STURMINSTER & HINTON 147-6 (20pts) beat PUDDLETOWN 145 (5pts) by four wickets

PUDDLETOWN’S up-and-down season continued as Sturminster & Hinton lifted themselves out of County Division Two’s drop zone with a four-wicket win.

Stur began the day in bottom spot but leapfrogged both Sherborne Seconds and Puddle with the 20-point win.

For Puddletown, their over-reliance on captain Adam Barrett with the bat was laid bare.

Barrett has been in sparkling form this season, cracking four half-centuries on his way to 305 runs in five innings, the sixth-highest total of any batter in the Dorset League.

READ MORE: Puddletown lose to Royal Challengers Sports by one wicket

However, when he departed for 31, bowled by the economical Will Tremlett (2-9), Puddletown offered little else having been invited to bat upon losing the toss.

Only Rob Snow (21), Jamie Edwards (18) and number 10 Liam Gosney, with a late cameo of 21, got into double figures.

Stur conceded 28 extras, helping Puddletown to 145 all out as Henry Porter (4-38) proved the pick of the bowlers.

Defending a low total, Puddletown stuck to their task and were led superbly by a season-best bowling performance by James Morris.

The young seamer tore through Stur's top order, claiming 4-18 from nine overs to give Puddletown serious traction.

Barrett (1-24) also removed opposing skipper Aj Rose (12) in a superb riposte.

However, the crucial moment came when Puddletown dropped Porter early in his innings.

He went on to score a pivotal 51, punishing the visitors for their error and moving Stur to the brink of victory.

Snow (1-41) had him caught but Jason Tew (18no) and Charlie Garrod (10no) joined forces to guide Sturminster over the line without further alarm, booking their second win of the season.

Speaking to Echosport, Barrett said: “We didn’t play very well, we struggled to get going.

“We got put into bat on what was an OK pitch, but by no means an easy wicket to bat on.

“Like most of the year, we just struggled to put partnerships together. Once I was out, it seemed like a little panic set in.

“We were probably a little under par. Credit to our last two batsmen though, they put on 30 for the last wicket, which was really positive.

“Then, James has bowled really well up front, took four wickets and we were in with a shout at 50-5. We dropped (Porter) early in his innings and he’s gone on to make us pay.”

On Morris’ figures, Barrett said: “It’s been a long time coming. He’s always had potential but this year he’s finally started to get the rewards for his bowling.

“He’s been living in his old man’s shadow so it’s nice for James to step up and get the wickets he deserves.”

Elsewhere, Puddletown Seconds beat Stalbridge Development by 88 runs after a brutal 108 off 55 balls by Michael Crabb.