BEAMINSTER 218-3 (20pts) beat WIMBORNE & COLEHILL II 217-8 (6pts) by seven wickets

BEAMINSTER took a comfortable seven-wicket victory over Wimborne and Colehill Seconds in their opening County Division Two match at the Memorial Ground.

After winning the toss and electing to field, Beaminster immediately made inroads as opening bowlers Nick Hollely (1-9) and Francis Medley (1-31) removed Darren Jones (0) and Francis Cook (12).

Chris Plummer (26) and Graham Cole (46) replied with 56 for the third wicket, but Beaminster were able to prevent the visitors’ batsmen from making big scores as Simon Jones (3-23) ousted Cole and Chris Dunk (42).

Late hitting from Sam Prince (32no) boosted the away side’s total over the 200 mark as they set Beaminster, who held all of their catches, 218 for victory.

Beaminster achieved a flying start to their innings as they raced to 64 from 12 overs.

Although two quick wickets were lost, Chris Park (110no) and Simon Jones (54) built a match-defining third-wicket partnership of 125.

Park was in imperious form, hitting 14 boundaries and two maximums for his maiden century.

With five overs to spare, Beaminster reached their target to record an impressive first win in the division.

Speaking to the Bridport News, captain Ross Baker was pleased his promoted side had carried on where they left off last season.

He said: “It was good to get that momentum to continue into this season. Everyone was quite confident and our fielding was excellent.

“We kept them down to a par score on our wicket, which played excellently, really true, and it was a fast outfield.

“The way Chris batted was outstanding. He never looked in trouble and everyone else batted around him.

“It was quite a convincing win in the end.”

Baker also emphasised the importance of using the Memorial Ground to his side’s advantage this season.

He said: “To win our home games is crucial. We want to make Beaminster a fortress and win 80 per cent of our games at home.

“If you win the majority of your home games you’re going to be in a comfortable position at the end of the season.

“We know our own conditions and feel comfortable chasing a target of 200-250.”

Next up for Beaminster is a trip to Marnhull on Saturday (1.30pm), who ended Charlton Down’s long unbeaten run last time out.

Baker said: “It will be a tough game. They started well, so they’re obviously a strong team.

“They’ve got two or three good players, but there’s no pressure on us now.

“We can just go there and give them a good game.”

Richard Runyard, Leo Gurd and Lewis Keenan all return for Beaminster, with Justin Gurd, the injured Hollely and Ollie Bareham all missing out.