PUDDLETOWN 110-1 (19pts) beat BEAMINSTER 109-8 (2pts) by nine wickets

PUDDLETOWN are potentially one victory away from the County Division One title after a nine-wicket thrashing of Beaminster at Plush.

Adam Barrett’s men must better second-placed Swanage’s score by five points during Saturday’s clash at Hamworthy to seal the trophy and promotion.

Rain had threatened to ruin Puddle’s title push, until the inclement weather ended.

When play began, just 29 overs per side were possible and Barrett crucially won the toss, electing to field first.

Puddletown’s miserly bowlers instantly had Beaminster’s batsmen grounded.

Despite the early loss of Will Moss (7) to a Dave Morris run out, Beaminster dug in.

Dan Hillier (29) top scored for the visitors with James Edmunds (26), captain Ross Baker (15) and Chris Park (14) all contributing to a score of 109-8.

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Beaminster did apply early pressure in defence of the 110 target as Simon Jones – who conceded just three runs in six overs – bowled Rob Snow (8).

But that was as good as it got for Beaminster, who watched new batsman James Mitchell and opener Matt Porter accelerate to victory.

Porter struck a fine 57 not out, while Mitchell added an unbeaten 42 as Puddletown accumulated another 19 points with a convincing win.

Beaminster skipper Baker was in no doubt as to who the worthy winners were.

He said: "We had to bat in the rain for most of our innings and they got the best of the conditions.

"No real excuses, they were the better side. We tried to bat sensibly, keep wickets in hand and accelerate towards the end.

"Puddletown, their death bowling was exceptional. They picked up three or four wickets towards the end and we were 20 or 30 runs short."

Looking ahead to Saturday's home clash with Portland, Baker added: "We had an excellent game against them in the first round.

"We're looking for a similar performance from ourselves. 

"They've picked up recently with two or three good wins and they're on form. We're happy to play at home and try and give them a good game."

Beaminster make two changes with Simon Jones and Dan Hillier out. Nick Hollely comes back in, with an 11th player to be decided upon.

Beaminster: Park, W Moss, Baker, Edmunds, Fowler, A Moss, Spiller, Edwards, Everitt, Hollely, AN Other.