West of England Premier Cricket League
Premier 2 Bristol/Somerset
Keynsham 1st XI 160-9 beat Ilminster 1st XI 121 all out by 39 runs

ILMINSTER’S title challenge was dealt a blow by mid-table Keynsham on Saturday, the visitors winning a low-scoring encounter by 39 runs.

Keynsham skipper Daniel Jarman’s half-century proved the difference between the sides, as the hosts fell away despite good scores by Louis Kraucamp and Charlie Vickery.

The away side won the toss and elected to bat, but lost opener Russ Wakefield for nine (caught behind by Rayner Blitz, off Harry Montacute) with the score on 14.

Ben Ward and Reg Keates took the score up to 44, at which point the latter was bowled for 14 by Kraucamp, who also saw off Ward (31), caught by Josh House at 84-3.

Visiting captain Jarman was harder to dislodge, as he made 55 off 110 balls, taking Keynsham from a sticky patch at 95-5 up to 147-7, where he finally fell to Craig Rice (caught Jon Hurford).

The away team reached 160-9 at the end of their 50 overs, a total Ilminster would have been confident of beating.

Kraucamp took 3-32 off 10 overs, Montacute 3-35 off 10 and Rice 2-26 off six for the hosts.

In reply the home side reached 15 before the loss of Hurford for six (caught by Taylor Williams off Jack Stiff).

His fellow opener Kraucamp was joined by Vickery, and they took the score up to 42, though it was largely a watching brief for Vickery – who was on three when Kraucamp fell for 31 (caught by Wakefield off Reg Keates).

Vickery kept plugging away, for 46 off 99 balls, but the problem was at the other end – wickets tumbling to the Keynsham attack.

Six batsmen fell for single-figure scores as Ilminster stumbled from 42-2 to 48-4 and 60-5 to 95-7.

Vickery was the only reliable run scorer, and when he fell at 120-9 (caught by Tom Bryan off Keates), the game was up.

James Mitchell then dismissed Sam Grinter for a duck, leaving Montacute 10 not out and Ilminster 121 all out in 41.4 overs.

For Keynsham, bowlers Bryan, Keates, Mitchell and Wakefield took two wickets apiece.

The hosts picked up five points to the visitors’ 17, leaving fourth-placed Ilminster 17 points behind both Bishopston in second and Glastonbury in third.

This coming Saturday Ilminster host fifth-placed Shapwick & Polden (12.30pm start).