Castle keep up the pressure at the top

UPHILL Castle pulled off another win this week at home to Frome in a game where the momentum shifted sides throughout the afternoon.

UPHILL Castle pulled off another win this week at home to Frome in a game where the momentum shifted sides throughout the afternoon.

Losing the toss Uphill were inserted and got off to an excellent start, passing 70 before Sam Trego scooped the ball to midwicket for a well played 46. Lambert joined Cooke and the pair took Uphill past the hundred mark before Lambert fell for a patient 21. With the score ticking along at not more than three an over, Steve Cooke posted a half-century and along with Andy Llewellyn pushed the scoreboard.

When Cooke (56) departed Craig Grabham came in and the pair put on 30 quick runs late in the innings. Grabham scoring 17 off just 14 balls before being run out off the last ball of the innings.

Castle finished with a below par 175-7. Neil Dredge was the pick of the Frome bowlers with 3-43 from his 13 overs.

Chris Davidson (9-1-26-1) and Mike Hudson (9-3-26-1) got Castle off to the perfect start as Hudson removed Dredge for an aggressive 20, caught at short cover by Trego, and Davidson removed Sanger caught behind for five.

At the 18-over stage Frome were just 50-2, but with a partnership developing. Sam Trego introduced himself into the attack and immediately made the breakthrough as Stonnel was beaten through the gate. That was followed by a run out from Alex Luke to remove Daniel Dredge.

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With the ball turning Trego opted to remove Alex Winn from the attack and replace him with the spin of Markus Bail who in tandem with his captain slowly pulled the game Uphill's way. Trego removed Colin Dredge caught by Grabham but with the fifth wicket came a push from Frome which could easily have left Uphill struggling had Bail not removed both batsmen, one caught by Davidson, the other a catch by Alex Winn, bringing him his maiden wicket in the process.

Bail was involved in catching Neil Dredge on the boundary off Trego. This took Frome from 120-5 to 125-8. Frome offered no further resistance and Trego finished off the tail finishing with 5-34. Markus Bail (10-1-21-2) was the pick of the bowlers. In his 60 balls he conceded less than 15 scoring shots and picked up two key wickets as Frome ended all out for 129.

Forte Financial man of the match went to Markus Bail for his superb bowling, with excellent contributions from all the bowlers and Cooke and Grabham with the bat. Uphill take on Butleigh on Saturday hoping another win will gather them further momentum as they lead up to the crunch games at the top of the league.

Castle 2nds travelled to third placed Temple Cloud looking to extend their lead at the top of Division 2 of the Somerset League 2nd XI competition.

Losing the toss, Uphill were invited to bat on a wet wicket and were given an excelled start from openers Tom Brewer and Mark Hodder as they posted 80 for the first wicket in 20 overs, a partnership that was ended when Hodder was caught for 24.

Brewer looked in good touch in his first outing for the Seconds as he posted his 50. Unfortunately, he was out shortly afterwards for 57 to leave Castle 92 for 2. Disney was caught in the next over for 10 to leave Castle in on a more precarious 96 for 2 from 24 overs.

Rob Owen and Tom Oultram rebuilt the innings with a fourth-wicket partnership of 45 in nine overs, which was ended when Oultram was caught for 26 in the 33rd over. Wickets fell steadily from this point, including that of Owen for 27 as Castle, despite the big hitting of Matt Humphries, moved to 174 for 7 after 38 overs.

Humphries was joined by George Kimmins and the score raced over the 200 mark to earn maximum batting points. The pair had added 30 for the eighth wicket when Kimmins was caught for 14 in the 43rd over.

Humphries fell in the next over for an excellent 40 from 33 deliveries that featured three sixes and three fours and ensured that Uphill posted a good total of 216, with the last wicket falling with three deliveries remaining of the innings.

In reply, Temple Cloud started steadily but slowly against the opening attack of Pete Jobling and George Cox as Wilton and Comer added 47 for the first wicket in 16 overs.

Skipper Gary Kennedy then introduced himself into the attack and he ended the partnership with his first delivery as he had Wilton caught by Tom Oultram for 26. Kennedy struck again in his second over and with Humphries keeping things tight at the other end, Temple Cloud found themselves behind the rate at 70 for 2 after 23 overs.

Humphries took the next wicket as he had Veater caught by Kimmins. The pressure continued to build on the home side and this earned Kennedy (7-1-15-3) his third wicket as Temple Cloud found themselves 77 for 4 after 28 overs.

Despite the efforts of Comer, Temple Cloud were always struggling to reach their target as wickets fell regularly at the other end, with the returning Cox (1-31) taking a deserved wicket and combining with Oultram to execute a good run out. Kimmins (1-31) also bagged a deserved wicket as Temple Cloud moved to 145 for 8 after 42 overs.

Jobling was then reintroduced into the attack to try and take the last two wickets to give Uphill maximum points. He bowled Comer for 78 and with the last delivery of the match had home skipper caught by Brewer as Temple Cloud were dismissed for 157 to give Uphill victory by 59 runs and extend their lead over their third placed opponents to 63 points in the race for promotion to Division 1.

The Forte Financial man of the match was Tom Brewer.

Castle Cavaliers made the short trip to Burnham and were put in to bat on an unknown artificial wicket.

Openers Cook and P Kuht found it hard going against some accurate bowling from Barker and Green and trying to up the scoring rate Cook (11) was first to go with the score on 45, Kuht (31) following him.

Never going to be a high scoring game Palmer (12) and Gardener (19) put on a good partnership of 29 and it was left to the middle order to push the rate along but they all found it hard to up the tempo apart from 26 from Cheeseman. Uphill ended with 146-9 on the scoreboard and at least giving themselves a chance, D Aston for Burnham the pick of the bowlers with 11-1-34-4.

In reply, Burnham reached 46 for no wicket before N Kuht had Gaylard (36) leg before and in the same over Lefrere (6) caught behind. Forte picked up the next wicket deceiving Walker with a short one and Burnham were struggling at 59 for 3.

Good bowling continued from Kelly and Cheeseman keeping Burnham in check but without luck and it was left to the opening duo Rekusius and Kuht to return to try to halt the Burnham middle order. Kuht picked up three more wickets ending with superb figures of 9.5-2-22-5, only his first game in the third team and Rekusius 10-2-39-1. Unfortunately, Burnham just got home with six wickets down and two overs remaining.

Castle entertain Belvedere this weekend and hope to return to winning ways.

An Uphill Invitation XI will take on the Uphill Strugglers, a team of former players on Sunday. The 35-over match will start at 1.30pm and everyone is welcome.

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