Uphill hold out for narrow victory

CASTLE travelled to Butleigh in glorious weather hoping to win their second game of the season.

CASTLE travelled to Butleigh in glorious weather hoping to win their second game of the season.

Having lost the toss Castle were put in to bat, though that disappointed the Uphill side. Trego (11) and Cooke (17) gave them a solid start against some good early seam bowling. When both of them were dismissed the Davidson twins were at the crease, and amassed a partnership of 97 for the third wicket. John was first to go past his half century, and Chris soon followed in a boundary filled knock. John Davidson was eventually out for 64, hitting nine fours and two sixs along the way.

In-form Jon Lambert was next in and with just 12 overs to go looked to keep the momentum going. He hit a quick-fire 26 off just 17 balls and helped Davidson take the score past 200. In a push for late runs, wickets were lost and Davidson was out stumped for an excellent run a ball 82. Moseling saw Castle up to 251 in the closing overs as he hit a brisk 19 not out.

Knowing 251 was par for a fast scoring ground, Castle were looking for wickets. Alex Winn provided the perfect start as he clean bowled Butleigh opener Trevis for just 11. Trego quickly introduced himself into the attack and with immediate effect, as Moseling took a catch at extra cover.

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Trego mixed the bowling up ensuring his seamers were not bowling long spells in hot conditions. Butleigh rebuilt for a short while, though the reintroduction of Winn helped remove Chinnock for 23. Then an excellent bit of work by Trego saw Metcalfe run out for just five with a direct hit.

Out cricket then became crucial as Butleigh started to hit out on the small village boundaries. Good catches by Lambert and Hudson in the deep, and a quick stumping by Davidson enabled Castle to take advantage. Keates was Castle's biggest problem, smashing a brisk 58, but when Trego bowled him in his final over, 11 was required off the last over of the innings.

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A run out early in the over from Lambert brought Butleigh's last man out and Castle sensed victory. Alex Luke bowled with great maturity as he brought Castle home only going for three off the final over.

Castle took 19 points from the game and moved up to fourth in the league. They entertain unbeaten leaders Bishops Lydeard this weekend, which will be their biggest test so far this season.

Castle played away at Street in the 20-over Somerset Cup last week, and secured an eight- wicket win. Trego took four wickets and Winn three as Street could only make 75 from their allotted overs. Cooke took three catches in the innings.

In reply Cooke went early, though John Davidson and Trego put on a half century partnership to do the majority of the work. Trego went for 44 and Lambert eight not out saw Castle home in the 16th over, with John Davidson unbeaten on 18. Castle travel to Chard in the next round looking to get a game closer to a final at Taunton.

Uphill Castle 2nds hosted Butleigh 2nds in a top of the table clash that would see the winners take second place in Division 2 of the Somerset League 2nd XI competition.

On winning the toss, Uphill elected to field first and the opening attack of George Kimmins (1 - 17) and George Cox combined their usual miserly opening spells with an early wicket apiece as the visitors struggled to 28-2 after 12 overs. Skipper Gary Kennedy then introduced himself and Pete Jobling into the attack as the pressure on the visitors was maintained.

With the score on 56 in the 20th over, Jobling (3-26) achieved the next breakthrough when Smith was trapped leg before for 23. Jobling quickly followed up with two more wickets with a second leg before and a catch behind that was smartly taken by Chris Disney as the visitors found themselves 90-5 in the 32nd over,

As the visitors' lower order looked to up the pace in order to post a challenging total, Uphill captured three wickets in the space of the next five overs, a wicket each falling to the returning Cox (2-49), Humphries (1-39) and Kennedy.

At 120-8, Butleigh looked in danger of not posting a competitive total. However, Greenwood began to attack the Uphill bowling as he almost single-handedly added 54 for the last two wickets as Butleigh finished on 174 all out in the 44th over, with Greenwood the last man out for an excellent 89. Kennedy took the last two wickets to fall to finish with 3- 26.

Unlike previous weeks, Uphill lost a wicket in the first 10 overs of their reply when Mark Hodder was stumped for 14 in the seventh over with the score on 23. Disney was then joined by Rob Owen and the pair added 48 for the second wicket until an unfortunate mix-up resulted in Owen being run out for a boundary-laden 26. Disney continued to anchor the Uphill innings as another 40 were added with Adrian Gardener for the third wicket, during which Disney reached his second 50 of the season.

However, Uphill then lost three wickets for only eight runs, including those of Disney and Gardener for 50 and 13 respectively, in the space of four overs. This left Castle 119- 5 after 34 overs and in a tense situation for the first time this season.

The experienced Mark Plummer (39 not out from 38 balls) and Kennedy (26 not out from 20 balls) are the men for such a situation as they paced the remainder of the reply to perfection in an unbeaten sixth-wicket partnership of 57 in eight overs to see Uphill safely home in the 42nd over and victory by five wickets.

The 35 league points from this victory sees Uphill leapfrog their opponents into second place in the division put them only five points behind leaders Watchet, whom they visit this weekend.

The Uphill man of the match for his all-round performance was Gary Kennedy.

Uphill Castle 3rds went to Priory school on Saturday to face Belvedere A. Both teams had enjoyed an unbeaten start to the season. Uphill won the toss and elected to field on a typically interesting wicket.

Unfortunately Uphill did not back up their decision with any quality in the field and some calamitous errors, including three easy dropped catches enabled Belvedere's opening batsmen, Ashfield (23) and Woodall (28) to gain an early foothold.

Fortunately for Castle's fielders, the bowling attack was in excellent form and after the breakthrough of Woodall's wicket in the eighth over, wickets began to tumble. Belvedere's middle and lower order posed no threat to Uphill's bowling; Leech (1-33), Froud (2-29), Moore (4-14) and Rekesius (2-8) were dominant. Five ducks later Belvedere were all out for 89.

Uphill's reply was typically decisive; Cook (2) providing the only moment of joy for the Belvedere bowlers. Man of the match Oultram (50*) emphatically took the game home, well supported by Kuht (23*). Castle polished off the target in 23 overs, finishing on 90-1.

This result has consolidated Uphill's position at the top of their division, the team have applied themselves fully in each game; tight bowling and quality batting performances have ensured that Castle are early contenders for promotion. This must now be maintained, as the team will face greater challenges as the season progresses.

Brent Knoll won the toss on a glorious day and put Uphill 4ths in to bat. Matt Hill and Mark Tanner opened the batting and put on a first wicket partnership of 53, before Tanner was caught for 16.

Hill was also involved in a 135 fourth wicket partnership with Mark Carrow and went on to make 164. When Carrow was bowled for 60, the mid and lower orders used the remaining 12 overs to launch a heavy hitting assault for the rest of the innings. Uphill finally ended their 45 overs on 288-9.

Opening bowler Massingham was the pick of the attack, taking five wickets for 60 runs off his 12 overs.

Steven Gough and Nick Kuht opened the bowling for Uphill and it was in the four over when Kuht has Trickey caught in the slips by James Doyle. Doyle was in action again, spectacularly catching an edge from Manning, also off Kuht's bowling.

Gough then also bowled Gamlin and had Hale caught deep in the outfield by Tanner. Tanner then brought Charlie Williams and Dave Kelley into the attack, who mopped up the rest of the batsmen. Brent Knoll were all out for 55 in just 18 overs; Kuht and Williams both took three wickets and Gough and Kelley took two apiece, in a resounding victory for Uphill.

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