POOLE TOWN 99-8 (16pts) beat MARTINSTOWN 98 (4pts) by two wickets

MARTINSTOWN narrowly missed out on recording a stunning fightback as Poole Town limped home to a two-wicket victory in a low-scoring epic.

In total, 18 wickets fell for just 197 runs as two of the Dorset Funeral Plan Premier League’s title-chasing sides went head-to-head at Poole Park.

While the batting surface at Poole’s home ground can sometimes be unpredictable, there could be no accounting for the influence of spin early in the contest.

Martinstown captain Sam Kershaw won the toss and elected to bat before helping his side race to 39-0 alongside Steve Gerety (28).

When Gerety went to paceman James Kirk (1-25), having struck four boundaries, there was little sign of the carnage to come.

Kershaw (24) was next to go, bowled by Dan Jackson (2-22) as Martinstown reached 60-2.

However, the visitors then lost another eight wickets for just 38 runs as Joe Wilson (3-15) and Joe Wormington (2-3) caused havoc.

Only Will Maltby and Teddy Andrews (both 12) made it to double figures as Town slumped to 98 all out from 40 overs.

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Poole’s innings was a near mirror image of Martinstown’s as pace duo and brothers John Stewart (1-24) and Jamie Stewart (1-16) removed Jacques van Wyk (1) and Badrul Alam (4).

Mike Stonier (27) and Luc Kear (24) rebuilt to 68-2 to seemingly end the game.

However, both men fell to Kershaw (5-38) who utilised the conditions to claim the wickets of Richard Armstrong (2), David Miller (3) and Wormington (0) for his second career fifer.

Charlie Durant (1-18) also bowled beautifully to help reduce Poole to 95-8 – still four runs short of completing a wobbly chase.

It was left to Andrew Ruston (9no) and Kirk (4no) to stutter over the line as Martinstown battled to earn four bowling points.

Speaking to Echosport, Kershaw said: “It was really hot and we thought it was a good deck to bat on.

“We got off to a good start, we were 60-1. Then they brought the spin on and it started turning sideways.

“They choked us out of the game, set really good fields and bowled really well.

“We threw a couple of wickets away and from being 60-1 to 98 all out was a bit upsetting.”

On the defence of their low total, Kershaw said: “Myself and Charlie really strangled it and we fielded really well.

“We felt we were in a good position as the wickets fell fast. On another day, another 20 runs up top and we would’ve won.”

Martinstown Seconds lost by eight runs to Abbotsbury in County Division Three.


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