West of England Premier League
Premier 2 Bristol/Somerset
Keynsham 148-5 beat Ilminster 147 by 5 wkts

ILMINSTER risk being pulled into the Premier 2 Bristol/Somerset relegation battle, after a five-wicket loss to the team directly below them on Saturday.

Hampshire professional James Fuller did the damage, removing both Ilminster openers, and going on to smash 97 not out, from 77 balls, to chase down 148 for victory.

Ilminster opted to bat and began well with Louis Kraucamp (33) and Jonny Warry (22), but Fuller bowled the former and ran out the latter.

Keelan Ashby (4) and Sam Spurway (3) both fell cheaply, before Matt Davis (12), Jon Hurford (14) and Josh Lee (22) fought back.

Harry Montacute added a late 16, but with Richard Pannell taking 3-29 off 5.4 overs, Ilminster were all out for 147 in 42.4 overs.

Come the reply, Ashby (2-27 off six) removed two of the top three early on, but Fuller was not hanging around.

Supported by Tom Bancroft (19) and Daniel Jarman (14), his quality knock took Keynsham to home in 38.2 overs.

Ilminster’s Craig Rice reflected: “Every game we’ve played this year, it seems the opposition have been able to field their strongest team.

“But we should have batted a lot better to push towards 200; we have a couple playing well, but some need to pull their finger out.

“We bowled and fielded well, but didn’t have much luck – we felt we had Fuller lbw early on, but it wasn’t given.

“He didn’t give us another chance after that; he’s six foot five, and hit the ball so cleanly.

“Keelan Ashby bowled his best spell this year, and Harry Montacute beat the outside edge without any luck.”

This Friday (6.15pm) sees Ilminster host Yeovil in an Under-19s T20 match.

Then, on Saturday (12.30pm), Ilminster 1st XI’s next match comes at home to third-placed Bishopston – who may be able to field Gloucestershire pro Benny Howell.

Ilminster, who are fourth from bottom in the table, will be missing five regulars due to Montacute getting married and Glastonbury Festival.


WEPL Premier 2 Bristol/Somerset
Midsomer Norton 131-8 beat North Perrott 130 by 2 wkts

NORTH Perrott’s sticky patch of form continued on Saturday, as they were beaten by two wickets at Midsomer Norton.

The hosts won the toss and put Perrott in to bat, and enjoyed almost instant success as Daniel Chard (4-14 off 10 overs) and Gary Filer (2-19 off 10) tore into the visiting order.

Reduced to 10-3, 17-5 and then 39-7, the game looked all but up for Perrott.

But Sam Rowswell (39) and Joshua Marshall-James (40no) came together for a crucial eighth-wicket partnership.

They dragged the score up to 101, at which point Rowswell was caught and bowled by Paul Robbins (1-28).

Stacy Hawes came in and added 12, but when he and Lorraine Szczepanski (0) fell in quick succession, the away side were dismissed for 130 off 48.4 overs.

The run chase was not going to be a routine one for Norton, especially when Marshall-James (3-30 off 10) rooted out each of the top three batsmen to leave the score 20-3.

Robbins (12) and Jake Rowe steadied the ship, but when Hawes (2-37 off 10) accounted for Robbins and Nick Pang (0), it was game on at 47-5.

Martin Cox (26) put together a crucial knock alongside Rowe, reaching 90 before falling to Gordon Whorlow (1-19 off six).

Rowe was tougher to get rid of, and although he was dismissed by Szczepanski (2-13 off four) and the same bowler then did for Chard (5), Norton were almost there at 125-8.

Nick Cox (17no) and Chris Hampshire (5no) did the honours, handing Perrott a defeat which leaves them fifth in the Premier 2 Bristol/Somerset table.

This Saturday sees Perrott host second-bottom Taunton at Willis Lane (12.30pm).