POOLE TOWN III 148 (7pts) lost to CERNE VALLEY 150-7 (20pts) by three wickets

CERNE Valley began life in County Division Three with a hard-fought three-wicket win over Poole Town Thirds.

After winning the toss, Cerne’s new captain, Lloyd Mitchem, decided to bowl on a track that looked fairly unpredictable.

Mitchem (2-40) opened the attack with John Stiles (2-19), but it was the latter who took the prized wicket of David Spencer (18), who was beginning to look dangerous.

READ MORE: Dorset League match previews and team news - week two

The pressure continued to be mounted by Mike Collinge and George Wilkes, working in tandem together, posting figures of 2-18 and 3-36 respectively.

Two particularly good catches from Dave Portch and George Cartwright assisted Collinge and Wilkes, setting the standard for Cerne’s fielding.

Nearing the end of Poole’s innings, it was down to Cerne’s two young brothers, James (0-16) and Toby Beresford (1-2), who helped to dismiss Poole Town for 148.

In reply, Cerne’s experienced openers, George Chubb and Stiles got off to a brilliant start, playing some superbly controlled shots that raced away to the boundary.

However, it was Poole’s turn to inflict batting misery and once Stiles was dismissed for 24, Cerne’s next six batters went for a mere 14 runs.

Despite wickets falling, Chubb held the batting together for Cerne, playing calmly under pressure.

The plot thickened when Chubb (43) was bowled by Poole Town chairman, Nick Williams, who returned the best figures of the day with (4-14).

Despite Poole’s bowling resurgence, Collinge (15no) and Portch (7no) showed great resilience and batted sensibly to see Cerne over the finishing line with three wickets remaining.

Speaking to Echosport, Mitchem said: “Since the first pre-season session, the whole team has put in so much effort so it was nice to be rewarded with a win.

“I was particularly impressed by some of the fielding, an area we have been working hard on.

“Also, it was great to see our resolve with the bat.

“There was definitely pressure when the wickets started to tumble. I’m very proud of the team and we go again, hoping to make it two wins out of two.”

Cerne Valley host Sherborne Seconds at the Simsay Oval today (1.30pm).