Rain ruins local derby

UPHILL Castle travelled to Winscombe this week looking to complete their first league double of the season.

UPHILL Castle travelled to Winscombe this week looking to complete their first league double of the season.

Losing the toss, Uphill were asked to bat first in overcast conditions which could have caused early trouble. Sam Trego continued his good form playing positively from the outset, punishing anything short. With the Winscombe opening attack struggling for consistency in line and length, captain Iain Fraser introduced himself to the attack and after a couple of Trego maximums, made the all important breakthrough, having his opposite number caught at long off for a run a ball 62 with the score on 88. Jon Lambert was quick to follow as he too was caught on the boundary off Fraser. Chris Davidson joined Steve Cooke and they looked to steady the ship, however Cooke was caught behind off the bowling of Cureton for a watchful 19. Vice Captain John Davidson joined brother Chris and the pair kept the scoreboard ticking over until Chris (20) gifted a soft caught and bowled to Coe whilst looking settled. Shortly after, the rain came in and the covers were on with Castle sat on a healthy 150-4. A reduction of 2 overs in the innings followed and Davidson and Hayden Watts set about chasing maximum batting points, both hitting the gaps and pressurising the fielders. Davidson was caught on the boundary off Fraser for 28 to bring in veteran Andrew Llewellyn who put on 55 with Watts in the final 8 overs. Watts was eventually stumped for an excellent 47 off just 33 balls yet again showing his value to the side in the final 15 overs, whilst Llewellyn and Usain Moseling finished on 19* and 4* respectively. Castle finished on 223-6, a very competitive total in the conditions. Pick of the Winscombe bowlers was Fraser who bowled tightly and found turn and bounce in the wicket. Unfortunately, that was as far as the game could go as the rain set in for the rest of the afternoon. A disappointing outcome for Castle who are looking to close the gap at the top of the league. Forte Financial man of the match went to Hayden Watts for his batting performance. Castle entertain Frome this weekend, where a win is imperative in their chase for promotion.

Castle 2nds entertained Winscombe in their latest Somerset League fixture. In overcast conditions, Winscombe were invited to bat first and, despite the unfortunate loss of skipper Steve Vowles to injury, they made a relatively brisk start as they reached 46 without loss after 10 overs.

George Cox achieved the breakthrough in the next over as he had Hutchinson well caught at slip by Seb Winn for 21. Cox then had Leather given leg before with his next delivery as Uphill began to build pressure. Veteran Tim Holt took the next wicket to fall, thanks to a good catch by Cox at backward square leg.

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Throughout this fightback from Castle, Rob Perry remained firm and while he was at the crease Uphill knew life would be difficult, However, an excellent delivery from Matt Humphries (1-22) had Perry caught at slip by Winn for 39, leaving Winscombe 64-4 after 14 overs.

With Vowles unable to bat, Uphill looked to wrap up the innings quickly in order to beat the forecast rain, However, Lapes and Cashman frustrated Uphill with a fifth wicket partnership as Winscombe progressed to 96-4 after 24 overs,

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At this point, Cox was reintroduced to the attack and his impact was immediate as he bowled Cashman in his first over. When Holt and Cox took their second and fourth wickets respectively, Holt's thanks to a spectacular diving catch from Humphries, with the score on 96, Uphill had high hopes of forcing victory.

The eighth wicket pair of Dan Kennedy and Merv Brean chanced their arm at this point and they successfully added 33 in only three overs. Despite this, Holt and Cox persisted as Holt removed Kennedy to finish with 10-3-38-3 and Cox deservedly bowled Brean for 25 to finish with figures of 9.2-1-49-5, his second five wicket haul of the season, as Winscombe were bowled out for 145 in the 32nd over.

Looking to try and force victory, Uphill pushed their big hitters up the order and were in a decent position at 41-2 after seven overs, with Humphiries well set on 27 not out, when the predicted rain arrived to put paid to any chance of forcing a result. However, the 24 points taken from this draw sees Uphill maintain top spot in the division.

Undoubtedly, the Forte Financial man of the match was George Cox

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