Uphill battle for the Castle

Uphill Castle lose their latest league match against fellow strugglers Bishopston.

UPHILL Castle travelled to fellow strugglers Bishopston in a basement clash in the latest round of matches in the Bristol & Somerset division of the West of England Premier League.

Losing the toss, Castle were asked to field first on what looked like an excellent batting wicket.

Castle struggled to get an early wicket, though Chris Davidson (1-50) showed great control with the new ball. It was Davidson that finally got the breakthrough when he had Connolly (28) caught behind to an excellent diving catch from keeper Chris Disney.

Jason Lane was introduced into the attack and quickly made inroads as he clean bowled Bishopston’s Mark Coombes. Castle were now on top as Lane ripped through the middle order in a spell that saw him take four wickets and put the visitors in control.

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Matt Kearsey (2-53) came on just before drinks and removed the home skipper O’Brien for 43 with his first ball. Castle then had Bishopston 106-6, before the home side put in some resistance through Wenham (35 not out) and Mason (44 not out).

In the closing overs they went past the 200 mark, finishing on a respectable 216-7. Lane was the pick of the bowlers, though credit must go to Davidson for his 15 overs. There were catches for Winn, Cox and Watts in the field.

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Castle’s reply got off to an all too familiar poor start as they were left reeling at 9-3. Seb Winn chopped on, Andy Llewellyn was adjudged lbw and Andre Belcher was caught at the wicket.

Jon Lambert (22) and Chris Davidson (27) rebuilt the innings, putting on a half century stand. But when Lambert was out, wickets tumbled as the tail offered little resistance, with Adams (5-9) and Luff (3-10) the pick of the bowlers.

Castle finished on a dismal 89 all out picking up no batting points and allowing Bishopston to gain a bonus two bowling points.

Davidson had a solid all round game, but the man of the match went to Jason Lane for his 4-65.

Castle entertain Stapleton on Saturday still looking for their first win of the season.

? Uphill Cavaliers continued their good form on the road with an excellent win at Purnells by 25 runs.

Put into bat, openers Nigel Cook and Chris Slocombe put 54 in 10 overs, before Cook was caught for 10. This brought Rob Owen to the crease, who quickly picked up the tempo and the Cavaliers were cruising at 93-1 after 18 overs.

However, the home bowlers found their line and length, and as a result the flow of runs was stemmed, with only 27 coming from the next 13 overs.

Slocombe departed after drinks for a sound 41, with Jake Llewellyn chipping in with a useful 18, before the evergreen Bob Hurford joined Owen in a brisk stand of 50 in seven overs. Hurford made 27 off 29 balls and Owen remained unbeaten on 59 as Castle closed on 196-8.

Despite a good spell by Kyran Davidson (0-15 off five overs), Purnells were well set on 92-0 after 22 overs, when drinks were taken.

However, the wily veteran pairing of Slocombe and Hurford reeled in the run rate and eventually both openers were dismissed by Hurford in the same over.

Hurford went on to take his second consecutive five wicket haul, with 5-39 from 12 overs and Slocombe took 1-40 from his 12 overs. Their nagging accuracy was backed up by tigerish fielding, epitomised by the admirable Jake Llewellyn and backed up by the keeping of Ray Dibben.

Kieran Ward kept up the good work with five accurate overs, taking 1-11, and the evergreen Tony Moore (2-57) returned to mop up the tail, as Purnells closed on 171-9.

Specsavers man of the match was again Bob Hurford.

? The Crusaders were well beaten by Wedmore seconds. Batting first, Wedmore totalled a mammoth 340-5.

M Hunt top scored for the visitors with 97, while 15-year-old Hallam Bickell took 2-58 from his 12 overs.

In reply, Uphill were always in trouble and collapsed to 59 all out, with 14-year-old Ewan Kennedy top scoring with 12.

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