Another disappointing defeat
Batsmen fail to capitalise as Weston slip up again
FRESH from their unexpected victory against league leaders Frocester, Weston entered their fixture against Downend hopeful of another good win, but this was quickly shattered as Sam Trego dropped out during the warm-up with a hamstring injury.
Gary Morgan won the toss and elected to bat first, asking Edd Brown (21) to partner Simon Green (42) in Trego’s absence. They started solidly, building the best first wicket partnership of the season so far, dealing mostly in boundaries as Phil Jackson struggled to find his line early on. Brown’s dismissal paved the way for Jackson Davey, who started slowly but gradually began to build a good partnership with Green.
The Downend bowlers began to lose their heads as Green and Davey (44) became more comfortable. Matt Jackson was then introduced into the attack and he slowed the run rate to the extent that once he finished his spell the Weston batsmen were under pressure to hit out and push on.
Mike Ponter immediately benefited, trapping Green leg before, but John Williams slotted in perfectly, and together he and Davey began to rotate the strike and find the boundary in equal measure. Davey fell six short of his half century and, despite a small partnership developing between Morgan and Williams, the damage was done when Williams (46) fell to leave Weston at 182-5. With just four overs left, the top four had all made good starts but failed to capitalise.
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Three run outs in quick succession meant the innings stuttered to a disappointing 200-9 from 50 overs.
In reply, Sean Stringer failed to find his line and, while Tom Main started tightly, Chris Binnie and Richard Coughtrie soon let loose, racing to a half century stand in the ninth over. The tandem bowling of Andy Fear and Williams proved inspirational as they succeeded in pulling things back, accounting for the top four wickets inside three overs.
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Fear clean bowled Binnie, while Williams removed Coughtrie and Purchase in consecutive balls, before Fear struck again to remove Barrett. Sadly for Weston this brought in-form Matt Jackson to the crease. He was ably partnered by the experienced Ponter who happily hit the singles as Jackson found the boundary with increasing frequency.
The introduction of Weston’s man of the match, Shabil Ahmed, only served to slow down the inevitable. He finished with 3-18 from 10 overs as he successfully removed the middle order, but by the time the prize wicket of Jackson fell the result was inevitable, and Rich Pandya finished off the game with a boundary in the 48th over.
WITH 23 players unavailable throughout the club, Weston thirds made the long journey to North Perrott more in hope than expectation, and so it was to prove as they fell to a second defeat in three games.
Weston lost the toss and were asked to bat at the picturesque ground and it was not long before Josh Knight was well caught in the gully for just one. Carl Fletcher (19) played some nice shots before one big hit too many saw him caught at mid on, and when the makeshift middle order of Alex Penwill and Justin Turner managed zero between them Weston were staring down the barrel at 52-4.
A mini recovery was led by Pete Lomax (47), with good support from Dom Mayo (10), but when both were dismissed from consecutive balls with the score on 96 the home team were well on top. A run-a-ball 32 from Stu Roberts upped the rate and, with support from Aaron Hawkins (11), Dan Lomax (11), and Paul Skinner (12 not out), Weston’s final total of 169-9 from 45 overs looked below par, but defendable.
In reply, North Perrott got off to a steady start as Boundy and Symes waited patiently for anything over pitched as the Weston bowlers searched for early wickets.
Symes was soon removed by man of the match Roberts for 18, bringing the experienced Spurway to the crease, and the young Weston attack toiled away without reward.
The reintroduction of Roberts (2-52) accounted for Spurway and Penwill (1-26) removed Boundy for 61. However, it proved too little too late as Hawker (38 not out) helped his much improved side over the line by seven wickets with 4.3 overs remaining.
THIS weekend sees key games for all four of Weston’s senior sides.
The firsts host fellow strugglers Corsham (1pm) while the seconds make the long journey to Wiltshire to take on Corsham’s second team (1.30pm). Also on Saturday, the third team host Frome 2nds in a must win game to maintain their promotion hopes, and on Sunday the fourth team know that three points at home to Belvedere will be enough to secure promotion from Somerset Division 10 at the first time of asking.