BEAMINSTER 170-8 (6pts) lost to ASHMORE 174-7 (19pts) by 3 wickets

IN-FORM Ashmore got over the line to seal victory in an enthralling contest with Beaminster.

Having batted first, the visitors got off to a poor start when they lost opening batsman Rich Runyard without troubling the scorers.

The promoted Hugh Rathbone (45) and Adam Herring (16) then rebuilt the innings, although the pair found scoring difficult against some tight bowling.

Beaminster did not lose their third wicket until the 22nd over, with the score on 64.

But this sparked an all too familiar collapse as three more wickets were lost in the next 10 overs, putting the batting effort in a tough situation.

Coming in at number five, team manager Ross Baker (52no) played determinedly, and brought up his half century to steady the ship and ensure a respectable score was achieved by the visitors.

With Brian Earl (15) and Mark Barber (4) for support in the lower order, 41 runs were scored in the last four overs as Beaminster’s innings closed on a competitive 170-8 from 45 overs.

Ashmore’s L Russell was the pick of the hosts’ attack, claiming figures of 4-27 from his nine overs bowled. He was backed up by C Grey, who snared two victims in the innings.

Following the break, Beaminster experimented by opening the bowling with spinner Mark Barber and the decision paid instant dividends as he took a wicket with his first ball.

With seamers Will Everitt (1-49), Adam Herring (2-36) and Ross Baker (2-26) also claiming early scalps, in-form Ashmore looked in trouble at 51-5 and the Memorial Playing Field outfit were in a prime position.

But the Ashmore middle order rallied and played confidently to reach their target in just the 32nd over. Number seven J Watson top scored for the home side and guided them home with an unbeaten 49.

Beaminster first-team debutant Shane Parker bowled well and took a wicket but it was little consolation, as Ashmore won with three wickets to spare.

Ashmore sit a point behind leaders Stalbridge Seconds after six games of the campaign. Beaminster have three wins so far and lie sixth in the standings, four points behind Kingston Lacy.

Meanwhile, in County Division Six, Beaminster Seconds fell to defeat at home to Stalbridge Thirds.

After Beaminster accumulated 148-9 in their first innings, Stalbridge chased down the total with five wickets to spare.