WITCHAMPTON 152 (18pts) beat PUDDLETOWN 76 (3pts) by 76 runs

PUDDLETOWN suffered an almighty collapse as Witchampton claimed a brutal victory in County Division One.

The Witches, pipped to the Division One title by Blandford last season, once again proved formidable on their home ground.

Although fine bowling from Puddletown’s Adam Weir (3-19) helped reduce Witchampton to 10-3, the obdurate Martin Ashford (26) helped the hosts recover.

Tom Arkell (2-26) removed Ashford and Alex Bennett (22) but late hitting from Gavin Wayman (44) and Daniel Bartram (22) ensured the Witches posted a competitive 152 on a traditionally tricky surface.

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Puddletown initially made solid progress in the chase as Adam Barrett and Jamie Edwards (both 21) ground their way to 49-0.

They were met by accurate bowling, particularly from the wily Stewart Hibberd who completed an astonishing seven maidens in his 0-5 from nine overs.

With Puddletown tied down, left-arm seamer Ricky Hempstead (4-19) blazed through the top order before Sam Plater (4-7) and Marc Hayter (2-9) demolished the middle and lower.

It meant Puddletown lost all ten wickets for just 27 runs on a sobering afternoon as they remain winless after three rounds.

Puddletown Seconds beat Lytchett by 11 runs in County Division Five.