Seasiders' title hopes in disarray

WESTON 1st XI had a bad day at the office in their return encounter against Bath at North Parade, losing by six wickets as Bath got their revenge.

WESTON 1st XI had a bad day at the office in their return encounter against Bath at North Parade, losing by six wickets as Bath got their revenge.

Captain John Williams won the toss and decided to bat, and although the effects of the high amount of rain were still obvious on the outfield, the wicket looked good.

Williams was soon left ruing this decision as despite Bath being without their regular opening bowlers, Lloyd Davies and James Brown looked quite comfortable in their unusual opening roles and kept runs to a minimum, and with a scattering of wickets Weston were reeling at 21-6 in the 16th over.

The rot started with an unfortunate mix-up leading to the run-out of Freddie Gabbitas, just as he and fellow opener Gary Morgan seemed to be settling in. Morgan, Rob Holman and Williams followed in consecutive overs as Davies finished with 3-11 off just eight overs, and Brown 2-9, as Weston were faced with a huge rebuilding task.

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Somewhat thankfully this bought Rob Turner and Andy Fear to the crease, both batsmen capable of opening, and treated their entry to the crease as a new game with 40 overs still to bat. Despite some tight bowling from Chris Davies, and Gloucestershire's Vickram Bannerjee, Turner (43) and Fear (39) began to build a good solid partnership. This was made difficult by Turner requiring a runner, but he and Fear made the best of the situation until Turner miscued one to leave Weston on 96-7 with five overs left to play.

Fear tried to open up, but became Bannerjee's second victim. Matt Kearsey was out to a stunning catch by Lloyd Davies, to round off Bannerjee's bowling figures to 3-26 from 14 overs. It was not long before Weston were all out, and contemplating they only had 121 runs to defend, although small consolation that they had managed to deny Bath an extra two bowling points.

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In reply, James Campbell and Robin Lett set out their stalls early, this backfired on Lett as he miscued a d'Souza delivery into the air, which was nicely taken by Andy Logan. Tom Stayt looked content just to push the ball around before he was adjudged lbw becoming Ben Main's only victim of the day, but Bath were well set, and the inevitable was only a matter of time.

After a loose start Fear, Kearsey and d'Souza managed to stem the flow of runs, Fear accounting for Campbell (45), and d'Souza removing Ben Staunton (43), small comfort that these wickets meant Weston took two points from the game.

Lloyd Davies, having bowled well, was then lucky enough to hit the winning runs with 20 overs remaining. A good result for Bath which drops Weston to fourth in the league table, but still within grasp of the title.

On Saturday Weston take on league leaders Taunton St Andrew's at home, starting at midday, while the 2nds and 3rds are away to Taunton St Andrew's and Shoscombe respectively, and the 4ths take on Wrington at Clarence Park.

Weston 3rds suffered a setback in their pursuit of promotion, going down to a five- wicket defeat at home to second placed Grendel, despite the best efforts of Justin Turner.

After losing the toss and being asked to bat on a wicket still slightly damp from recent rains, Weston got off to a sound if unspectacular start as Mark Bissex (17) and Pete Lomax (33) put on 50 for the first wicket. Following their dismissals, it was left to Simon Biddle (32) and Justin Turner (44*) to rebuild the innings, and with no other scores of note, a total of 170 all out could be considered 30 to 40 short of par in what had become good conditions for scoring.

In reply, Stu Roberts (2-49) made an early breakthrough, however with James Neville (71) mixing excellent drives with some fortune, Grendel were always favourites despite the best efforts of Tom Court (1-16), Ricky Bissex (1-41), Pete Lomax (0-20), Dan Lomax (0-15) and Turner (1-14).

It was left to Grenel captain Tim Turley to hit the winning runs with 3.2 overs to spare. Brunel Ford man of the match goes to Justin Turner for an innings that kept Weston in the game.

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