PUDDLETOWN 183-9 (7pts) lost to PORTLAND RT 237-7 (19pts) by 37 runs (DLS revised)

PORTLAND Red Triangle ended the 2023 season on a high with a 37-run victory over Puddletown at Plush in County Division One.

Only a few weeks ago, Triangle were dragged deep into the relegation mix but have responded superbly to claim fifth in the table thanks to two straight wins.

Just 22 points separated fourth-placed Stalbridge and bottom side Hamworthy in the final reckoning, with Puddletown seventh.

Puddletown won the toss at Plush and decided to bowl first, Adam Weir (2-45) finding early success by bowling Matt Barrett (1) and Dave Adkins (0) in successive balls.

READ MORE: Portland Red Triangle beat Stalbridge by 57 runs

However, an incredible 172-run partnership between Callan Laws (95) and Matt Randell (84) put the hosts on the back foot.

Randell fell to Lewis Gower (2-34) having smashed 13 fours and three sixes and Laws fell agonisingly short of his century having struck 11 boundaries and three maximums.

Ryan Norman (3-41) led the fightback for Puddletown but Portland still managed 237-7 from 42 overs after a brief rain delay.

Puddle were set an adjusted target of 221 from 37 overs but saw their top order dismissed cheaply by James Potts (4-39) and Joel Davey (1-21).

Weir led their fightback with a brisk 26 from 24 balls but once he was bowled by Rich Samuel (1-42), Portland looked destined for a swift win.

Randell added 2-23 after some big hitting from Norman (37) but a magnificent unbeaten 56 from James Morris, his highest senior score, ensured Portland were denied maximum points.

Elsewhere, Portland’s seconds lost by 41 runs to Stalbridge Development, while Puddletown Seconds scratched at Poole Fourths, both in Division Five.