CHRISTCHURCH 239-6 (20pts) beat CATTISTOCK & SYMENE 148 (5pts) by 91 runs

CATTISTOCK & SYMENE’S search for a first win this season continues after Christchurch sunk the Foxes by 91 runs in Dorset Funeral Plan Premier League action.

Skipper Bradley Damen lost the toss and was invited to field first.

Opening bowlers Damen and Ethan Robertson bowled a tight line and beat the bat on many occasions but could not find the breakthrough. Liam Toohill replaced Robertson and bowled Matthew Wright (17) with the score on 37.

Bradley Mullins (2-31) castled Craig Campbell (19) and Warren Bennet (13) which left the hosts on 69-3.

However, a counter attack followed and although Ollie Legg (0-30) bowled with precision Gareth Williams and Ben Rayner raised the score beyond 100 and looked in control.

Toohill (3-45) returned to the attack and dismissed both Rayner (28) and Williams (48) in quick succession, the latter courtesy of a smart catch by Leo Gurd stood up to the stumps.

From 150-5 the hosts were propelled past 200 thank to some hefty lower order hitting from Liam Bowater (35) and James Cross (44no).

The Foxes claimed the sixth wicket and third bowling point thanks to some smart work in the field from the skipper, effecting the run out of Bowater via the safe hands of Sam Baker at the bowler’s end.

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The Foxes’ reply once again got off the a bad start with Baker and Legg dismissed for ducks by Charlie Rodgers (2-17).

Toohill joined Billy Wallbridge and they both looked untroubled, happy to leave the ball alone outside off stump and pick up the runs from the bad balls, they had recovered from 7-2 and began finding the boundary before both gave their wickets way for 19 and 25 respectively.

There was good resistance through the middle order from Gurd (9) and Jason Bradley (14) before Damen launched a free hit for six to get himself going. Several classy boundaries followed before he was dismissed for 34 with the score 122-7.

Despite some quick runs from Bradley Mullins (19no), the Foxes were bowled out for 148.

Damen said: “We didn’t have the early wickets this week but it was still a tight start with the ball. The bowlers stuck to task well but they built partnerships, the fourth-wicket and sixth-wicket partnerships stopped the momentum we got going with the ball.

“We definitely bowled too many extras and too many four balls. With the bat we lost early wickets again which puts us on the back foot right away.

“There were some good performances in the middle order but we aren’t able to get the partnerships going.”

How did the second team get on?

In County Division Four, the Foxes’ second string visited Wimborne Thirds and batted first, the run saturated top order of Wes Lewis (10), Luke King (13) and Reuben Kingston (0) failing to fire on this occasion.

It was left to Toby Hall and Harry Angel to get the innings going, Angel sending two monstrous sixes over the boundary before being run out for 27 attempting a fourth run, the ball holding up in the long grass at the furthest boundary.

Hall held firm, rotating the strike and striking boundaries when on offer. He went to his half century with back-to-back fours before being dismissed for a well-deserved 58.

Captain Sam Good (16) came and went, as did Luke Robertson (10). It was left to Joe Etherington to shepherd the tail and steer his team towards full batting points. He played sensible, low-risk cricket to accumulate the runs, playing the ball into the gaps and running hard to take his team to 187-8 and himself to a career best 30 not out at the close.

Robin Jones opened the bowling with Etherington and bowled a wicket maiden in the fourth over to dismiss the home team opener. The Foxes took regular wickets throughout the innings to constantly peg their opposition back.

There were wickets for Hall (1-32), Lewis (1-25) and Damian Barnard (1-16) on his call up from the thirds following his five-wicket haul the previous week. Jones and Etherington returned to the attack looking to take the final five wickets and secure full points, although they could only manage three, Jones finishing with 2-19 and Etherington 2-13 as the hosts finished on 124-8 still 63 runs short.

Good said: “We’ve had some really strong batting performances in recent weeks to the point where most of our team haven’t had a bat.

“It was great to see our strength in depth as everyone contributed throughout the innings. Toby played well and Joe did brilliantly to get us to full batting points.

2Everyone played their part with the ball too, there were some great performances all round, I was really impressed Damien making that step up from the third team.

“It’s tight at the top of our league now with a few points separating the top three positions, we need to make sure we pick up every point on offer going forward.”

In County Division Five North & West, the Fixes’ thirds ran into a strong performance from Dorchester Thirds.

Devon Derrien struck an unbeaten 130 as the visitors ran up a massive 233-7 at Symondsbury. There were wickets for Graham Bartlett (2-6), Bradley Wilkinson (1-33), a smart caught and bowled from Jay Collins (1-57) plus Lloyd Cleal (1-19) and George Crabb (2-29).

In reply, the hosts could only muster 101 although only losing seven wickets in the process. The stand-out knock being 26 not out from Bradley Wilkinson who went in at number four and remained unbeaten at the end.