POOLE TOWN II 154 (7pts) lost to BEAMINSTER 195-8 (19pts) by 41 runs

BEAMINSTER earned a hard-fought 41-run victory over lowly Poole Seconds in their County Division Two tussle at a soggy Poole Park.

After both teams agreed to play the game despite the heavy overnight and morning rain, Poole won the toss and elected to field.

On a damp pitch, they were immediately rewarded when opener Rich Runyard (0) was dismissed in the first over.

However, an excellent 73-run second-wicket partnership between Ali Crawford (34) and Ross Baker rescued the visitors and put them in a strong position.

The good work was continued by Chris Park (24) who played freely and accelerated the run rate as the pitch began to dry out. Baker was eventually dismissed in the 30th over for a determined 44.

Daniel Swift (23) and Lewis Keenan (28) both played fluently before falling when looking well set. The innings eventually closed on 195-8 as late order wickets were lost when trying to gain full batting points.

During the chase, Daniel Swift (4-27) produced his best bowling performance for the club. He bowled unchanged and put the top-order batsmen under enormous pressure.

The highlight was a brilliant hat-trick between his sixth and seventh over. After bowling two batsmen he won an lbw decision before being mobbed by his teammates.

From 78-7, the Poole middle-order batsmen staged a determined fightback as the eighth-wicket pair shared a 62-run partnership, Heath Wallace notching an unbeaten 48.

However, after a tight spell of bowling from Ross Baker (1-23) and Ali Crawford (0-16), William Moss (3-30) mopped up the tail to present second-placed Beaminster with their third straight win.

Speaking to Echosport, Baker said: “It was tough but we fought well and it’s a vital win for us.

“Early on it was pretty wet and we had to really fight hard at the top of the innings. I was quite impressed with the way we rebuilt after a shaky start.

“The reason we had to have a toss was because we didn’t have enough players there because the traffic was quite heavy.

“Everyone got starts and batted well but we would’ve liked to have got full batting points, but it’s still a good performance.”

On Swift’s display, Baker added: “He’s bowled well throughout the season and he got his just rewards with a hat-trick, it was fantastic – two clean bowled and an lbw. That put us on the front foot.”