WEPL Premier 1

Taunton St Andrew's 165 beat Downend 121 by 44 runs

TAUNTON St Andrew's won for the second week in succession as they overcame Downend in a low-scoring encounter in Bristol on Saturday.

The Saints batted first and their two James' at the top of the order made a rapid start, with the in-form James Regan dominating an opening stand of 62 which ended when youngster James Rew was caught for nine.

Regan went on to bring up a 31-ball half century as the Saints passed 100 in the 11th over - but his departure for 65 sparked a remarkable collapse due to a super spell of bowling.

Seamer Matthew Jackson removed Regan, then Somerset duo Eddie Byrom (28) and man of the moment Tom Banton (7) in quick succession - and he wasn't finished there.

Jackson went on to claim a hat-trick later in the innings and removed the rest of the Saints batting line-up on his way to stunning figures of 9-27 from 9.5 overs, with only skipper Jack Cooper (23) able to pass double figures of the middle and lower order.

The carnage had seen St Andrew's slip from 124-1 to 165 all out, but they came out in determined mood with the ball.

Opening bowlers James Hayman and Harry Clements each struck early to reduce the hosts to 4-3, and it was 23-4 when Clements clean bowled Gloucestershire pro Ian Cockbain (9).

Jordan Garrett and Matt Crawford led a recovery of sorts but Cooper brought himself on and took wickets in successive balls, with the score on 70, to halt any momentum.

Cooper went on to claim 4-22 from 7.4 overs, including the key wicket of skipper Garrett (39), and Lloyd Alley (1-16) took the final wicket as the Saints wrapped up victory by 44 runs.

On Saturday, St Andrew's welcome Cheltenham to the Wyvern Club (12.30pm).

The newly-promoted visitors remain winless from their first five matches.

WEPL Premier 2 Bristol/Somerset

Bishopston 218-5 beat Taunton 214-9 by 5 wkts

TAUNTON were put to the sword by a Gloucestershire professional for the second week in succession as they went down at Bishopston on Saturday.

After Winterbourne’s Chris Dent had performed well against them the previous weekend, this time it was Benny Howell’s century which went a long way to deciding the contest.

Taunton batted first and made a pedestrian start in tricky batting conditions on a green wicket.

They progressed at little more than one run per over for the first 20 overs but Will Abell (66) and captain Hugh Kelly (40) sped things up thereafter.

Will Easterfield (22) provided valuable late runs to take them to 214-9, a total they felt was defendable, but Howell and Daaryoush Ahmed made a steady start to the reply.

Easterfield broke through for Taunton, dismissing Ahmed for 30, and three further quick wickets fell to give Taunton hope.

But Howell, who had edged just short of slip on 20, went on to complete his century - with one over which went for 40 particularly pivotal.

Howell fell to James Hayes (2-56 from 10) for 102 but David O’Brien (36*) and Jacob Duffy (20*) led Bishopston to victory midway through the 40th over, with Max Toohey (2-17 from 9) the pick of the visiting attack.

Taunton have James Clark back this weekend for a home clash with bottom club Keynsham, which captain Kelly is calling a “must-win” game.

“We have played five and won two, and really it could - maybe should - be played five, won four,” Kelly added.

“We need to win on Saturday and I have every confidence that we will.”

WEPL Somerset Division

Wellington 249 beat Street 157 by 92 runs

WELLINGTON are up to fourth in the Somerset Division of the West of England Premier League courtesy of an excellent home win over Street on Saturday, as they saw off one of the sides who were promoted with them last season by 92 runs, writes David Derrick.

Choosing to bat on winning the toss, Tom Chambers and Neil Hendy posted an outstanding opening stand of 123, as Chambers hit 77 in 79 balls (with 14 fours) and Hendy hit a capital 94 in 146 balls (also 14 fours, and a six).

Run scoring continued at a good rate as Wellington batted into the 50th and final over of their innings, with Jack Beal striking 19 as the Red & Blacks totalled 249 in 49.4 overs; Evely’s 4-53 in 9.4 overs was Street’s best offering with the ball.

Come the reply, Luke Desave was exemplary in taking 4-33 in 10 overs, and this put Street under pressure from the off as they fell to 42-4.

Kyle Wood (34) and Kieran Peters (30) each made a start, but did not go on with it to the extent that was needed, as Rob Moysey’s wrist spin and Arron Campbell’s finger spin saw 20 overs delivered between them for a combined cost of just 42 runs.

Jack Beal (3-28 in seven overs) came back for a second spell and along with Lewis Sparks he saw off the Street innings for 157, with four overs going unused.

This was a third win in a row for a side who are in confident mood in both forms of the game in which they are involved at the moment.

This coming Saturday sees Wellington travel to take on Bridgwater 2nds (12.30pm).

WEPL Somerset Division

Minehead 241-8 beat North Petherton 175 by 66 runs

MINEHEAD hosted fellow strugglers North Petherton on Saturday in an absolutely must-win game.

Winning the toss, Phil Barraclough decided to bat first on what looked a fair wicket.

The Pirates got off to a good start with Angus Marsh racing into the 30s by the 10th over, when Buchanan was caught at the other end for 9, with the score on 42.

Harrison joined Marsh and the pair built a solid partnership, Harrison negating the dangerous looking spin from one end, with Marsh accumulating against the seamers from the other.

Marsh reached his first half-century of the season before he was well caught in the deep for 55.

Harrison soon after fell just short of his milestone, pinned lbw for 49.

However, Barraclough was caught in the deep for 14, Bowditch caught and bowled for 8, Braden Taylor run out for 8 and Archie Marsh bowled for 16 as the Pirates’ positive start was in jeopardy of falling away.

Then, Wilson and Sherring began to find the boundary, the pair increasing the scoring rate to swing the innings back into Minehead’s favour.

Wilson bashed a quick-fire 35 from 25 balls and Sherring finished on 25no from 20 balls.

A 241 score was achieved thanks to Charlie Tudball striking two boundaries in the final over as he finished 10no from just five deliveries.

While Minehead were pleased with this total, considering the precarious position they were in with 10 overs remaining - it still seemed slightly under par and knew that a top class bowling performance would be required to win.

Ellis Taylor gave Minehead the dream start, once again striking in his first over as he had overseas batsman Ali Zaryab well caught at slip by Bowditch for a duck.

Darren Sherring took slightly longer to find his line then dismissed Knight and Winter to leave North Petherton 25-3.

Despite the early wickets, Pethy looked up for the challenge as the batsman began to play their shots, and the run rate remained around six runs per over throughout the innings - with their very own Bowditch scoring a run-a-ball 33, and Lewis Irish hitting 34 in the middle order.

But the Minehead bowling and fielding unit proved too strong as Braden Taylor picked up 3-35.

Bowditch was miserly collecting 1-11 from his five overs, and Buchanan mopped up the tail with three late wickets as the Pirates got home by 66.

A much brighter bowling and fielding performance by the Pirates carries them outside the relegation places in sixth place.

Mr & Mrs SE Man of the Match was Angus Marsh for his rapid 55 and holding on to two important catches in the deep.

Minehead travel to Taunton Deane 2nds on Saturday.