WEYMOUTH 111 (6pts) lost to MARNHULL 143 (17pts) by 32 runs

A MIDDLE-ORDER collapse and a costly extras tally thwarted Weymouth’s hopes of a first-round victory against Marnhull in County Division One.

Chasing 144 after electing to bowl first, the Seasiders fell from 79-2 in the 30th over to all out 111 in the 42nd, including the loss of five wickets for one run in a disappointing batting display.

Marnhull spinners James Hardy (3-17) and Rick Martin (3-22) were the main orchestrators of the collapse, as well as medium pacer Hein Basson (3-27) who broke the game open by dismissing Weymouth’s top three of Tom England (19), Mark Gregory (26) and Neil Walton (13).

READ MORE: Weymouth clinch Division Two title

Weymouth off-spinner Harry Mitchell (3-20) was the best of the bowlers for the hosts, while Walton (1-21) and captain Lloyd Beals (1-23) both bowled cleverly to limit Marnhull’s scoring after they got away to a fast start.

That the match even took place at Redlands was a miracle, after flooding of the ground on Thursday morning, highlighting the sterling work undertaken by ground staff Graham Biles and Cameron Franks to get the game on.

Beals took the Seasiders’ first wicket of the season by bowling Arthur Dimmack (26) to make the score 47-1 after 10 overs. Walton then came into the attack to bowl the 11th and struck with his first ball, halting Marnhull’s momentum and bringing in two brand-new batters.

Beals and Walton proved difficult to get away, and dot-ball pressure combined with an inspired bowling change saw Mitchell also take a wicket with his first ball, bowling Marnhull captain Ashley Young with a ripping off-break.

Marnhull’s 60-3 became 103-6 with Mitchell taking two more wickets and Adam Hoyes (1-33) chiming in with the prize scalp of James Vitali (13). Marnhull would add 40 valuable runs for the loss of their last four wickets, three of which were run-outs, and one which was taken by left-arm pacer Jackson Jose (1-39).

In the end it was the wides column that topped the score, with Weymouth bowling 32 out of a total of 39 extras.

Marnhull’s 143 looked a decent score with the ball coming slow and low onto the bat, with Weymouth openers Gregory and England working their way through the opening spells of George Dimmack and Edwin Ralph.

England was bowled by Basson in the 22nd over, just before the drinks break, bringing Walton to the crease at 51-1.

Weymouth looked to up the scoring rate, but canny bowling and good catching saw Gregory depart in the 26th and Walton dismissed in the 30th.

Kieron Womble and Russ Haylock came together at the crease with the score at 79-3 and both fell victims to Dorset Over-60s left-arm spinner Martin. Hardy then took the wickets of Connor Wills and Beals in his first over, while Harry Mitchell ran himself out to leave Weymouth suddenly reeling at 87-8.

Martin then trapped Dom Webb lbw with a shooter and despite some late hitting from Hoyes and Jose the writing was on the wall as Weymouth eventually fell short by 32 runs.

Speaking after the match, Weymouth captain Lloyd Beals rued the way his team fell apart with the bat. 

“We were in control of that game for 75 overs, bowled OK, maybe gave away 20 odd runs too many if I’m being ultra critical, but I was satisfied,” Beals said.

“However, to be 70-1 then 93-9 five overs later is easily the worst batting display I have ever seen produced.

“Wasn’t as if we were blown away. Certain players need to learn to prepare better when batting instead of an attitude that ‘someone else will do it’.”

Weymouth on Saturday visit Wimborne, who played out a similar match, falling 25 short of Corfe Mullen’s score of 145, with Beals looking for an immediate response from his team.

“Wimborne give everyone a good game and is a great venue. A drastic improvement from our batters is the only thing on my mind.”

Elsewhere, Weymouth Seconds took a narrow one-wicket victory at Marnhull Seconds in Division Four.

Dorset Trade Skills man of the match: Harry Mitchell.