STALBRIDGE 153-2 (18pts) beat BEAMINSTER 152-7 (5pts) by eight wickets

BEAMINSTER went down by eight wickets at Stalbridge in Dorset ‘Thank You NHS’ League Division Two.

After winning the toss and batting, Beaminster were unlucky to find Stuart Sweatman (2-16) and Steve Forshaw (2-19) in sublime form.

The experienced duo castled Beaminster’s top four batsmen with some unplayable deliveries to render the visitors 12-4.

However, a fine counter-attacking 71 from Rich Runyard, plus 24 from Will Everitt, helped Beaminster post 152-7 from 40 overs.

Beaminster skipper Ross Baker (2-29) struck twice with the ball to leave Stalbridge 26-2 until fine unbeaten half-centuries from Chris Hedges (63no) and James Lewis (59no) took Stalbridge home.

Baker said: “An eight-wicket victory flatters them.

“We had them two down early on and then there was a stumping chance we were 90 per cent sure was out but wasn’t given.

“Then there were three opportunities for catches that went down.

“We put them under quite a lot of pressure.

“Sweatman and Forshaw, they’re good bowlers. I can’t think of a dismissal that was a poor shot. It was down to good bowling.

“We’ve shown this year the strength in depth in our middle order, particularly Rich.

“It was great to see him on form, taking the attack to them.

“Even when Forshaw came back on he smashed him everywhere – it was really good to see.”