BLANDFORD 148-6 (18pts) beat BERE REGIS 144-9 (5pts) by four wickets

BERE Regis saw their hopes of a maiden Wessex Internet Dorset Premier League title go up in smoke with a four-wicket loss at Blandford.

Bere, in fourth, now trail leaders Wimborne by 44 points with a maximum of 40 to play for in the two remaining games this season.

Brian Keegan’s men paid for a sluggish display with the bat and in the field, dropping numerous chances while defending their 144-9 total.

Variable bounce caused Bere’s batters problems in the first innings, Blandford electing to field first after winning the toss.

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Mike Shepherd (3-33) and Ryan White (2-26) were the pick of Blandford’s bowlers as they restricted Bere to under three runs per over, despite a battling 40 from Cameron Robertson.

Stuart Robbins dominated the Blandford reply with 49 but, when he was bowled by Dean Rogerson (2-40), Blandford were checked at 68-3.

Sean Walbridge (0-24) kept things tight but the experience of Luke Carter (21) and Jamie Mitchell (37) compiled a 61-run stand to patiently take the game away from Bere.

James Keegan (1-15) with his maiden Bere wicket and Tom Munnings (2-6) had late impact to gain Bere another point.

However, the damage had already been done as Blandford reached their target with 60 balls to spare.

Speaking to Echosport, Brian Keegan said: “The 140 we put on the board doesn’t sound a lot but I thought it was a winning total at halfway.

“If you bowled a decent line and length, you couldn’t score off it. A few were keeping low and a few were popping, so you couldn’t time anything.

“They bowled and fielded well, better than us. We put down, collectively, about eight chances, four of which were cardinal."

Bere Seconds beat Abbotsbury by four wickets in County Division Three to maintain their promotion hopes.