CERNE VALLEY 246-9 (21pts) beat POOLE III 131 (8pts) by 115 runs

USING sun-soaked conditions at the Simsay Oval, Cerne Valley got back to winning ways in County Division Three after a crushing 115-run win against Poole Thirds.

After winning the toss, Cerne Valley batted first on a quick outfield amid hot weather.

Openers Russ Hurford and James Beresford started brightly and soon put on 40 runs within a matter of overs.

Cerne lost their first wicket when Beresford (7) was caught off of Flynn Rochford (1-49), whose five overs produced a staggering 27 wides.

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John Stiles (6) was out early and so was George Chubb (15). At 95-3, the game could have gone either way but it was a 104-run partnership between Hurford and the impressive Joe Message that turned the match towards Cerne.

Hurford finally perished on 80, having taken risks to push Cerne's total, while Message (62) fell not long after as Cerne scored an impressive 246-9.

In reply, Poole openers Matthew Hobbs and Paul Reynolds came out and played some aggressive shots.

However, off the bowling of Cerne skipper Lloyd Mitchem (1-32), Reynolds (15) hit an aggressive cover drive straight to the safe hands of Stiles, producing a marvellous catch in the process.

James Bice came to the crease and hit three quick fours before being trapped lbw by the spin of Mike Collinge (2-20), who was very impressive in an eight-over spell.

The game really turned on its head when Chubb (3-22) was introduced to the game. The important wicket of Hobbs (21) was captured with Hurford taking a good catch at first slip.

Chubb at one point was on a hat-trick, which nearly brought the house down. More wickets began to tumble when Cerne's Sam Downey (4-13) was introduced to the game and his flight and spin was too much to handle for Poole's batters.

A few starts were made in the middle order, with Scott Thompson (21) and Matty Williams (14) showing good resistance.

Eventually, after a tricky last wicket taking Cerne longer than expected, George Wilkes took a catch in the outfield to signal the end of the match and to dismiss Poole for 131 runs.

Mitchem told Echosport: "It was a really good toss to win and I was delighted to see our opener Russ go on and make a big score.

"With a super contribution from Joe as well, to post a big total like that was going to be tough for them to chase.

"Even still, we took wickets at important times and it just shows the strength in depth we have as our second/third change bowlers can do just as good of job as anyone else.

"We just need to keep working hard and apply ourselves properly and hope Lady Luck and the results go our way!"

Cerne Valley travel to Sherborne Seconds today (1.30pm).