MARTINSTOWN 227-8 (20pts) beat CATTISTOCK & SYMENE 142 (6pts) by 85 runs

MARTINSTOWN earned their first win since late June with an 85-run over struggling Cattistock & Symene at Lower Ashton Farm.

After leading the Dorset Funeral Plan Premier League title battle for a large portion of the season, Martinstown had gone off the boil in July.

But this result heralded a return to form for Town, albeit against a Foxes side now winless in 11 games.

With the contest surviving thunderstorms and torrential rain the night before, Martinstown batted first after winning the toss.

Openers Steve Gerety (32) and captain Sam Kershaw (20) got Town off to a flyer, building to 54-0.

However, without adding another run, both men perished to Brad Mullins (1-14) and Liam Toohill (2-24) respectively.

Toohill also removed Sean Williams (3) before Will Maltby (65) and Hayden White (25) accelerated the scoring.

Maltby reached his third half-century of the season in helping the hosts to 167-5.

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Ed Nichols then hit 39 from 22 balls, including three sixes and three fours, to rub salt in Cattistock’s wounds.

Martinstown eventually closed on 227-8 from 40 overs – a target that was never in the Foxes’ grasp.

From the off, Martinstown’s lethal bowling attack again displayed its prowess.

Jamie Stewart (3-31) and Dave Trotter (3-20) both took two wickets to reduce the visitors to 17-4.

Steve Tucker provided some resistance but Stewart and Trotter accounted for away skipper Brad Damen (4) and Ollie Legg (17).

At 53-6, Tucker pressed on and lived a charmed life as Town conspired to drop him no fewer than eight times.

Big-hitting Tucker (70) duly punished those missed chances by reaching his half-century, smearing seven fours and three sixes.

Ryan White (15) added late runs but Charlie Durant (3-32) spun Town to the brink of victory before Kershaw (1-9) finally bowled Tucker.

Speaking to Echosport, Kershaw said: “It was a game where we knew if we played to our strengths and took our time, we’d get over the line.

“We had a good start up top and Will was a class above again. Ed chipped in with some quick runs, which is always helpful.

“In all honesty, they should’ve been out for well under 100, but we dropped Steve eight times.

“Fair play, you’ve still got to score the runs and he hits it a long way.

“It was a lack of concentration. They were five down quite early. You need to always be on the ball and treat every team the same.

“But we bowled well, Charlie doesn’t always get the credit he deserves but he chipped in with three wickets.”

Losing captain Damen said: "‘They started well but we managed to fight back and slow their scoring.

"We needed to take more wickets in the middle overs but they managed to rebuild and then upped the scoring in the closing overs.

"We didn’t have a great start with the bat and are always on the back foot after that. Steve batted brilliantly along with Ollie and Ryan."

*Martinstown Seconds lost by 60 runs at Kingston Lacy in County Division Three.