BEAMINSTER 168 (18pts) beat WITCHAMPTON 155 (11pts) by 13 runs

BEAMINSTER earned their first win of the County Division One season after beating Witchampton by 13 runs at the Memorial Ground.

Beaminster’s victory also gave new captain Will Moss a perfect start to his tenure as skipper after Chris Park stepped away from the role prior to the game.

Witchampton won the toss and chose to field first, with initial success.

Of the top order, only Moss (22) got into double figures as Beaminster lost regular wickets.

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Sean Leadbetter (2-23) then removed Moss and Ollie Hey (1) in quick succession to heap pressure on Beaminster.

The west Dorset side were however led to a defendable total by fine innings from Ross Baker (36) and Simon Jones (47), plus 37 extras.

Witchampton’s James Firth took 3-40 late in the piece as Beaminster were dismissed for 168 from 41.3 overs.

Having left 21 balls unused, Beaminster felt their total was slightly under-par and Witchampton’s reply certainly confirmed their fears.

After negotiating the early lbw of Sam Plater (8) to Ollie Bareham (3-36), Witchampton flew to 101-2.

Andy Chambers (34), Firth (40) and Leadbetter (14) were responsible but Hey (2-44) crucially dismissed the latter two mid-flow and Ben Golledge took a return catch off Chambers.

There was more to follow from Golledge, though.

Rarely used as a bowler, his off-spin gave Witchampton major problems and he went on to take a match-winning haul of 5-22, Bareham also helping rip out the tail as the Witches fell just short.

Speaking to the Bridport News, Moss said: “I couldn’t have started better off, everyone got into it and it was a really good team performance.

“I think we were about 20 below par. Considering they were 101-2 and to bowl them out for 155 we couldn’t really ask for much better.”

On Golledge’s fifer, Moss added: “I’ve been saying to him for the last few weeks to get involved.

“He’s always useful and provides a wicket-taking option for us. He’s such a valuable asset to the side in the field and with the ball as well.

“He’s never been known for his bowling but he’s definitely useful. I’ll throw him the ball more often after that performance.”

Next up is Weymouth at Redlands on Saturday (1pm), the Seasiders having beaten Beaminster by 96 runs just three weeks ago.

Moss added: “Weymouth have got some very strong cricketers and at Redlands it’s notoriously quite a flat pitch, so we’ve got to be at our best.

“But there’s no reason why we can’t back ourselves to get another win.”

Moss is among four absentees this weekend, with Baker taking the captaincy. Ollie Hey, Tim Hey and Dan Hillier also miss out but Jack Handford, Ben Fry, Ian Hutchings and Rob Meech return.

Beaminster: Golledge, A Moss, Baker, Handford, Padwick, Jones, O Bareham, Ronan, Hutchings, Meech, Fry.