WEPL Premier One Second XI

Bridgwater II 194 lost to Keynsham II 197-9 by one wicket

BRIDGWATER 2nds were crowned Premier One champions on Saturday despite going down by one wicket to Keynsham.

In their first defeat since May, Bridgwater claimed the eight bonus points they needed to take the title for the second time in three seasons.

Having been bowled out for 194 batting first, mainly thanks to an unbeaten 96 from young Ben Coombes, Matt Habberfield ensured a tense finale with 4-32 as Keynsham reached their target with two balls to spare.

On winning the toss, Bridgwater captain Scott Sealey had no hesitation in batting first on a flat wicket, and he and Coombes got their side off to a great start with 78 for the first wicket in 16 overs.

Coombes was particularly fluent, playing some elegant drives on both sides of the wicket, with Sealey proving an excellent foil in putting his team in control.

However, when Sealey was dismissed for 27 this brought a batting collapse as the visitors fought back with dismissals of Kitch and Witts in quick time.

Only Tom Pople, with a bright 29 off only 23 balls, gave Coombes any support, and at 157-9 Bridgwater were in some trouble.

The reliable Habberfield then batted with application as he and Coombes added a further 37 runs in a excellent stand which nearly saw Coombes to his hundred only for Habberfield (11) to fall with the young opener unbeaten on 96.

After tea, Keynsham started cautiously against Chris Singleton and Ian Higgins, who both bowled tight opening spells, picking up a wicket apiece as the visitors reached 23-2.

Skipper Ben Whittington had dropped anchor and found an able partner in James Wetton as they added 77 for the third wicket to set up the game.

Their partnership ended with a fine run out by Ben Whitemore, sparking a collapse as Habberfield picked up four wickets as he ran through the Keynsham middle order.

At 139-7 Bridgwater appeared to be in the ascendency, and when Singleton (2-31) dismissed Whittington for a fine 84 off 119 balls the game looked over for Keynsham.

Tight bowling and fielding left Keynsham needing an unlikely 20 off the final over with only one wicket remaining, but to the shock of the home crowd number nine Chris Britton smashed three sixes and a four to see his side home with two balls to spare.

The seconds would like to thank umpire Alan Prowse, scorer Andrea Taylor, match sponsors Pete and Vicki Clarke, and match ball sponsors TMB Patterns Ltd.