WIMBORNE & COLEHILL 220-9 (19pts) beat BERE REGIS 202-9 (11pts) by 18 runs

BERE Regis ran unbeaten Dorset Premier League leaders Wimborne & Colehill close before succumbing to an 18-run loss at the Leaze.

While Bere’s miserable run at Wimborne continues, Brian Keegan’s men were at least competitive and picked up losing bonus points for coming within 10 per cent of the Minstermen’s total.

The defeat is a blow for Bere’s title hopes as the fourth-placed side now lie 44 points adrift of Wimborne with eight games to play.

READ MORE: Dorchester beat Bere Regis by five wickets

Bere would have fancied their chances of chasing 221 to win after restricting Wimborne to 220-9 from their 50 overs.

Especially when Rob Murphy (1-47) dismissed Ben Bridgen, the Premier League’s current top runscorer, for just eight.

His departure forced Colin Randall (42) and Mark House (34) into a rebuild, although the former edged Dean Rogerson (2-48) behind to wicketkeeper Keegan.

Spin accounted for Wimborne’s next three batters as Rogerson struck again and Sam Goodhew (2-42) – the Premier’s leading wicket-taker – reined Wimborne in.

Tom Butcher (30) and Graham Cole (29) were dismissed by the returning Pete Russell (2-35) but Toby Stainer-Reid (16) and Harry Montacute (19no) helped take the score to 220-9 by close.

Bere’s reply was solid if unspectacular as Rich Cole and Russell led their side to 47-0, until Cole (10) edged Bridgen (1-23) behind to end his 50-ball stay.

Harry Fairchild (3-41) further stunted Bere’s reply at 51-3 by removing the set Russell (27) and Goodhew (1).

Tim Goodhew (1) was next to perish to Fairchild but the season’s form batter Cam Robertson began to motor, despite the loss of Murphy (9) to Harry Montacute (1-31).

Robertson (77 off 65) smashed his way to a half-century in typically belligerent fashion and shared 57 with Rich Payne (23), guiding Bere to 165-5.

However, Bere were sent crumbling to 173-9 as Jake Stainer-Reid (3-27) claimed three quick wickets and Harry Prince took the key scalp of Robertson to swing the game back in Wimborne’s favour.

Callum Crompton (19no) and Keegan (11no) put on 29 for the final wicket to earn their losing bonus points when all seemed lost, while also depriving Wimborne of maximum points as second-placed Dorchester gained a point in the title race.

Speaking to Echosport, Keegan said: “Our bowlers stuck to their task really well, they all did their job in equal measure.

“Two-twenty I thought was chaseable. A few people got a start and Cam batted really well and was taking the game away from them.

“You only had to look at their reaction when he got caught. All of a sudden they thought they were back in the game and that was the pivotal moment.”

Bere Regis Seconds thrashed Martinstown Seconds by 185 runs in County Division Three.