BERE REGIS 130-5 (20pts) beat MARTINSTOWN 129 (5pts) by five wickets

BERE Regis got the better of rivals Martinstown by five wickets in their Dorset ‘Thank You NHS’ League Division One contest.

Bere leapfrogged Martinstown into second place in Group A, cementing a play-off for overall third place at home to Group B runners-up Bournemouth Seconds on Saturday (1.30pm).

On a wet pitch, Bere’s selection of four slow bowlers proved critical to victory – as did winning the toss and fielding first.

Despite the early loss of Will Maltby (4) to seamer Crispin Brown (1-33), Martinstown started well and soon recovered to 57-1 as Sean Williams (22) and Tao White (26) made good starts.

However, when maestro spinner Sean Walbridge (4-24) bowled Williams, Martinstown’s innings began to unravel.

Considerable turn was available to Sam Goodhew, who removed Jamie Stewart (4) before an unplayable delivery accounted for key man Ed Nichols (2).

Goodhew pitched the ball outside leg stump, producing enough turn to clip off stump and dismiss a stunned Nichols, with White soon following.

Walbridge and Dean Rogerson (2-11) then zipped through Martinstown’s lower order with only away captain Sam Kershaw (18), Matt Camp (14) and Jenson Stewart (12) surpassing single figures.

Set a victory target of 130, Bere began cautiously as Camp and Matt Rimmer bowled tidily.

Rimmer (1-18) trapped Rich Cole (16) leg before but Simon Proffitt crashed 16 from 12 balls to put Bere back in the ascendancy.

When Proffitt perished to Charlie Durant (1-28), opener Matt King (17) quickly followed to Jamie Stewart (2-25) as Bere reached 66-3.

Martinstown had a sniff of victory at this point but fine innings from Rob Murphy (27) and Tim Goodhew (37no) tipped the balance again.

Although Murphy was prised out by Stewart, Goodhew continued to blast his side to the winning line with three late sixes as Bere overtook their opponents in the standings.

Speaking to Echosport, home skipper Keegan said: “Most wickets around Dorset would’ve been damp but our two opening bowlers showed pace on that particular wicket didn’t really work.

“Sam and Sean came on and the run rate just dried up. Between the two of them they took seven wickets – that basically set the tone. It changed the match there and then.

“Once they bowled their spells, Dean came on and took two so the spinners won us the match.

“When we were batting, we got starts. Murph batted well and then Tim played the defining knock and stayed 37 not out.

“It ended up being quite comfortable, so I’m more than pleased.”

On spin duo Walbridge and Sam Goodhew, Keegan said: “(Sean)’s economy rate last year was one of the best in the league and he wasn’t far off being leading wicket-taker to boot.

“Having Sam on board this season makes a hell of a difference. You’ve got one spinning the ball away from the bat and one in.

“Both have got variations as well, so from a captaincy point of view, you can’t ask for much more. They both give you control and that set the match up.

“Then, just solid batting saw it through. When (Tim) gets into a rhythm he plays that little bit straighter.

“Then, he’s one of the better batsmen around. With him, it’s confidence. Once you get on a roll, it’s happy days.

“Our fielding was a lot better, certainly our catching, and that helps because you can create chances. It bodes well for next week.”

In defeat, Kershaw struggled for positives.

He said: “We turned up and did the toss and (Keegan) said an hour ago it was a muddy wet puddle.

“It was not a good toss to lose. We started well and when pace was on the ball we looked in control.

“As soon as Sean and Sam came on we never got going. It’s hard to build momentum when you’re losing wickets every few overs.

“You can’t get a partnership going and you have to dig in. It’s hard to counter-attack when you know there’s not a lot left behind you.

“Credit to them, they bowled well in the conditions, took their chances and kept their foot on the gas.

“It’s hard to take positives from that result, but it’s been a good season and it’s been quite competitive.

“I think other teams have recruited better than us during the winter.

“We have always been a club that relies on pushing youth through – we’re in a good place.

“Every time we play (Bere) it always seems to be a wet, miserable day.

“On a nice track, with fair conditions I think we’ve got the better of them.”


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