Thompson's masterclass propels Congresbury to opening day victory

Congresbury's Joe Thompson scored 55 runs, including nine fours, from 100 balls.

Congresbury's Joe Thompson scored 55 runs, including nine fours, from 100 balls before taking four wickets from 25 runs at Bradley Stoke. - Credit: Congresbury CC

Joe Thompson continued his strong start to the season as his all-round performance propelled Congresbury to a three-wicket victory at Bradley Stoke on Saturday.

In the first league game of the West of England Premier League Bristol & North Somerset season, Stoke won the toss and elected to bat on a strangely green wicket. 

The home side's opening pair of Tom Laver and James Fletcher made a strong start, before Thompson trapped the latter lbw for 11.

He then claimed a smart caught and bowled chance to leave the hosts 38-2 before Mick Edmunds got in on the act dismissing Matt Peach for 12.

Laver and Ahmed Farouk rebuilt the home side's innings but a brilliant run out courtesy of Doug Storey stopped them in full flow. 

Tom Field then got in on the act, striking twice in quick succession before Thompson was able to remove Laver and polish off the tail as Bradley Stoke finished 202 all out. 

Following the tea break the Congresbury innings got off to a roaring start with Justin Yau and Jos Tomlinson looking to claim the initiative. 

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However, both Tomlinson and Yau fell in quick succession to give the hosts some early encouragement. 

Matt Thompson, Jack Kearns and Mick Edmunds all showed flashes of good stroke play but were all dismissed after looking in good touch, leaving Congresbury 98-5. 

This brought Thompson and Storey together at the crease and both played sensibly as they looked to rotate the strike. 

As the pair ground down the Stoke bowlers they started to look more fluent and Thompson in particular played some crunching strokes. 

The partnership was finally broken with the score on 177 as Thompson smashed one back onto the stumps at the bowler's end and it took the slightest deflection. 

However, Congresbury were not to be denied victory as they reached their target seven wickets down and with 4.5 overs to spare. 

On Sunday, Congresbury stormed to victory in the Village Cup as they beat Stapleton by 164 runs.

Mike Fisher starred with the bat as he scored 74 and Mick Edmunds claimed five wickets. 

Congresbury welcome Bedminster to the King George V Playing Field next Saturday as the seconds travel to Bradley Stoke.