POOLE TOWN 185-8 (18pts) beat MARTINSTOWN 139 (6pts) by 41 runs (DLS revised target 181)

MARTINSTOWN’S fluctuating Dorset Premier League fortunes this season continued as Poole Town claimed a 46-run victory at Poole Park.

Charlie Durant and Will Maltby’s side did improve on last year, a game in which they were skittled for 98, but still fell short of their 181 target after Poole had gathered a gritty 185-8.

Three overs were lost to rain during the match, meaning Martinstown had five fewer runs to chase on the Duckworth-Lewis-Stern method.

Batting second with the threat of rain is often seen as an advantage as teams know what the DLS par score is.

READ MORE: Martinstown beat Cattistock & Symene by one wicket

But on a pitch renowned for its sharp turn in the second innings, Poole were happy to bat first after winning the toss.

They had built to 71-0 before Durant (3-31) tempted Alex Allum (33) out of his crease and allowing Ry Gerety to take a sharp stumping chance.

And Durant was in fine form, taking the next two wickets including that of centurion from the previous week, Badrul Alam (11) and new man Jordan Betts (1) – the latter stumped by Gerety.

Jamie Bennett (53) recorded a watchful half-century but his innings ended on the 122nd ball as Jacob Coombs (4-37) snuck one through the gate after accounting for Richard Armstrong (19).

Darren van Niekerk (11) and Dan Jackson (15no) were the only other Poole batters to reach double figures, with Coombs taking two late wickets.

Poole ended on 185-8 with only 12 boundaries scored as the hosts built their total the hard way.

Maltby (15) and Sean Williams began well in reply but Poole landed a double blow with the wickets of Maltby and Fraser Hill (1) to leave Martinstown on 33-2.

Ry Gerety (6) fell to Dorset Over-50s skipper Joe Wilson (1-13) but Sam Kershaw rebuilt with Williams.

The duo shared 36 until Kershaw (18) became the first of two scalps in two balls for paceman Jackson (2-24).

Now struggling on 84-5, Martinstown slipped to 102-7 when Ed Maltby (6) returned a catch to Joey Wormington (3-40) and Ralph Daubeney (2) was run out.

Having watched seven wickets fall from the non-striker’s end, Williams (54) was finally able to record his excellent half-century, including the only six of the day, before he fell to off-spinner Wormington.

Poole were close to victory now, despite a brisk 20 from Durant, but his run out and Coombs (2) perishing lbw to Wormington wrapped up the hosts’ sixth win of the season.

Speaking to Echosport, Durant said: “Sean batted really well, he got 54, but there were a few starts and no-one got going.

“Everyone else gave it away or got undone, so it was a frustrating innings because I feel like we definitely had it within us to chase that total but it didn’t happen on the day.”

He added: “I wanted to bat first at the toss, I thought it would get worse and come the end it was turning square.

“As a bowling unit we bowled well. Jacob got four wickets and bowled nicely. Dave (Trotter) and Fraser bowled the best opening up that we’ve has this season. They were 0-0 off the first four overs.

“It was very slow and they ground it out but it’s an encouraging performance. They were worried at one point and we were always in the game – it just faltered with the bat.”

Martinstown are now sixth in the league and their second team are ninth in County Division Three following a five-wicket loss to Broadstone Seconds.