BEAMINSTER 178 (5) lost to STURMINSTER MARSHALL 181-2 (20) by 8 wickets

BEAMINSTER suffered their second loss of the season in County Division Three, as they were powerless to stop Sturminster Marshall cruising to victory with the bat at the Memorial Playing Field.

Choosing to make first use of what appeared to be a flat wicket and fast outfield, Beaminster's opening batsmen started positively until Chris Park inexplicably left a straight delivery and was bowled for 24.

Both the promoted Dean Hyett (5) and Will Everitt (10) fell to loose shots as the home side squandered the opportunity to compile a healthy score and put pressure on their opponents.

Opener Rich Runyard (34) played well until losing his fluency due to tight fielding and improved bowling from the Sturminster Marshall attack.

Top scorer Ross Baker (35) rebuilt the innings batting at number five, before going on the charge against the change bowlers.

However, wickets continued to tumble as partnerships failed to develop for the hosts.

Beaminster’s Aidey Phillips (20) and Dave Penman (25) at least ensured respectability as the home side were bowled out for 178 in the 45th over.

In contrast, Sturminster Marshall’s batsmen capitalised on the friendly run-scoring conditions and were rarely troubled when chasing their target.

Only two late wickets were taken by spinner Mark Barber, but by then the damage had been inflicted by Sturminster Marshall opener Simon Gardner (92).

Beaminster's Phillips escaped the carnage, conceding an economical 12 runs from his nine overs.

The defeat leaves Beaminster fourth in the league, just one point ahead of Sturminster Marshall and level with Dorchester Seconds.

Ashmore, who Beaminster visit this weekend, are level on points with Stalbridge Seconds at the top. Both have accumulated 85 points from their opening five fixtures played.

Elsewhere, in County Division Six, Beaminster Seconds’ total of 202-6 was 39 short of Poole Town Fourths’ haul of 241-7.

The club’s second team sit third in their division and host Stalbridge Thirds next.