PUDDLETOWN 156-9 (18pts) beat WITCHAMPTON 113 (5pts) by 43 runs

PUDDLETOWN dealt opponents Witchampton a blow in the County Division One title race with a 43-run victory at Plush.

In a low-scoring affair, the Kingfishers were in bother against the league leaders at 43-3 after Marc Hayter (2-27) and Stewart Hibberd (1-16) worked through the top order.

Adam Barrett (30) and Adam Weir joined forces to rebuild but Barrett’s demise, bowled by Aaron Allaway (1-24), was quickly followed by Ricky Hempstead castling Charlie Eccleson (0).

At 98-5, Puddletown faced an uphill struggle but Weir (51) went on to claim his half-century amid a superb spell of 5-25 by Hempstead.

READ MORE: Puddletown and Beaminster abandoned after rain

Puddletown did succeed in batting out their overs as James Morris (11no) and Dave Morris (7no) shared 12 for an unbeaten last-wicket stand.

With 23 extras to boot, the hosts posted 156-9 from their 45 overs.

Witchampton would have fancied their chances of chasing 157 down but lost their first four batters for just 51 runs.

Puddle skipper Ryan Norman took 2-14, including the key wicket of Harrison Bowles (5) together with a run out and 1-13 off nine overs for the evergreen Dave Morris.

Witchampton subsided to 63-7 when Rob Snow (1-43) and Callum Chaldecott (2-12) got in on the act.

Were it not for a typically robust 44 from Gavin Wayman, the Witches would have capitulated.

Weir (2-24) returned to dismiss Hibberd (3) and Steve Chaldecott (1-1) stopped Wayman in his tracks before Weir bowled Hayter to end the innings on 113.

Puddletown's haul of 18 points strengthens their position in eighth, 20 points above Beaminster in the first relegation place.

Speaking after a comprehensive win over Witchampton, who dropped to second behind new pacesetters Poole Seconds, Norman told Echosport: “We took 18 points, so it’s a good result for us.

“We bowled well and fielded well, it was really good. The application was there a bit more. We lost a couple of wickets, then we rebuilt and then lost more quick wickets.

“So, 156 on that pitch with our bowling attack was handy and it proved that way.

“Their batting was very strange. They were 28-0 off 14 overs, there was no real intent to their innings. They allowed us to bowl at them and pick up wickets, which turned the tide.

“They had one guy who hit a few sixes, then we got him out and finished it.”

Puddletown Seconds were washed out at Lytchett in their Division Five match.