West of England Premier Cricket League Premier One – Saturday 23 August 2014
This year’s West of England Premier League title race will be decided in a winner-takes-all clash between the top two teams Bath and Frocester this Saturday (30 August).
With just nine points separating the two clubs, the fixture list has thrown up an enthralling end to what has been a memorable season. The game at Frocester’s Pounds Close ground will now amount to a final with everything to play for.
This is the second year running that Bath and Frocester have battled it out for the title, Bath coming out on top in 2013 by the much more considerable margin of 47 points.
Frocester made sure they stayed in the hunt until the final weekend this year, thanks to a nailbiting victory off the last ball of their match with third-place Taunton Deane on Saturday. Meanwhile Bath made shorter work of their tie with Weston Super Mare by six wickets.
At the other end of the table Ashcott & Shapwick are already relegated, but the second relegation spot is still in the balance. Weston Super Mare are safe if they win away to Downend on Saturday or if Taunton St Andrews lose at home to Corsham. Defeat for Weston and a win for St Andrews could see the situation reversed.
Below we round up all the action from all of Saturday’s games – including contributions from Somerset CCC players past and present.
We’ll bring you a full report of the final day of the season on The Incider next week.
Frocester won a thriller of a game against Taunton Deane at the Convent Field on Saturday by a single run.
Batting first, Frocester were dismissed for 227 off the last ball of their 50 overs. A knock of 63 from opener Samuel Bracey provided the foundation for the innings before a 55-run partnership between skipper Nick Trainor (41) and Tom Wand (35) for the fourth wicket took the visitors to 169. Trainor shared a further half-century stand with Fin Dixon (11), but with both men falling with the score on 209, Frocester lost their last six wickets for just 18 runs as Luke Whitear ran through the tail, finishing with figures of 4-46.
In reply, Deane lost an early wicket, but an excellent 97-run partnership between Kings College youngster and Somerset Second XI player Neil Brand and John Rogers saw them advance the score to 100 before Rogers was run out for 46.
Former Somerset batsman Rob Woodman then joined Brand and as the pair shared a third-wicket stand worth 91, it looked like Deane would reach their target with ease.
But the hosts then experienced a collapse of their own, losing five wickets for 23. First Brand’s fine knock of 82 came to an end when he was caught behind, the first of three wickets for Oliver Jones, who also removed Woodman for 59.
Tailenders Daniel Milligan and Liam Redrup came together with the score 214-8 but were left with too much work, doing well to take their side to an agonising 226-8 from their full 50 overs, just one run short of equalling Frocester’s score.
It was plainer sailing at Weston Super Mare cricket ground, where the hosts were bundled out for just 133 in 42.4 overs by leaders Bath after being put into bat.
Only Sam Trego with 49 and Shabil Ahmed with 30 put up any resistance as the Bath attack kept up the pressure, wickets being shared among the bowlers.
In reply, an opening partnership worth 81 from Robin Lett (54 off 42 balls with 10 fours) and Will Jenkins (33) set the foundation for victory. Bath had a brief wobble when both men fell within a few runs of each other and George Hankins was bowled for 3.
However Somerset Academy player Tim Rouse (26*) and Sam Mount (10) kept their nerve and took their side to within two runs of victory when Mount was trapped lbw to become the third wicket of the innings for Chris Davidson (7-2-28-3). It was left to number 6 batsman Reece Croker to come in and score the two needed for victory, Bath winning by six wickets with 24 overs to spare. Former Somerset bowler Charl Willoughby finished with figures of 10-2-34-1.
A brilliant all-round effort from Bridgwater’s Cameron Williams took his side to victory over fourth-placed Downend on Saturday.
First Williams top scored for his side, making an explosive 82 off just 71 balls with nine fours and five sixes as Bridgwater posted a commanding total of 298-7 in a match reduced to 47 overs a side.
He had scored the bulk of Bridgwater’s runs when he was dismissed at 157-2, but Stuart Butt took up the mantle, smashing an unbeaten 63 off just 40 balls with six fours and four sixes. Keeper Mitchell Windsor also made 44 and there were useful knocks from Merv Hallaran (39) and a quickfire cameo at the close of the innings from Josh Horler (25* off 15 balls). Philip Allen was the most successful of the Downend bowlers with 4-43.
