West of England Premier League
Premier 2 Bristol/Somerset
Taunton 240-6 beat Ilminster 236 by 4 wkts

ILMINSTER have been dragged into relegation danger after Ben Phillips inspired Taunton to a four-wicket win on Saturday, the target of 236 surpassed with two balls to spare.

The visitors elected to bat first against basement side Taunton, but lost key batsman Louis Kraucamp for 13.

He was the first of four victims to fall to Phillips (4-21 off 10 overs), although Jonny Warry (35) and Sam Spurway (19) kept the visitors' score moving.

However, despite a valiant 71no from Matt Davis and 55 from Jon Hurford, there was not much to come from the Ilminster tail, as Simon Manley (4-28 off 5.5) ended the innings on 236.

It was still a challenging total, but Taunton got off to a fine start with Charles Clist hitting 44, Manley 21 and Alex Sparks 51.

The Ilminster bowlers stuck to their task, though, and there were two wickets apiece for Richard Elswood (2-27 off 10), Sam Grinter (2-54 off 10) and Kraucamp (2-40 off 8.4).

And despite Will Abell's 34, it was still touch-and-go as to whether Taunton could reach the target set for them.

Phillips entered the fray, and both he and James Clark hit 28no, taking their side over the line in the final over.

Things don’t get any easier for Ilminster this coming weekend, as they travel to face the division’s second-placed side, Weston-super-Mare (12.30pm).


WEPL Somerset Division
Chard 93 beat Wembdon 82 by 11 runs

AKHONA Jeremiah Mbanga’s six-wicket haul helped Chard edge past Wembdon in a very low-scoring affair, which keeps them right in the middle of the WEPL Somerset Division title chase.

Visitors Chard chose to bat, but lost their first five batsmen for single-figure scores - two of them ducks - as Brendan Pope (5-21 off nine overs) ran riot.

Chris Scott put on a crucial 24, while Nathan Warren contributed 13 and Jonathan Scott 16, but Jonathan Brockwell (2-29 off seven) and Josh Henry (3-21 off 5.4) finished Chard off inside 26 overs.

A target of 93 will not have feared the home side with fear, but Mbanga claimed the crucial wicket of Dan Bingham (14), and then proceeded to rip through the rest of the team.

There was some late resistance from Pope (19), but no-one else could muster double figures, with Wembdon all out for 82 off 19.2 overs.

Mbanga finished with a stellar 6-42 off 10 overs, ably supported by Richard Scott (2-24 off five) and Chris Scott (2-14 off 4.2).

The 17 points for Chard see them sit in second place in the standings, just one point off new leaders Frome, who dethroned Minehead on Saturday.

This Saturday, Chard go to Minehead – who themselves are just three points behind Frome – for what could be a decisive clash (12.30pm start).


WEPL Somerset Division
Uphill Castle 252-8 beat North Perrott 218 by 34 runs

NORTH Perrott missed the chance to close in on the league leaders, as they were surprisingly beaten away to second-bottom Uphill Castle on Saturday.

The visitors chose to field first, and reduced Uphill to 26-2, as Dayne Siede (8) and Jermain Jones (3) fell to Joshua Marshall-James (1-43 off nine overs) and Stacey Hawes (1-53 off 10), respectively.

But Andre Belcher fought back with 78 (12 4s), and had support from Luke Bliss (25), Andy Llewellyn (32) and Chris Disney (25).

Belcher was finally seen off by the effective, if also expensive, Lewis Hunt (3-44 off six overs), but George Chapman (12no) and Kieran Ward (11no) put on late runs to reach 252-8.

The Perrott reply began badly, George Retter out for a duck, but Jack Henderson (67) and Alex Eckland (21) rebuilt.

Even when Henderson fell, at 112-4, the away side were well in the game, with John Ireland (31), Jamie Baird (38) and George Johnson (20) adding useful runs.

But when Hunt (12) was run out, Perrott were struggling on 212-7, and from there they subsided to 218 all out.

George Fox took 2-48 off 10 and Tom Llewellyn 2-54 off seven for Uphill.

This Saturday sees Perrott, 11 points off the top, go to third-bottom side Yeovil.