WITCHAMPTON 119-9 (5pts) lost to WEYMOUTH 123-6 (18pts) by four wickets

WEYMOUTH beat Witchampton by four wickets at Critchel Park to claim their second successive County Division One win.

Key to this victory – which reinforced a five-wicket triumph over Swanage last week – was a strong bowling performance from the Seasiders.

Having lost the toss and being invited to field in warm conditions, Weymouth were instantly amongst the Witches’ batting line-up.

Opening bowler Lloyd Beals (2-12) removed Martin Ashford (0) in the first over and the hosts struggled to 10-1 from seven overs as Jonny Armfield also bowled tightly.

Armfield (2-10) was rewarded with a wicket when he bowled a peach to disturb John Burbidge’s off stump and Beals dismissed Phil Lewis (11) to keep the pressure on.

Neil Walton (2-29) proved expensive in the context of the match but claimed the prize scalp of Harrison Bowles (6) as the Witches’ in-form all-rounder gloved a rising delivery to Harry Mitchell at slip.

READ MORE: Weymouth coast past Swanage

Graham Puckett (2-31) chipped in with a brace to oust Adam Croker (5) and Daniel Bartram (0) but Gavin Wayman (34) and Ricky Hempstead (37) counter-attacked late on.

The duo hit seven fours and two sixes between them as Weymouth failed to take all 10 wickets, the Witches’ innings closing on 119-9.

Weymouth’s reply began poorly as openers Dom Webb and Shafeek Urumancheri went for ducks and Kieron Womble (9) clipped a half-volley to mid-wicket.

Walton (37), who hit a six on his second ball, and skipper Mitchell (22) rebuilt with a 50 stand until the former gloved a snorter behind off the economical Croker (2-9).

The terrific Armfield (26no) continued the chase with some fluent strokeplay but Mitchell was run out as Weymouth lost their two established batsmen.

Beals (7) assisted Armfield well, hitting a big six, until he nicked Marc Hayter (1-30) behind on the first ball after drinks.

Step forward Jack Sapsworth (4) who defended admirably in the final five overs, enabling Armfield to crunch a huge maximum over long-on to seal the victory in a low-scoring thriller.

Speaking to Echosport, Mitchell said: “The opening bowling pair were outstanding, they set the tone for the whole game.

“We backed it up in the middle but then slacked in the heat. We went off the pace slightly and leaked 10 or 15 runs too many.

“Towards the end we brought it back, it was a good effort. We caught everything and the fielding from everyone was good quality.”

He added: “He wanted to bat long periods of time and build partnerships, stick in and everyone did that.

“It was partnerships throughout and that makes the difference in these chases.

“Everyone really stepped up with the bat.”

Weymouth Seconds lost by 224 runs to Bradford Abbas in County Division Five North & West.

Dorset Trade Skills man of the match: Jonny Armfield


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