WEPL Premier 2 Bristol/Som
Ilminster 182-9 beat Shapwick & Polden 107-7 by 9 runs (DLS)

ILMINSTER kept their Premier 2 promotion hopes alive with a narrow win in a rain-affected match at home to Shapwick & Polden on Saturday.

Batting first in tricky conditions, Ilminster lost both openers early and soon slipped to 46-5.

Sam Spurway (38) and Jon Holford (21) staged a recovery but both fell in quick succession to leave the hosts 89-7 and in need of lower order defiance.

Led by Craig Rice, who made an unbeaten 44, they showed exactly that, pushing the score up to a competitive 182-9 as Harry Montacute (12) and Sam Grinter (19) also dug in.

Shapwick flew out the traps in reply, reaching 48-0 before Grinter removed dangerman Stephen Tinnion (37).

Rain arrived with the visitors 70-1 and the target was adjusted, after which Ilminster spinner James Thompson took centre stage.

Turning the ball a long way and causing all sorts of problems, Thompson took 6-19 in 6.4 overs as the away side slipped behind the DLS par score.

The rain returned and this time it was fatal, with Shapwick nine runs shy of the DLS score when play was halted for good.

This weekend is a big one for Ilminster, who host third-placed Taunton Deane on Saturday before taking on Premier 1 side Bath in the SCB Major Cup final at Somerset’s County Ground on Sunday (1pm).

WEPL Somerset Division
Yeovil 97 beat Chard 89 by 8 runs

CHARD welcomed the improving Yeovil on Saturday and there was immediate consternation in the home ranks when the Sri Lankan master batsman Kumar Sangakkara arrived with the visitors, writes James Fitzpatrick.

However, it soon transpired that he was there as a spectator. 

With a challenging weather forecast, Yeovil were given first use of the pitch which was showing signs of damp after some of the covering had blown off overnight.

Another ‘storm’ in the shape of Akhona Mbanga was soon causing disarray in the Yeovil ranks, taking the first five wickets to fall with no additions until Jon Dalwood (2-6 from 10) came on. 

With Mbanga’s spell over, Chris Scott (2-13) was soon into the act.
Ben Ford (23) and Sam Watts (22) battled hard but couldn’t advance and

Yeovil were all out for a seemingly insufficient 97 in 31 overs, which included 25 Extras.

Turning straight around Chard lost their top batsman Harvey Dening (7) to a rash run out.

Mark Mitchell (2-18 from 10) put the brakes on, drawing a false shot from Scott Wells-Burr and causing Nathan Johnson to shoulder arms to a turning ball to leave 98 looking a long way off. 

Pete Moxom (22) and Danny Cleal (26) then combined to steady the ship up to tea, but the former perished immediately on the resumption. 

With the admirable Alex Murphy (3-14) replacing Mitchell and joining Steve Redwood (4-15) in an all seam attack on an increasingly weather affected pitch, Chard’s progress was fitful at best.

Jon Scott holed out and Mbanga was bowled for 4 to leave them six down but on reaching 80 the winning post was well in sight - at which point a sharply seaming Murphy delivery accounted for Cleal, bowled off his pads. 

Jed Warren was caught behind to the glee of Jordan Reeves and when Redwood trapped Chris Scott lbw Chard had it all to do. 

A straight four by Dalwood raised home hopes but seeing the field coming in he attempted a repeat but was bowled by Murphy.  

Chard were all out for 89, losing by eight runs and falling to third in the league, some 15 points behind.

The conceding of Extras, a crazy run out and lack of pure application by some cost Chard dear, but with Frome away and North Perrott at home in the coming weeks, there is still a chance. 

WEPL Somerset Division
North Perrott 151-3 beat Minehead 149 by 7 wkts

PERROTT increased their lead at the top with this fine home victory over third-placed Minehead on Saturday.

In a rain-reduced match, Minehead batted first and found the going tough with only Angus Marsh (33) making a decent contribution despite each of the top five reaching double figures.

Gordon Whorlow, with 5-26, was the pick of the Perrott bowlers as Minehead’s lower order folded to 149 all out in their revised 36-over innings.

There were also two wickets apiece for Lorraine Szczepanski and Alex Eckland.

When Perrott replied, they lost Whorlow early on to Darren Sherring but Alex Eckland came in to find the boundary with regularity. He reached 64 in 59 balls, hitting 10 fours.

Jack Henderson (42no) and skipper Jake Symes (20no) took up the task of seeing Perrott across the line and ensure there were no slip-ups.

Stephen Hayes (1-19 off 7) did his best to keep the runs in check but Perrott reached their target with 18 overs in hand.

The victory puts Perrott 14 points ahead of Frome as they prepare for the visit of Bridgwater 2s on Saturday (12.30 start).