MARTINSTOWN 203-6 (19pts) beat POOLE TOWN 109-9 (4pts) by 95 runs

MARTINSTOWN breathed new life into the Dorset Funeral Plan Premier League title race with a highly impressive 95-run win over Poole Town at Lower Ashton Farm.

Sam Kershaw’s men have beaten defending champions Dorchester and title-chasing Poole in consecutive weeks.

Although Martinstown lie third, they stand just 10 points off leaders Dorchester with two games remaining.

However, Poole still hold the ace of a game in hand up their sleeve and trail Dorchester by only seven points.

Martinstown have ensured a dramatic finish to the season – and fought off rain to blitz Poole with the bat.

In a match reduced to 27 overs, Martinstown’s aggressive approach with the willow put Poole on the back foot despite losing Kershaw first ball to Lewis Marais (1-23).

READ MORE: Will Maltby hits subline 80 to sink Dorchester

Tom Pope and Will Maltby were key in taking the game to Poole, the duo adding 121 runs for the second wicket.

Maltby (54) passed 50 for the fifth straight game – including two for Dorset Under-18s – but was caught off Richard Armstrong (1-43) soon after.

Jamie Stewart (2) was then run out but Pope continued his assault, his stunning innings of 93 containing nine fours and five maximums.

Joe Wormington trapped Pope lbw just seven runs short of a century but Martinstown were flying at 193-4 as Fraser Hill added his firepower to the innings.

Hill’s cameo lasted 17 balls but in that time he blasted 37, with two fours and three sixes.

He was the final wicket to fall, with Badrul Alam (2-34) picking up two late scalps, as Martinstown posted 203-6 from 27 overs.

Needing a quick start to keep up with a chase just below eight an over, Poole’s top order was decimated by an inspired spell of fast bowling from Stewart.

After the evergreen Dave Trotter (1-19) had Alex Allum caught by Hayden White, Stewart sensationally took three wickets in an over.

The paceman yorked all three of his victims as James Park (7), Ciaran Quinn (0) and Luc Kear (0) perished.

Poole were 32-4 and decided on a more considered approach thereafter, their innings petering out to 109-9 with only Marais (26) and Alam (18) making sizeable scores.

Speaking after the eye-catching victory, Kershaw told Echosport: “To beat Dorchester and Poole back-to-back is massive.

“There’s 10 points between the top three and it’s shaken it up, definitely.

“Tom and Will were absolutely outstanding and quick runs from Fraser as well.

“It goes to show that we can dominate these teams when we want to.

“We showed no fear and took them all on – there were 12 sixes in total.

“Then with the ball Jamie stepped up and took three wickets in an over, removing their more established batsmen.

“That wrote them off and I was quite shocked they didn’t try and go for (the win). A team pushing to win the league and they didn’t try.”