WEYMOUTH 153 (9pts) lost to STALBRIDGE 164-5 (19pts) by 11 runs

WEYMOUTH’S hopes of staging a late rally for promotion faded with an 11-run loss to title hopefuls Stalbridge at Redlands in County Division One.

Harry Mitchell’s men needed to beat second-placed Stalbridge to keep alive their already slim hopes of securing the one and only promotion spot to the Premier League.

However, the loss now leaves them 57 points behind leaders Puddletown and 20 behind Stalbridge.

The outcome was a disappointing conclusion to a match that Weymouth had bossed for long periods.

After winning the toss and electing to field on a sizzling afternoon, Weymouth enjoyed early success as Sami Rathnayake (2-37) removed in-form Stuart Sweatman (18) and Colin Moore (0).

However, Stalbridge regrouped and put on 88 for the third wicket with Chris Warne and Josh York (34) scoring fluently.

York was then stumped by Kieron Womble off Shafeek Urumancheri (1-35) before Warne reached his half-century.

READ MORE: Weymouth lose to Puddletown - by one run

His knock proved the fulcrum of Stalbridge’s innings, aided by Simon Sweatman’s 26 from 18 balls, boosting the visitors’ score to 164-5.

Experienced seamer Steve Forshaw (3-26) proved a nuisance early in Weymouth’s reply, removing Brian Keane (0) and Tarun Rampal (1) cheaply.

Tom England (38) and Kieron Womble amassed 60 for the third wicket until left-arm unorthodox spinner Andy Dike had England stumped and ousted Lloyd Beals (0) in successive balls.

Needing runs in the middle order, Womble (69) was the only batsman other than England to reach double figures.

His excellent half-century, containing seven fours and a maximum, took Weymouth within 19 runs of victory at 146-7.

However, his knock proved in vain as Forshaw castled his stumps before Stalbridge made light work of the Seasiders’ inexperienced tail as the hosts picked up losing bonus points.

Speaking to Echosport, Mitchell said: “I thought the performance from everyone was really good.

“We had 10 unavailable so it was always going to be a big task trying to get 22 players on the pitch for both teams.

“To take Stalbridge that far and get within 10 per cent, I thought everyone stood up. We just didn’t have enough with the bat.

“The bowling and fielding performance was exceptional, the bowlers were all at their best and we took our catches.

“To restrict Stalbridge to 164 was a good effort. A shame we couldn’t get the win but we couldn’t have asked for any more.”

Dorset Trade Skills man of the match: Kieron Womble

Weymouth Seconds lost by 184 runs to Stalbridge Seconds in County Division Five North & West.