Castle defeat leaders to go top

IN A top-of-the-table clash, Uphill Castle were hoping to leapfrog leaders Street in the latest round of matches in the Somerset Division.

IN A top-of-the-table clash, Uphill Castle were hoping to leapfrog leaders Street in the latest round of matches in the Somerset Division.

Having lost the toss, Castle were inserted in to bat, and were up against some excellent seam bowling from Higgs (2-26). Seb Winn was watchful early on, but Sam Trego got the innings going with some early boundaries.

Unfortunately Trego was first to go when a drive over the top failed to clear mid-off, and he was well caught by Pope for 16. Jon Lambert joined Winn and the pair took the score past 50 and just looked to keep building.

Winn was then the victim of a leg before off the bowling of Higgs, despite the bat being involved, for a solid 21. Chris Davidson was now at the crease with Lambert and the pair took the score past 100, Lambert being particularly positive to the off-spin of Western.

Then Andrew Bartlett was introduced into the attack and had Davidson bowled, bringing his brother John to the crease. Lambert reached his half century in the 32nd over, but both batsman were out within two overs of each other, giving Street some control back.

Although wickets fell in the closing overs, a good partnership between Grabham and Watts enabled Castle to gain 45 vital runs in the last seven overs. They finished all out for 179, gaining three batting points, with Lambert scoring 61.

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Castle took the field knowing early wickets would set them up, and that's exactly what they got from Davidson. He removed both openers inside three overs, and then had Evely caught behind first ball.

At 18-3, Castle's tails were up, but Street began a fight back through Linter (40) and Bisgrove (24). Last week's gun bowler for Uphill, Micky Hudson, was introduced into the attack, and he once again failed to disappoint.

With the wind behind him he caused the batsman lots of problems, bowling with good pace and in-swing. He removed the dangerous Bisgrove when the safe hands of Bail at mid-off took the catch. It was then two in three balls for Hudson when he cleaned up Western for a second ball duck.

Trego then introduced himself into the attack, and with Hudson they rattled off seven maidens in a row. The pressure was then too much for Street as they eventually folded, with Hudson cleaning up the tail to finish with outstanding figures of 6-38 from 12.3 overs. Street made 128, leaving Uphill winners by 51 runs, John Davidson behind the stumps taking five dismissals.

The win takes Castle to the top of the league, with their only loss coming from their first game of the season. Once again Castle showed what an excellent fielding unit they are, and are looking strong in all areas of the game.

For the second week running Hudson took the man of the match award for his bowling efforts.

Castle entertain league strugglers Barrington this weekend, looking for big points to maintain their league position at the half way stage of the season.

n Following their first defeat of the season last Saturday, which put them in second place in the league, Castle 3rds were made to work hard against determined opposition at Mark.

Losing the toss, Uphill were asked to bat on a green wicket. Openers Cook (65) and Kuht (50) showed great discipline as they established a perfect platform, a partnership of 138 in 24 overs. Carrow (17), Read (8) and Nicholls (11) helped maintain the momentum and the final pairing of Clapson (27*) and Hodder (10*) saw the innings home as Castle closed on 239-5.

It was of credit to Mark that they attacked the target and were rewarded with maximum batting points thanks to Gowan (41), Taylor (48) and Edwards (40*). Meanwhile the loss of eight wickets, including four great catches by Carrow, Kuht and Moore, kept Uphill's bowlers happy.

Sixteen-year-old Jack Rekesius showed his potential taking 4 for 34 and he was well supported by Moore (11-1-43-2), Froud (7-1-42-1), Carrow (9-1-33-1), Nicholls (3-0-26-0) and Jesus Williams (3-0-14-0). Following their 45 overs Mark finished on 201-8, 38 runs short of the target.

This hard-earned victory showed the depth and determination of a team who are deservedly near the top of their league, great individual performances by Cook and Rekesius making them joint men of the match.

Castle next entertain Wedmore at the Park on Saturday intent on keeping the good form going.

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