DORCHESTER 99-1 (20pts) beat CHRISTCHURCH 118 (1pt) by nine wickets (DLS method)

DORCHESTER beat Christchurch by nine wickets in their final game of the Dorset Funeral Plan Premier League season to pile the pressure on Poole Town.

Dorchy claimed the maximum 20 points for the win, while Poole took 19 from their comprehensive 132-run triumph at Sherborne.

It means Poole must pocket 12 points from their final game with Bere Regis on Saturday to leapfrog leaders Dorchester.

Dorchester, who are chasing a hat-trick of titles, are powerless to affect the destiny of the trophy due to having a bye weekend.

However, their win over Christchurch ensured Martinstown could not win the league. Town are now 31 points off top spot with only 20 to play for.

With the title at stake, Christchurch attempted to make life difficult for Dorchester, who won the toss and chose to bowl with rain expected.

READ MORE: Dorchester beat Foxes as title race hots up

Christchurch captain Craig Campbell scored 42 not out from 113 balls, carrying his bat for the whole innings.

But Dorchester bowled ruthlessly around him with Josh Richardson taking 3-16, Simon Mitchem 2-18 and Jon Legg 2-30.

Extras were the visitors’ second-highest scorer with 23 as they were rolled out for 118.

In reply, Dorchester set about hunting down the 119 target in rapid time, Jack Owens crashing 23 from 21 balls before being bowled by Charlie Rodgers (1-15).

Jon Legg (34no) and Eral Anderson (26no) crunched five fours apiece to help Dorchester to 99-1 before rain intervened.

Dorchester were well ahead of the Duckworth-Lewis-Stern par of 77 and therefore crucially took full points from the encounter.

Stand-in skipper Dan Belt told Echosport: “It was a strange innings. They almost played just to block out.

“They didn’t really show any intention to get runs, it was almost to stop us getting wickets.

“There was a few comments about (the title) but I knew with our bowling line-up it was a patience game to make them make mistakes and we’d pick wickets up.”

On the title race, Belt added: “It was the same as last week. We could just go out there and get 20 points and put pressure on Poole.

“Twelve points, you have to win really. At Poole Park as well, it’s not guaranteed you’ll go there and win.

“Bere Regis have caused some upsets and have done really well this year. We’ve done what we can to put ourselves in the position we are now.

“We haven’t had the best of years so to still be top going into the final (round) of the season, we’d take that.

“It’s certainly a season we can learn from, if we don’t win it, and we’ll look forward to next year already.”

Dorchester Seconds lost by 10 wickets to Parley Seconds in County Division Two, while Dorchester Thirds lost by four wickets at Bradford Abbas in County Division Five North & West.