


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