When the hosts batted, they made a steady start, keeper Patrick Grieshaber making a near run-a-ball 65 with nine fours and two sixes and sharing a 71-run opening partnership with Richard Pandya.
But Williams broke the partnership, bowling Pandya and in a devastating spell went on to dismiss the entire top six, finishing with figures of 8-0-55-6.
With former Somerset bowler Steffan Jones running through the tail to finish with 3-33, Downend were dismissed for 217 in 36.1 overs.
The result lifts Bridgwater up one place to sixth, while Downend missed the opportunity to go third following Taunton Deane’s defeat to Frocester and hang onto fourth. However, Corsham and Bridgwater are now just seven and eight points behind them respectively.
Corsham recorded a comprehensive victory by 151 runs over Bristol at Station Road on Saturday to move themselves up into fifth place.
First they racked up 273 for the loss of just 3 wickets in a match reduced to 47 overs a side as three batsmen made half-centuries.
Peter Dennett scored the lion’s share of a 114-run opening stand with Toby Davies, making 66 off just 72 balls with eight fours and two sixes. Michael Coles fell cheaply, but then keeper Steve Bullen joined Davies for a 79-run stand for the third wicket.
Davies finally fell for 81 off 125 balls with nine fours
Bullen was then joined by his skipper Ashur Morrison who smashed an incredible unbeaten 45 off just 27 balls with two fours and five sixes.
The pair shared an unbroken stand worth 67, Bullen finishing with a more sedate 50* off 48 balls with six fours and two sixes.
Bristol’s hopes were dealt an early blow when in-form opener, the former Gloucestershire and Somerset keeper Steve Snell fell for 11 as Jonathan Parker removed the top four for 32 runs.
With Paul Robbins nipping out the middle order, taking 4-27 and Joseph King taking the last two wickets, Bristol were dismissed for just 122 in 27.2 overs. Only opener Jack Butler made any impression with the bat, making 39.
Taunton St Andrews kept their hopes of Premier One survival alive with a dramatic three-wicket win over basement club Ashcott & Shapwick in the final over on Saturday.
Put into bat at Northbrook Road, the home side reached 257-9 from their 50 overs, thanks to a century from Steve Tinnion. His 101 came off 122 balls with 15 fours and a six. It was an invaluable innings with the next highest score, from captain Wayne Spencer, just 31.
St Andrews opening bowlers Lloyd Alley and Joe Wadham both shared three wickets a piece.
Just as the hosts had been, the visitors found themselves indebted to a century from one man, former Somerset batsman Keith Parsons who made 113 from 123 balls with 16 fours and a six.
When Parsons was out – the first of four wickets for Steve Coppell – with the score on 186-3, St Andrews needed someone else to pick up the mantle. Bertie Preston took on that role and made 49 to take his side to 241-7 when he was dismissed, still 17 away from victory. However a few lusty blows from number nine Ashley Grundy (17* off eight balls with two fours and a six) saw his side home by three wickets with one ball to spare. Copell finished with figures of 4-51, while Nayan Karmarkar picked up two wickets, including Somerset’s James Regan.
Final round of matches: Saturday 30 August: (current league positions in brackets)
Bridgwater (6) v Ashcott & Shapwick (10)
Bristol (7) v Taunton Deane (3)
Downend (4) v Weston Super Mare (8)
Frocester (2) v Bath (1)
Taunton St Andrews (9) v Corsham (5)
Ashcott & Shapwick CC v Taunton St Andrews CC – http://ashcottshapwick.play-cricket.com/view_results_details?id=11847828
Corsham CC v Bristol CC – http://corsham.play-cricket.com/view_results_details?id=11847860
Downend CC v Bridgwater CC – http://bridgwater.play-cricket.com/view_results_details?id=11847868
Taunton Deane CC v Frocester CC – http://tauntondeane.play-cricket.com/view_results_details?id=11847890
Weston Super Mare CC v Bath CC – http://wsmcc.play-cricket.com/view_results_details?id=11847903
West of England Premier Cricket League – Premier One table after 17 games: http://ashcottshapwick.play-cricket.com/league_table?id=402&season_id=72