PUDDLETOWN 191-7 (10pts) lost to PORTLAND RT 225 (18pts) by 34 runs

PUDDLETOWN’S hopes of going the whole County Division One season unbeaten were extinguished as Portland took a 34-run victory at Plush.

Puddle also saw their lead cut to 37 points as Stalbridge beat Weymouth by 11 runs.

Chinks in Puddletown’s armour were evident last week, with Weymouth bowling the league leaders out for 111 before succumbing by a single run.

And a dominant display from Portland gave the impression there is still life in the title race yet.

Portland captain Matt Randell won the toss and chose to bat first, with Callan Laws in excellent form.

Laws smacked 88 from 82 balls, including 13 fours and two sixes.

He was well-supported by Randell (29), Cameron Midgley (24) and Ollie Whisker (20) as Portland posted 225 all out, Adam Weir (3-28) and Rob Snow (3-35) both taking three wickets.

READ MORE: Portland bounce back to beat Swans

Protecting their total, Portland set defensive fields to frustrate Puddletown.

Key men James Mitchell (32) and Weir (0) were sent back to the pavilion by Jack Marsh (1-37) and Eddie Moles (1-17).

However, Puddle captain Adam Barrett (59) dug in and struck eight fours in his battling half-century.

He found support from Steve Chaldecott (36) but when Barrett was run out and Randell (1-41) bowled Chaldecott there was no way back for Puddle, who closed on 191-7.

Speaking to Echosport, victorious captain Randell said: “We tried our hardest not to let them settle. They’ve got a bowling attack that like bowling at you, certainly some of their slower bowlers.

“It’s them that have got the pressure on, they want to win the league.

“It just clicked and if you do that and one person pays off, like Lawsy and a few other people chipping in, you can build a decent score.

“In the field, we played a completely opposite brand of that, we set some defensive fields to make sure we got the result.”

Barrett said: “It is obviously disappointing to lose the unbeaten record but losing with 10 points certainly isn’t a disaster. We just bumped into a very good side who played better than us on the day.

“Callan batted really well for them and was unfortunate not to get his hundred. Sometimes when players are on form like that there isn’t much our bowlers can do.

“We are still 37 points ahead of Stalbridge and we travel to them next weekend. Fingers crossed we can get back on a track with a victory.”