West of England Premier League
Covid Group C
Bridgwater 191 beat Minehead 87 by 104 runs

BRIDGWATER Cricket Club’s 1st XI have finished second in WEPL Group C, following a 104-run victory away to Minehead on Saturday.

Batting first, Bridgwater openers Merv Hallaran (22) and Tom Bellinger (19) made a steady start, setting the platform for the destructive Will Smeed.

The Somerset youngster made his intentions clear by getting off the mark with two sixes, and took the bowlers apart with shots all around the ground.

His fun ended when he got slightly too much under another pull shot, to be dismissed for 41 from only 30 balls.

From 89-2, Bridgwater tumbled to 118-7, due to an inspired Minehead fielding effort, including a flying full-length catch from Jack Richards that saw the back of Alex Eckland (15).

The visitors were rescued by Andrew and Chris Skidmore, who mixed their natural aggression with a watchful period to rebuild the innings with a half-century stand.

Both departed for 23, leading their side to a total of 191, with Dan Bowditch claiming 4-16 and Darren Sherring 4-36 for the home team.

An outstanding spell of quick bowling from James Hayes (2-14) troubled Minehead’s top order, and Chris Skidmore (3-30) picked up the pieces to leave the hosts on 31-5.

Bowditch (21) and Archie Marsh (15) tried to hit back, with a stand of 46, but the introduction of spinners Andrew Skidmore (3-6) and Max Toohey (2-6) polished the hosts off.

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Bridgwater, Taunton and Taunton Deane have all finished on 10 points at the top of the group, but the Deane are ranked first on head-to-head record.

They provide the opposition for Bridgwater’s next match, at The Parks next Saturday (12.30pm), in what is a rearranged fixture from a washout earlier in the season.

The game will form part of a Barrington Coombes Trophy weekend, in memory of former Bridgwater batsmen and president Kit Barrington, and former Taunton Deane paceman Richard Coombes, with a number of youth and senior games across the weekend.