MINEHEAD wrapped up the first half of the season with a much-needed away win over unbeaten Somerset Division leaders North Perrott on Saturday
Asked to bat after losing another toss, they lost both openers early, and when Braden Taylor fell for just three they found themselves in a vulnerable position at 43-3.
However, Liam Muggeridge and the in-form Alastair Harrison steadied the ship in the middle overs and after a period of rebuilding set about composing a sizeable total.
Their partnership was cut short when Harrison prodded forward and proceeded to gift an easy catch to the man under the helmet at short leg for 23.
Muggeridge was now well into his stride and punishing some loose bowling from the young Perrott spinners.
He dominated a partnership of 67 with Dan Bowditch, with Bowditch getting to ten before top-edging a sweep as he looked to speed up the scoring.
Muggeridge was next to depart when he lofted a straight drive off Eckland (4-51) only to find the long on fielder, his fine 76 having included 13 fours.
Freddie Wilson met his demise the very next ball for three when he skewed a drive to backward point, and Charlie Tudball narrowly avoided being bowled with the hat-trick ball before he and Jay Darrell (18no) accumulated runs steadily in the last few overs to give their side a defendable 191-9 from their allotted overs.
In reply, the hosts’ openers Eckland and Retter struggled against the new ball pairing of Darrell (3-19) and Harry Tudball (1-21) as both bowled with exceptional control, and it wasn’t long before Darrell provided the breakthrough when he had Eckland caught behind by keeper Andrew Stevens for just two.
That brought Kiwi Johnson to the crease but Darrell produced another excellent delivery to induce a thick edge, Harrison taking a sharp catch in the gully to see the back of the danger-man for just four.
Perrott captain Symes didn’t fair much better as he faced 20 balls without scoring before a leading edge saw him caught at mid on for a duck, and when Tudball had Retter LBW for a watchful ten they were in trouble at 24-4.
Middle order batsmen Taylor and Jones (13) offered some resistance before the latter was bowled by Bowditch (1-15) just before drinks.
Taylor, now running out of partners, found some useful boundaries, but when he miscued a full toss off Ian Buchanan (3-14) on 45, his team’s hopes of victory were gone and Buchanan and Muggeridge (2-17) took the remaining wickets in quick time to leave the hosts 128 all out in 37.2 overs.
Minehead gained a valuable 19 points form the fixture in their quest for safety in the Somerset Division, and they travel to fellow strugglers Staplegrove tomorrow (Saturday) knowing a win will lift them above their hosts in then table.