West of England Premier League
Somerset Division
North Perrott 140-6 beat Chard 137 by 4 wkts

CHARD’S winning start to the WEPL Somerset season came to an end at Willis Lane on Saturday as North Perrott emerged as winners by four wickets.

Taking first use of the wicket after winning the toss and batting, Chard’s hitherto reliable front three batsmen failed totally together for the first time.

The Lane was not the anticipated batting motorway and Chard’s cause was not helped either by ill-judged stroke selection throughout the innings.

In spite of a smooth innings from Pete Moxom, who made 40 in 57 balls, wickets fell regularly throughout, especially to the excellent Alex Eckland (4-21 from 10).

Jon Dalwood made a well crafted 39 from 74 deliveries which, supported by a belligerent 18 from Joe Draper, enabled Chard to struggle up to a disappointing 138.

Joining Eckland in the wickets for Perrott were Joshua Marshall-James (3-36 from seven) and Stacy Hawes (2-26 from 10).

Perrott got off to a quick start in reply, with Chris Scott soon given the ball to try and work his spin magic.

The plan worked as he removed both openers, with Gordon Whorlow (18) caught by Nathan Warren and George Retter (16) clean bowled.

When Scott was joined in tandem by spin twin Dalwood the game took on a different perspective.

The pair finally bowled their 20 overs conceding just 20 runs in total and Perrott slid to 56-4, Scott finishing with 2-7 and Dalwood 0-13, each from 10 overs.

Dour sensible defensive batting from George Johnson (20 from 64) and Jack Henderson (31 from 49) saw the hosts up to 111-5 and 121-6 before a fortunate Nick Taylor joined Lewis Hunt (17*) to see Perrott home by four wickets.

Akhona Jeremiah Mbanga took 3-56 from 10 overs for Chard, who remain top and realise their batting mistakes cost them.

This weekend, Chard host third-placed Bridgwater 2nds and North Perrott - who sit fourth in the table - are on the road to sixth-placed North Petherton.


WEPL Premier 2 Bristol/Somerset
Midsomer Norton 177 beat Ilminster 176 by 1 run

ILMINSTER lost by the narrowest of margins at home to Midsomer Norton on Saturday, going down by just one run in their Premier 2 encounter.

The game featured several controversial umpiring decisions, the first of which arrived when a visiting opener was called back to the crease having been given out lbw, just the ball after a strong appeal had already been turned down.

Neither opener went on to truly punish Ilminster, both removed by Harry Montacute (2-17), but the few runs they did add became crucial in the context of a tight game which went right down to the wire.

James Thompson (4-36) took care of the middle order as Ilminster ensured their visitors were eight wickets down with less than 100 on the board.

Lower-order defiance arrived in the form of Nick Potter (37) and Andrew Cox (40), however, and the pair frustrated the hosts.

Matt Davis (2-14) eventually removed both as the visitors were dismissed for 177 with one over left unused.

The in-form Louis Kraucamp and Jonny Warry got the reply off to a steady start before the latter was clean bowled for 13.

Kraucamp’s subsequent departure for 35 sparked a middle order collapse, however, as Midsomer Norton captain Pang removed three batsmen for ducks on his way to 4-11 from 10 overs.

Ilminster’s innings mirrored that of their opponents as they slipped to eight down - including a couple of debatable lbw decisions - with their target still some way off, but Charlie Vickery was anchoring the innings and found useful support from number nine Montacute.

Montacute dug in for his 17 from 41 balls before he was bowled, but Richard Elswood picked up the reins and, with Vickery passing his half-century, the pair took Ilminster to within touching distance of the finish line.

The hosts were just one run shy of Midsomer Norton’s total when disaster struck, as Vickery played on having made an excellent 69, which came from 115 balls and included nine fours.

Elswood (10) was then wrapped on the pads and up went the finger to consign Ilminster to defeat.

Ilminster remain well placed in third in the table and have a big game on Saturday, when they travel to second-placed Lansdown.

On Sunday, Ilminster CC are hosting Somerset Under-11s as they take on their Dorset counterparts.

Local lad Lachlan Rice will be part of the Somerset side for the match, which begins at 1pm.