BEAMINSTER 272-8 (22pts) beat CHALKE VALLEY 270 (13pts) by two runs

BEAMINSTER triumphed by a slender two-run margin in a remarkable top-of-the-table clash with Chalke Valley at the Memorial Ground.

Chris Park’s men made an above-par 272-8 in their innings but it was the concession of a truly gigantic 74 extras by Chalke that proved the decisive factor.

Chalke sent down an inexcusable 68 wides – equivalent to bowling an additional 11.2 overs – and would surely have won had they not given away so many free runs.

It meant a whopping 542 runs were scored on the day, with Beaminster’s batters more than playing their part after a shaky start which saw Park (0) and Will Moss (0) depart cheaply.

READ MORE: Beaminster beat Shillingstone by 93 runs

Ross Baker (33) helped rebuild although Ben Golledge (8) was another early dismissal as Harry Hitchings (2-55) claimed his second scalp.

Baker was pinned lbw by George Gairdner (1-21) but Adam Moss then produced a gem of an innings.

Although scratching around at the start, the 17-year-old soon found his touch and classily laid waste to a toiling Chalke attack.

He struck a commanding five sixes and three boundaries for his first half-century of the County Division Two season and received good support from the middle and lower order.

Simon Jones (27), Tom Fowler (29) and even number ten James Edmunds (20no) all found the boundary rope with regularity as Beaminster closed on 272-8.

One feature of Chalke’s rapid rise through the leagues has been their batting power – and it was again evident at Beaminster.

Edmunds (1-42) claimed the key wicket of opener Guy Souch (0) in the first over, but Chalke soon took over.

Skipper Joe Weld (59) and Glenn Willoughby (61) both hit destructive fifties, the latter launching a mammoth six off Baker (0-80) out of the ground.

Willoughby also venomously crunched a full toss through the grasp of Park at mid-off for a four but another full toss proved his downfall as Will Moss pouched a stunning diving catch on the boundary off Ollie Bareham (2-47).

James Holland (1) was run out and Jones (4-26) crucially claimed Weld (59) and Hitchings (2) in quick succession to put the brakes on Chalke’s reply.

At 138-5 after 25 overs, the respite was only temporary for Beaminster as Guy Farrand adopted a tip and run approach for numerous twos, leading to anguish in the hosts’ tactical ranks.

Farrand also found the boundary seven times and was assisted by Arthur Moore (33) as the duo piled on 89.

Back came Beaminster with the run out of Moore, while Nick Hollely (1-52) ousted Farrand for a timely 68 with the final ball of his spell.

Jones took another two wickets late on and suddenly the contest had boiled down to Chalke requiring seven runs with one wicket in hand from the final over.

Number 11 Steven Warrack (6no) smacked a four off Bareham as Beaminster looked like slipping to defeat until the leg-spinner tempted Tristan Prinsloo (1) into edging to Baker, sparking ecstatic celebrations among the hosts.

Speaking to the Bridport News, Park admitted the extras count worked in Beaminster’s favour.

He said: “If you take the fact we won by two runs, it says it all. They bowled a lot of extras, their fielding collapsed with overthrows – it just kept coming.

“Without those, we wouldn’t have won.”

Park paid tribute to Adam Moss, adding: “The knock Adam played was one of the most mature I’ve seen.

“He couldn’t get the ball away and it would’ve been very easy for him to throw his wicket away but he kept going at it.

“When his time came in the last five overs, he hit some sixes that were just out of this world, he was toying with them.”

On the contest as a whole, Park said: “Will took a diving catch which turned the game.

“It looked like if we bowled well we’d win, but there were so many twists and turns. Farrand came in and instead of hitting fours and sixes, switched to running twos.

“We were struggling. They put on 89 and I did start to panic! Nick got him with a caught and bowled which was huge but they still went for their shots.

“They needed seven off six balls and Ollie got hit for a four. He looked really nervous so I stopped him in his tracks and said: ‘Just take a breath and bowl your darts’.

“Then with his penultimate ball he bowled a full dart which their number ten snicked. Ross took a lovely catch and things went mad! It was such a good feeling.”

Beaminster, who move 15 points above Chalke, now visit Charlton Down on Saturday.

Beaminster: Park, W Moss, Baker, Golledge, A Moss, Fowler, Abeywickrama, Hillier, O Bareham, Edmunds, Hollely.