WIMBORNE & COLEHILL 169-9 (4pts) lost to MARTINSTOWN 171-3 (19pts) by seven wickets

MARTINSTOWN remain in the hunt for the Dorset Funeral Plan Premier League title after a convincing seven-wicket win at the Leaze.

Town sit third, 11 points off leaders Dorchester and one behind Poole, who have a game in hand with two gameweeks remaining.

The Villagers’ victory was their third high-profile scalp in succession, adding to wins over title rivals Dorchester and Poole.

Whether their golden run of form has been staged too late remains to be seen, but Martinstown are certainly making themselves a force to be reckoned with.

Dave Trotter (2-22), Jamie Stewart (3-37) and his brother John (4-58) were all in the wickets early on as the Minstermen’s top four disappeared after winning the toss and batting first.

Joe Welch (3) followed to leave Wimborne on 75-5.

READ MORE: Martinstown beat Poole to send title race wide open

Needing a solid partnership for a defendable total, James Miller (53) and Harry Prince (28) shared 75 until a flurry of late wickets for the Stewart brothers halted Wimborne’s innings at 169-9.

Martinstown were typically positive in reply, Steve Gerety (53) reaching a fast and flowing half-century, only to perish to Prince (1-36).

Tom Pope, who played a more restrained hand than usual, and stand-in skipper Will Maltby (31) added another 69 to move Martinstown to the brink of victory.

Although Pope fell soon after Maltby for a well-crafted 55 from 89 balls, Lewis Freak (2-43) dismissing both men, Town had done the damage.

Sean Williams (4no) and Ed Nichols (8no) were able to serenely guide the visitors home for their ninth triumph in 15 games.

Speaking to Echosport, Maltby said: “Honestly, I’m chuffed because (the pitch) was an absolute road, then we got put in to bowl!

“We started well with Trots and Jamie, kept it tight and they both got a wicket each in their opening spell which was nice because Wimborne are strong up top.”

On his side’s batting, he added: “It was nice to get a partnership up front, it steadied the nerves and made it easy for me, Ed and Sean to see it home.”

Ahead of Martinstown’s bye weekend, Maltby cheekily looked to the weather gods for assistance in the title race.

“We’re hoping for rain next week on the bye,” he said.

“But we’ll just play it game by game, see what happens and hopefully results go our way.

“Ever since the games against Bere and Sherborne, we’ve been unreal. We’ve looked like we were going to beat any side, any day, easily.”

Elsewhere, Martinstown Seconds lost by 247 runs to County Division Three leaders Chalke Valley.