PUDDLETOWN 149 (5pts) lost to CHALKE VALLEY 153-7 (20pts) by three wickets

PUDDLETOWN competed strongly against new County Division One leaders Chalke Valley before succumbing to a three-wicket defeat at Plush.

Chalke Valley have flown up the Dorset pyramid but Puddletown gave them one of their sternest tests in recent seasons despite only posting 149.

Puddletown skipper Ryan Norman won the toss and chose to bat on a warm day but were soon 30-3.

Seamer Harry Hitchings (2-46) removed Rob Snow (13) and Adam Barrett (1) after Oliver Weld (2-20) ousted Regan Norman (9).

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Adam Weir scored eight boundaries in a quick-fire 35 until his cameo was ended by Will Senior (2-20), who shared four wickets with Andrew Jenkinson (2-18) as Puddle fell to 87-7.

However, Guy Chalstrey (19) and Steve Chaldecott (30) struck important late runs before Joe Weld (2-2) helped mop up the tail as Puddle set the visitors 150 to win.

Chalke’s prolific opening batters Joe Weld (20) and Guy Souch (13) found the going just as tough, both bowled by the evergreen Dave Morris (2-35).

And Puddletown were in business as Snow (2-34) and skipper Norman (3-30) reduced Chalke to 114-7, still 36 runs short of the target.

Valley dug in though, revealing the depth of their batting line-up as number seven Hitchings (32no) and number nine Jenkinson (15no) guided them home with 6.3 overs to spare.

Speaking to Echosport, Norman said: “We did well. It was a weird game in the sense that in a game where we only made 150, it’s probably one of the hardest they’ve had all year.

“We dug in and the application was good this week, we just didn’t get enough runs. It was probably a 240, 250 pitch.

“They bowled well to their field, I don’t think they were outstanding with the ball but they’re a good, solid side.”

He added: “We only (set) 150 but they had to seriously work for it, we fought hard, we got amongst them.”

The result leaves Chalke top by two points from Poole Town Seconds, with Puddletown in ninth.

Elsewhere, Puddletown Seconds lost by five wickets to Wimborne Fourths in County Division Five, putting them seventh.