WITCHAMPTON 127-7 (19pts) beat PORTLAND RT 125 (5pts) by three wickets

PORTLAND Red Triangle’s difficult run of form continued as Witchampton claimed a three-wicket victory in their County Division One clash.

Witchampton remain in second, seven points behind leaders Blandford, and their ability to play tricky conditions on their home turf again proved invaluable.

After winning the toss, Portland elected to bat first on the lively Critchell Park surface and Callan Laws (34) batted with positive intent early on.

However, Ray Emery was first to fall after scoring one from 24 balls, Laws then following when offering a return catch to Sam Platter (3-13).

READ MORE: Portland Red Triangle v Marnhull - match preview

Portland were well placed for a late surge at 104-5 as Izaak Russell (12) and Matt Barrett (13) contributed.

That was until a chunk of five wickets fell for 21 runs, Stewart Hibberd (3-34), Platter and Marc Hayter (2-11) all among the carnage.

Defending a small total, Portland made a good start as Barrett (1-16) trapped Martin Ashford (0) lbw.

Platter (48) helped the Witches along nicely to 78-1 along with Alex Bennett (13) but the latter’s departure sparked a big wobble to 107-7 as off-spinner Jack Marsh wrestled Portland back into it with a fine 4-16.

It was left to the battling Joly Stevens (9no) and Damon Guirdam (7no) to steer Witchampton to victory, with the help of 39 extras.

Portland skipper Matt Randell voiced his concerns over the playing conditions.

“It was dangerous,” he said. “Dave Adkins when he was wicketkeeping took a ball to the side of the head off one of my quicker balls. It was a half-volley just outside off stump.

“So, it popped up and whacked him – a bit dangerous.

“We knew it was going to be a low-scoring game, it’s just a shame to be on the wrong side of it.

“They probably bowled a bit more consistently than us. I think Rich Samuel will be the first person to stick his hand up and say that he didn’t turn up to the party and struggled after that long spell off.

“He went for 31 off two overs and most of that was wides. When that happens in a low-scoring game, it kills you off straight away.”

Portland host Marnhull at Reforne today (1.30pm).