Cricket: Smith bids farewell with a triumph

EMOTIONAL: Mark Smith

EMOTIONAL: Mark Smith

First published in Local Sport

BRIDPORT 191 (19pts) beat BROADSTONE THIRDS 119 (6pts) by 72 runs

MARK Smith led Bridport to victory on the final day of the season as he bid an emotional farewell to the club.

The former captain was made skipper for his last game before moving to live in Yeovil.

He admitted to being “gutted” at only scoring two runs, but he was delighted to leave Bridport on a high following the side’s comfortable win.

“I’ve played for Bridport since I was 17 so it was a hard decision to stop playing for them,” said Smith, right. “It was quite an emotional day for me.

“I was really gutted to finish my Bridport career with two but at least we got the win in the end.

“Hopefully the club can continue what we’ve been doing.

“They have got the youth sides in place and now they need to make sure the senior team keeps going to give those youngsters a chance of moving up.”

Smith also paid tribute to Duane Gay, his successor as captain, who took charge of the team early in the season.

“Duane has done a great job,” he added. “He needs praising for what he has done.

“He has got a team out every week and kept us in mid-table. If it wasn’t for the weather we could well have gone up.”

Bridport got off to a shaky start against Broadstone, who needed four points to preserve their Division Three status.

But after Smith and Gay (16) went, Liam Toohill and Ollie Lee (48) rebuilt the innings – Toohill went on to score a half-century.

Broadstone never really looked like getting the 192 required for victory.

In the end it was the battle between Toohill and Lee to finish as the club’s top wicket-taker that took centre stage.

Lee claimed four scalps and was one ahead of Toohill before the latter claimed the last to fall on the day to draw level.

An eighth success of the summer saw Bridport end the season in fifth place.

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