STALBRIDGE 164-7 (18pts) beat PUDDLETOWN 117 (4pts) by 47 runs

PUDDLETOWN were undone by an all-round masterclass from Stuart Sweatman as Stalbridge claimed an impressive 47-run victory in County Division One.

The result was far from ideal for Puddletown, who were relegated from the Premier League last season, especially after bowling first with plenty of pitch assistance on offer.

Sweatman’s innings of 95 not out proved one of the classiest of the day in the county, taking 128 balls to construct with seven boundaries and two sixes.

Underlining his quality, only two other Stalbridge batters in George Coleman (14) and James Lewis (13) surpassed double figures as Adam Weir (3-27) and Rob Snow (2-35) restricted the hosts to 164-7.

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With the ball, Sweatman (3-23) then removed openers Ryan Norman and Snow for ducks before bowling Chris Clarke (2).

Adam Barrett and Reegan Norman (both 24) fought back from 11-3 and there was a tidy debut 23 for Charlie Eccleson.

However, Puddletown’s middle order was washed away by Neil Ford (4-30) and Andy Dike (2-8) as Stalbridge wrapped up victory.

Puddle skipper Norman told Echosport: “They got the rub of the green and a bit of luck but (Sweatman) batted superbly on a pretty wet track.

“You can’t take anything away from them.”

Elsewhere, Puddletown Seconds tied a thrilling County Division Five clash at Weymouth Seconds, both teams posting 134 after Evan Green’s late 5-13 denied Puddle victory.