Former Somerset bowler Charl Willoughby took four wickets for Weston-super-Mare last Saturday as Bristol collapsed to a 68-run defeat.
In a low-scoring game, Bristol were dismissed for just 108 in 36.3 overs, chasing Weston’s 176 all out, no batsman scoring more than 19.
The result was enough to lift Weston two places clear of the Premier One relegation zone, on a day when three out of five games were lost to the weather.
On his new home ground, Willoughby was too much for the Bristol batsmen, returning figures of 9.3-2-25-4, removing the top and lower order, while Sam Trego (3-33) and Ashley Allen (2-23) ran through the middle. Weston keeper John Davidson had an excellent game too, picking up three catches and making one stumping.
Richie Bann and Avinash Murthy both top scored with 19, but Weston will perhaps have been most delighted to get former Gloucestershire and Somerset wicket-keeper Steve Snell out early for just 16. Snell, who fell lbw to Willoughby, went into this game on the back of a big undefeated 100 against Frocester last week.
Earlier John Williams (39) and Jalal Ahmed (31) did a good job in setting up the Weston innings, before a middle order collapse saw them go from 77-1 to 105-6. They were grateful to skipper Chris Davidson who made a useful 22 batting at number 7, while extras provided a handy 28 runs, 22 of them to wides.
For Bristol, Rhys Williams took 4-55 and Ralph Hardwick 3-20 in a very economical 10 overs.
It was another low-scoring affair at the Convent Field last Saturday, Taunton Deane eventually falling 18 runs short of Downend’s 161 all out off 48 overs.
Deane restricted Downend well as Luke Whitear ran through their batting line-up taking 5 wickets for 33 in his 10 overs. Craig Miles was Downend’s highest scorer with just 24, while number 11 batsman Philip Allen finished unbeaten on 23.
Deane’s other wicket-takers were 17-year-old Kings College student Neil Brand – who has appeared for Somerset’s Seconds this year – with 3-26 and Daniel Milligan with 2-27. Somerset’s Jack Leach went wicketless but kept things extremely tight in a miserly 10 overs, which conceded just 17 runs.
When Deane batted, they lost wickets at regular intervals, only Sam Underdown (36) making a score of note as they eventually fell to 143 all out off 41 overs. The next highest score was Leach with 16. Miles and Phil Jackson took three wickets apiece while Allen also took two.
The rest of Saturday’s schedule was decimated by the weather with the remaining three games – Frocester v Taunton St Andrews, Bath v Bridgwater and Corsham v Aschott & Shapwick – all abandoned.
Downend’s victory over Taunton Deane saw them take full advantage of the other games being called off to move to the top of the league table on 160 points.
Downend now lead their next two opponents, Frocester and Bath, by four and five points respectively. Despite their defeat to Downend, Taunton Deane remain in fourth place on 147 points.
Weston’s win moved them two places clear of the relegation zone, with Bristol now one place beneath them. Taunton St Andrews slipped into ninth place with Ashcott and Shapwick remaining in tenth.
West of England Premier Cricket League – Bristol and Somerset Division
Meanwhile, three wickets from Somerset’s Tom Abell helped Taunton to a 14-run home win over basement club Chew Magna at Gipsy Lane last Saturday.
Chasing Taunton’s 261-8, Chew Magna made a great effort to chase down the target, despite being 23-3 at one stage with three of their top four back in the pavilion in single figures.
However, an excellent knock of 60 from wicket-keeper Stuart Watson, who shared a 107-run partnership for the fourth wicket with Rowan Coombs (53), put their side back in the hunt.
The visitors then suffered a mid-order collapse which derailed their chase, going from 130-3 to 135-6 before Gary and David Filer came together to share a 78-run partnership for the seventh wicket to put them back on track again.
After Gary was bowled by Abell for 35, David (47*) continued the chase, being joined in an unbeaten 30-run partnership for the ninth wicket with Dave Blower (20*) but Chew Magna ultimately fell 14 runs short of Taunton’s total.
Taunton bowlers Harry Popplewell and Abell (10-3-29-3) proved a more than effective pair in keeping things tight and taking wickets at the right time throughout Chew Magna’s innings.
Earlier, Chris Davenport had starred with the bat for Taunton, making 129, almost half of his side’s runs. He opened the innings with Abell who made 32, while George Webber also made 31.
The win moves Taunton up from fourth to second place in the Bristol and Somerset Division on 151 points, four ahead of Brislington, but still 39 behind runaway league leaders Midsomer Norton on 190.
Links: Taunton Deane v Downend
Weston v Bristol
West of England Premier Cricket League – Premier One table after 12 games: http://tauntondeane.play-cricket.com/league_table?id=402&season_id=72
Taunton v Chew Magna
West of England Premier Cricket League – Bristol Somerset 2014 after 12 games