BEAMINSTER 178-9 (9pts) lost to WEYMOUTH 274 (19pts) by 96 runs

A WONDERFUL century from Neil Walton helped Weymouth to a 96-run victory over Beaminster, their fourth win on the trot in County Division One.

Walton’s innings of 114 included 14 fours and five sixes, and came from only 80 balls as the Seasiders posted a first innings score of 274 all out. He was the best of the bowlers later on as well, with Weymouth restricting their opponents to 178-9 at the end of their 45 overs.

Weymouth captain Lloyd Beals won the toss and batted on a green wicket, with Beaminster’s bowlers unable to make best use of the new ball as John Wilson attacked and Russ Haylock rotated the strike. 

They put on a 78-run partnership before tall seamer Oliver Hey (1-21) nipped one back past Wilson’s inside edge to end his innings of 42.

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Haylock and new batter Walton looked to continue accumulating, but just before drinks the introduction of spinner Paul Edwards sent Haylock (37) packing with the score at 102-2.

Edwards' success continued after the break, with the young offie picking up the wickets of Mark Gregory, Tim Guyett and Tom England in his spell of 4-33. 

When England was dismissed Weymouth were 182-5, but with Walton on 67 and Beals coming to the crease they remained aggressive. 

The duo put on a 38 in quick time before Ben Padwick held his nerve to take a great boundary catch off the bowling of Simon Jones (3-51) to dismiss the Weymouth skipper. Connor Wills joined Walton and fed him the strike, with the number three bringing up his hundredth run thanks to a misfield on the off-side.

By the time he holed out on the mid-wicket boundary Walton had put his team into the box seat, with the score at 260-7 when he was dismissed. The tail pushed that up to 274 all out, just above a run a ball and a formidable target for the hosts to chase.

Beaminster were circumspect to start their innings, with Chris Park and William Moss battling through the first ten overs. The dot-ball pressure generated by Lloyd Beals and first-team debutant Danish Ahmad (0-32) saw both batters look to attack Walton, who dismissed both of them early in his spell.

The score was 60-2 when Walton caught Moss off his bowling, and without another run being scored Pete Sapsworth picked up the wicket of Jack Handford. Walton (3-23) and Sapsworth (2-18) took another wicket each to further hamstring Beaminster’s chances of chasing down the target as they were reduced to 82-5.

Captain Ross Baker looked to up the rate, top-scoring with 38, but Weymouth’s target would prove a bridge too far as Guyett (2-31), Beals (1-23) and Haylock (1-34) took late wickets to leave the hosts 96 runs behind when their 45 overs came to an end. 

Beaminster captain Chris Park admitted his team were not good enough on the day.

He said: "All I wanted at the start was for us to put up a decent performance after the week before.

"Me and Ross were saying (Walton's) knock was probably one of the best we've seen at Beaminster.

"It was classy. You take his score out of it and it's a chaseable total, unfortunately he was too good and we couldn't get him out.

"It was just another eye-opener that we weren't good enough. The rest of this season we'll do what we can and see what happens."

Beaminster next travel to Stalbridge on Saturday (1pm).

Park added: "The good thing is that even though we're getting whooped and we've conceded over 1,000 runs in five games, we all stick together and have beers together.

"That's what I've always wanted, we play for the enjoyment of the game. As long as that continues, that's all I can hope for."

On Stalbridge, he said: "They're just one of those sides we seem to struggle against.

"I'm sure Stuart Sweatman will be playing and he always seems to enjoy playing against us. The likes of (Steve) Forshaw are never going to give you much to go with.

"With the side we've got, I hope we give them some kind of game."

Beaminster: Park, W Moss, Padwick, A Moss, O Hey, Baker, T Hey, Spiller, Bareham, Ronan, Phillips.