PUDDLETOWN 238-7 (12pts) lost to SWANAGE 242-9 (18pts) by one wicket

PUDDLETOWN lost a nail-biter with Swanage by one wicket at Plush as their quest for a first County Division One win of the season goes on.

Ryan Norman, skippering Puddletown against his former side, still saw his new club pick up losing bonus points under the ‘ten per cent’ rule.

The ruling is applied for a side bowling second when they take nine wickets in a losing defence of their total with the bat.

With 480 runs scored on the day, it was remarkable that the game ended up so close given Puddletown were at one stage 51-5 after winning the toss and batting first.

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Ryan Stearn (3-24) and Freddie Long (2-39) did the damage but Puddletown responded valiantly when Adam Weir and Charlie Eccleson shared a 134 stand for the sixth wicket.

Weir (77) smashed ten fours and three sixes in his knock, while Eccleson (59) also clattered ten boundaries.

However, spinner Steve Kent (2-81) removed the duo in quick succession to leave Puddletown on 186-7.

Late hitting from Steve Chaldecott (28no) and Kieran Knight (15no) ensured Puddletown posted a competitive 238-7 from their 45 overs.

Swanage made a better start to their innings but wickets for Weir and Rob Snow (3-43) checked their progress at 82-3.

However, Swans’ skipper Ben Hodder and veteran batter Craig Wells (58) pushed the visitors along to 148-3 by the time Hodder perished off Weir for a typically fluent 81.

Wells was joined by Sid Nash (41) and the duo took Swans to the brink of victory at 227-4 before a late surge of wickets.

Despite needing only 12 to win at that stage, Puddletown roared back to give themselves a chance as Weir (4-26) claimed two more scalps and Norman (2-31) a brace of his own.

Wells was among the casualties but with the scores level and all three results still possible, Swanage fell over the line thanks to a boundary from Jonathan Gregory (4no) to seal a dramatic victory.

Speaking to Echosport, Norman said: “It was a good game and a reversal of the one a couple of seasons ago because we won by one run at their place.

“It was a good pitch, Plush plays pretty true and people got in and scored runs. There was nothing given away as such.

“It was a good performance, there was a lot more application this week from the boys. People dug in and that’s a positive going forward.

“We’ll get the win if we’re playing like that.”

Puddletown Seconds lost by seven wickets at Cattistock & Symene Thirds in Division Five.