PARLEY II 155 (8pts) lost to BEAMINSTER 184-9 (21pts) by 29 runs

BEAMINSTER made a winning start to life in County Division Two with a 29-run victory over Parley Seconds.

Chris Park’s men were relegated from County Division One last season but have strengthened with several new signings.

One of which, Ben Golledge, helped set a platform for Beaminster’s innings after Parley won the toss and fielded first.

Golledge (21) helped rebuild after new skipper Park (5) and Will Moss (0) had departed early on.

Cameron Laird (2-34) removed Tom Fowler (8) and Ross Baker (4) but Andy Symes (1-32) got the key breakthrough with the wicket of Golledge.

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That brought Adam Moss (47) and Simon Jones (32) to the crease, the duo constructing a partnership of 74 from 14 overs.

Both men fell to Harry Avoth, who claimed 5-35 from nine overs but he could not bowl Beaminster out for full bowling points as the away side closed on 184-9.

With Parley making a fast start in their reply, Beaminster were grateful to new signing Lahiru Abeywickrama (3-19), who took a quick brace with Mark Avoth and Lewis Shipp (both 10) departing.

David Doust (44) proved a thorn in Beaminster’s side but leg-spinner Harry Everitt (2-19) produced a ripper to bowl the opener before Matt King (17) perished.

Beaminster had now done serious damage to a chase that was bubbling along nicely at 94-2 from 18 overs, with Nick Hollely adding three scalps to blow away the lower order.

A wounded Parley saw Symes (11) offer late resistance but Abeywickrama returned for his third wicket as Beaminster closed out the victory.

Park told the Bridport News: “It was an all-round performance from everyone. It was an attritional win, really slow.

“Parley’s ground is vast and there was a lot of twos that would’ve normally gone for fours on another ground.

“Ben batted 20 overs to make the bowlers tired and unfortunately he got out to a full toss but we were hoping for 160. We were delighted knowing that we made 184.

“Everyone chipped in with the bowling but our bowlers were guilty of trying a bit too hard at the start.

“At no point did I think we were going to bowl them out. We didn’t finish until quarter to eight and it went right to the wire.

“Even with the last man I was thinking they could still get it, they only needed 30. It was never a comfortable win, but a nice steady one.”

Beaminster now turn their attentions to a home derby with Dorchester Seconds on Saturday (1.30pm).

Park said: “It’s always nice to play against Dorchester. I’m not too worried about who we play against this year, I’m more concerned about how we approach the game.

“With derbies there can be a bit of niggle but I’ve drummed it in to the lads that I don’t want any nonsense at all. We’re all here to enjoy ourselves.”

New signing from Cattistock & Symene, Billy Wallbridge, comes in for his debut at the expense of Tom Fowler.

Beaminster: Park, Wallbridge, W Moss, Golledge, Baker, A Moss, Jones, Edmunds, Abeywickrama, H Everitt, Hollely.