First home defeat for Castle

Uphill lose out in close encounter with Westlands

UPHILL Castle entertained Westlands in the latest round of matches in the Somerset Division of the West of England Premier League.

Following inclement weather, the visitors stuck Castle in on a very green wicket. Castle managed to make a competitive 179 from their allotted 50 overs, and that was largely thanks to a patient but well grafted opening stand between Andre Belcher (30) and Seb Winn (41).

Winn, the keeper batsman, showed particular form as he was getting close to his fluent best again. However, both fell in quick succession, and this prompted a regular flow of wickets.

Tom Oultram (24) showed his ability as he was inventive with his strokeplay, but he had very little support. Kieron Boucher was the pick of the Westlands bowlers with 3-12.

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After an extended tea break due to the rain, Westlands went out requiring 173 from 48 overs.

But George Cox was in fine form, having Gundry caught behind by Winn for a duck in only the third over. Mark Patch (1-26) had Westlands two down when Ward caught Davis, while Emilyn Kuhn showed good intent for the visitors before Cox cleaned him up for 24.

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Westlands continued to pick up runs though and, after a spell of slow bowling, Lambert brought Cox back into the attack to make an impact, and that he did. He took his tally to four dismissals, bowling with excellent pace and control, the type of form that got him into the first team at just 16 years of age.

Alex Winn joined in, getting two vital wickets and leaving the visitors in some trouble. Kieron Boucher was the main stay of the innings for Westlands as he scored 72 vital runs, but Winn eventually knocked out his middle stump.

With just one wicket to get, Westlands still required 30 runs to win, but remarkably they got over the line due to some excellent batting from Reaves (32 not out).

This was areally disappointing defeat for Castle, who lost their proud home record, fielding a weaker team than they would have liked. The man of the match award was shared between George Cox for his 4-32, and Seb Winn for his 43 and a flawless keeping display.

* UPHILL Castle 2nds lost to Westlands in a game that was, for long periods, in the balance.

Batting first, Westlands reached 167-8 from their 45 overs thanks to contributions from opener Millard (60) and a late flourish from Reeves (42 not out).

Uphill’s bowlers performed well in difficult conditions with Kennedy (1-26) and Loud (2-46) tying the batsmen down, but pick of the bowlers was man of the match George Chapman, who picked up 5-42 from 11 overs of leg spin. Uphill’s catching was of a high standard, with two excellent efforts from Rob Latham as well as a well gathered low one from Hodder.

In reply, Uphill reached 53-1 off 13 overs, the bulk being contributed by Kerion Davidson (27), when a flurry of wickets saw them crumble to 67-5 off 20.

Dibben (25) and Owen (29) then shared an excellent stand of 51off the next 14 overs and, with the score at 116-5, Uphill were favourites with 11 overs to go. However, Dibben was caught from a skier and the rest of the innings rapidly folded as Uphill were all out for 131 in the 39th over.

* UPHILL Castle under-17s won the toss and chose to bat, trying to put a challenging score on the board for Cleeve to chase.

Part one was successfully achieved with man of the match Connor Davidson and Kieran Ward putting together a partnership of 65 after the early loss of Latham, Davidson and Llewellyn.

Connor was in particularly good form, hitting the ball well and finishing on 45 not out and Ward making 26 before falling in a press for more runs.

Chapman came in and scored a quickfire 13, including a mighty six, to push the Uphill score to 105-5.

Cleeve fancied their chances but were well restrained by opening bowlers Kuht and Holt. They bowled the first eight overs for just 33 before Holt picked up the wicket of Crane for 11 off his last ball.

Baxter followed without scoring as Chapman clean bowled him and, at 34-2, Uphill were confident - but they had not anticipated a great partnership between Hance (39 not out) and Wilson (40) who took the scores to a tied position at 100-2.

Five runs were required off the final two overs, but Cleeve had not accounted for the drama which was to follow.

Hallam Bickell bowled a superb penultimate over which went for only one run, and this was followed by an amazing final over which saw three wickets. Davidson claimed Wilson for 40 after a great catch by Ham, and then two crazy run outs followed which somehow left Cleeve at 105-5 and the scores level after 20 overs. The rulebook came out and Uphill were awarded the game as they had scored more runs off the bat.

* UPHILL Castle under-11s saw their unbeaten run come to an end in dramatic circumstances when, with the scores level, Adam Hares took a wicket off the last ball of the match to see Winford Village home by six runs.

Earlier, Hares had top scored with a powerful 18 not out, partnered by Joe Millard (10 not out), which turned the visitors’ innings around, before Tom Llewellyn claimed two late wickets.

Castle had made early inroads, with Oliver Stokes (2-13) taking two early wickets, one a smart stumping by Kruz Belcher. Bradley Patch (2-7) and Joe Statham (1-12) were also in the wickets as the visitors were left struggling on 193-5 after seven overs. However, the innings rallied thanks to Millard and Hares, and was only finally held in check by Llewellyn’s return of 2-10 off four overs, Winford finishing on a competitive 262-7.

Uphill got off to a flying start with an excellent 20 not out from man of the match Tom Llewellyn. He was partnered well by Joe Statham, who scampered between the wickets to give his partner as much of the strike as he could. Castle were well placed at 249-1 after 10 overs.

In what proved a crucial moment Kruz Belcher was given out, caught behind off Hares. Uphill progressed to 264-2 after 16 overs, but Harry Lewis (1-0) took a crucial wicket, before Hares (2-11) applied the coup de grace off the dramatic last ball, with Castle closing on 256-4.

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