Sam in a hurry for Uphill

Uphill Castle made a quick return to winning ways with a comprehensive eight-wicket win over Wembdon.

Uphill Castle made a quick return to winning ways with a comprehensive eight-wicket win over Wembdon, the side that beat them in the season's opener.

Chris Davidson (11-4-46-4) and Mike Hudson (10-1-43-1) bore the brunt of an aggressive Gower and Lee in the first five overs as Wembdon raced to 35. Lee was first to go, caught by Bliss after a tight over from Davidson brought the false shot, soon followed by Gower caught behind two overs later.

Mike Hudson then removed Palmer caught well by Hayden Watts. The league's leading run scorer Alex Bailey was next to go as he left an off cutter from Davidson that took his middle stump. Alex Winn (3-0-10-2) took a one-handed catch to remove Gitsham and was then brought into the attack with immediate success, removing Pope for a duck with his first ball and striking again three balls later having Brockwell caught in the deep.

A fighting innings from captain Bingham (27*) combined with some poor fielding allowed Wembdon to finish up 135 all out with Trego removing 10 and 11. John Davidson's stumping took him to the top of the league's gloveman and continued his impressive season behind the stumps.

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Uphill will be disappointed with a drop in their fielding standards, as four catches went down and sloppy work consequently denied Castle valuable bonus points.

Following the team's poor batting display last week and missing leading run scorer Jon Lambert, a determined Sam Trego led from the front in ensuring it remained a one off with a blistering 93* including 19 boundaries, putting on half century partnerships with Cooke (12) and Bliss (14).

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Following the dismissal of Cooke and the black cloud overhead, Trego and Bliss decided to take the game to Wembdon, Trego hitting several double figure overs and both batsman clearing the ropes before Bliss was caught behind.

With 20 to win, Trego hit four boudaries off a Coetzee over and Chris Davidson swept Lee for four in the next to take Castle over the line in just the 25th over, picking up 20 important points.

Sam Trego took the Forte Financial man of the award for his batting display while Chris Davidson again removed the top order to set up a low chase. Wembdons Chris Disney had an excellent day in the field.

Uphill travel to Winscombe on Saturday where coach Nick Evans will be reiterating the need to maintain the high standards set this season if Uphill are to continue their challenge at the top.

Castle 2nds commenced the second half of the season with a visit to Castle Cary. On losing the toss, Uphill were asked to bat and were in some early trouble as Rushton (3-45) dismissed openers Mark Hodder and Seb Winn in the first seven overs to leave Uphill reeling on 18 for 2.

The middle order was charged with bringing Uphill back into the game. The initial recovery was from Craig Grabham and Gareth Williams (25) in a third-wicket partnership of 54 in only nine overs. After the dismissal of Williams, the positive intent of the middle order was continued with a fourth-wicket partnership of 39 between Grabham and Rob Owen (17) until Owen was undone by a shooter in the 23rd over to leave Uphill 111 for 4. Tom Oultram followed shortly afterwards to leave the game in the balance at 135 for 5.

With Grabham batting well, a score in excess of 200 looked on the cards if he could find someone to stay with him. Grabham was initially supported by Matt Humphries (18) in a sixth-wicket partnership of 39, during which Graham posted his 50 from 65 deliveries.

After the departure of Humphries for 18, skipper Kennedy joined Grabham and the pair started to take the game away from Castle Cary as they added 38 in only four overs. With the score on 212, home skipper Bright bowled Grabham for an excellent 77 from 79 deliveries that included 12 fours and one six.

Kennedy continued to attack with a quickfire 41 from only 25 deliveries which was ended when Bright (3-31) had him caught off his own bowling. This left Uphill 231 for 8 after 40 overs and in danger of not using all their overs.

However, the ninth-wicket pair of Marcus Bail (7 not out) and George Cox (12) sensibly added 19 in the last five overs to ensure that Uphill utilised the full 45 overs as they closed on 248 for 9.

In response, Castle Cary started steadily as they struggled to get the Uphill opening attack of Cox and Pete Jobling away. Jobling got the breakthrough in the 16th over as he had J Elsworth stumped by Winn for 31 with the score on 45.

Jobling again struck in his next over to leave Cary 48 for 2 after 18 overs and a long way behind the scoring rate. Jobling finished his spell with excellent figures of 12-6-13-2.

With the controlled spin of Bail (11-2-38-0) keeping things tight at the other end, Cary found themselves in a position where the target of 249 was too much to aim for. The match then became a battle for league points. Uphill were frustrated by a third-wicket partnership of 53 between C Elsworth (34) and Martin (16), which was ended when Cox bowled Martin with the score on 101. Humphries struck shortly afterwards as he took two wickets in two balls, assisted by catches from Cox and Winn to leave Castle Cary 113 for 5 in the 35th over.

At this point, Uphill looked to attack as they hunted for the remaining five wickets that would give them maximum points. Although, this policy resulted in runs being conceded, Uphill managed to take three further wickets, all clean bowled by Cox as he finished with four well deserved wickets (12-2-53-4) as the Castle Cary finished on 211 for 8 from their 45 overs to leave Uphill victors by 37 runs.

The 33 points taken from this victory sees Uphill mainitain their lead over Westlands at the top of the division.

Although special mention should be made of the bowling of Cox and Jobling, the Forte Financial man of the match was Craig Grabham.

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