BERE REGIS 145-7 (19pts) beat DORCHESTER 144 (5pts) by three wickets

BERE Regis came out on top by three wickets in their Wessex Internet Dorset Premier League derby with Dorchester at Bere Regis Rec.

In what was a low-scoring game, with spin claiming the majority of the wickets, Bere underlined their credentials as genuine contenders for the title despite defeat to Broadstone on the opening day.

They inflicted Dorchester’s first defeat of the season, dropping Jon Legg’s men from top to fourth, while moving up to fifth in the process.

Brian Keegan’s side now lie four points off Dorchester, their victory coming despite losing the toss and being asked to field first.

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Dorchester were quickly reduced to 18-2 as seamers Rich Payne (1-31) and Rob Murphy accounted for Jim Ryall (5) and Sathiya Narasimhan (13).

Jamie Barrett and Simon Mitchem shared 67 for the third wicket to steer Dorchester to 85-2 but the wily left-arm spin of Sean Walbridge (3-38) pinned Mitchem (27) leg before to halt their stand.

Dorset Echo: Simon Mitchem scored 27 for DorchesterSimon Mitchem scored 27 for Dorchester (Image: IDRIS MARTIN)

And, when Barrett offered a return catch to Sam Goodhew (1-15), ending a well-made knock of 40 including six boundaries and two maximums, Dorchester collapsed.

Dorset Echo: Jamie Barrett top-scored for Dorchester 40Jamie Barrett top-scored for Dorchester 40 (Image: IDRIS MARTIN)

The 2021 champions dipped from 103-3 to 144 all out, Walbridge taking three victims lbw, Dean Rogerson claiming 2-18 and Murphy returning to end with 3-22 from eight overs.

Set a modest target of 145, the foundation for Bere’s chase was laid in their opening stand of 49 as Pete Russell (27) and Rich Cole made good progress.

Legg (1-14) bowled tidily and made the breakthrough by finding the edge of Russell and Dorchester further eroded the Bere innings to 66-3 as Theo Talbot (4) and Goodhew (1) went cheaply.

But Cole (41) was composed amid the flurry of wickets and his next partnership of 51 with Cam Robertson (26) effectively took the game away from Dorchester.

Although Rob Nobbs (1-8) had Cole caught by Narasimhan (2-22), who then snared the wickets of Robertson and Tim Goodhew (7), it was too little too late for Dorchester.

Legg tried eight different bowlers in a bid to claim victory but Bere inched themselves over the line with three wickets to spare, securing a second successive home win over their nearest rivals.

Speaking to Echosport, Keegan said: “I’m delighted, all the bowlers bowled well but it was death by spin.

“A combination of Sean, Sam and Dean with six wickets between them and Sam bowled particularly well with 1-15 off ten.

“(Dorchester) went from 103-3 at 27 to 144 all out at 46, because we strangled them. Murph came back and took a couple of wickets and ended with 3-22.

“Collectively as a unit we bowled well and the fielders backed it up.

“Pete and Rich batted really well and then there was a couple of loose shots but they’ve got a lot of options.

“We’re just overjoyed to get the win. Batting wise we could do better, we could’ve closed it out a bit earlier, but that’s cricket.

“If someone said at the start of the day we’d win, I’d have grabbed their hands off obviously.

“I can’t be happier with a great win over a good side.”

Opposing skipper Legg felt fortune had deserted his team.

“I feel like we were very unlucky,” he conceded.

“We had a few things that didn’t go our way, this ultimately cost us runs in our innings and the shots lobbed into the air off the Bere bat which on another day could easily have gone to hand.

“Baz batted well and formed a good partnership with Mitchem, it would have been nice for that partnership to have lasted another ten overs or so.

“I think we all bowled and fielded very well, just probably 30-40 runs short with the bat which cost us in the end.”

Elsewhere, Dorchester Seconds beat Bere Regis Seconds by 53 runs in County Division Three, while Dorchester Thirds lost by 57 runs to Swanage Thirds in Division Six.