MINEHEAD lst XI lost for the second successive weekend when they slumped by 85 runs at home to Wembdon in the Somerset Division of the West of England Premier Cricket League over the weekend,

It was a particularly disappointing result for Minehead who were playing their first home league game of the 2024 season.

Captain Dan Bowditch called correctly at the toss and chose to bowl first on a typically firm looking Minehead wicket with a tinge of green.

Harry Tudball and Darren Sherring opened the attack and bowled accurately in the opening stages. On 13 Tudball pinned Everett LBW, and Sherring joined the party just a couple of overs later as he had Anning well caught by Rob Spiers with the score on 24.

Regular wickets fell from this point as Brandon Rawle’s return to the side was welcomed as he picked up two big wickets, trapping overseas batter De Zoysa leg before wicket for just five , and then holding on to a simple return catch from Jon Brockwell next over.

When Spiers picked up an early wicket in his spell thanks to a sprawling catch down the leg-side by wicket-keeper Gregg Howard, Wembdon were 101 for five after 28 overs.

However, Harry Love who went in first wicket down had batted well until this point and had reached a classy 50. The introduction of skipper Bowditch had kept a tight rein on the scoring rate despite Love’s resistance and wickets falling around him. But the Pirates were patient, which is exactly what spin bowler Ellis Taylor was when he clean bowled the right-hander for 71 with the score on 148.

Taylor then produced a carbon copy as he clean bowled Trunks in similar fashion the very next delivery, leaving Wembdon 148 for seven. Jack Lowe and James Baker batted well to finish off the Wembdon innings, but Minehead managed to take all 10 wickets as Bowditch and Braden Taylor were rewarded for miserly spells with a wicket each, and with a run out securing five bowling points as Wembdon were 193 all out.

It became evident in the first innings that a slow outfield and a large playing area would make boundaries difficult to come by, but the promoted Darren Sherring picked up three early boundaries from the bowling of Pope as Minehead raced to 24 without loss.

Brockwell proved to be the nemesis for Minehead once again though, as he has been so many times over the years – firstly removing Sherring LBW for 20, before bemusing Ian Buchanan with a slower ball caught at mid-wicket, and just two balls later had Bowditch caught at square leg without scoring.

In the meantime, another LBW decision went Wembdon’s way as Howard was struck on the pads by Pope for 12 which saw Minehead slip from 45 for two to 46 for five.

Things did not improve from this point as Payne was clean bowled for one, and a mix-up left Rawle run out for five – and at 65 for seven, the game was all but done and dusted.

Some solid resistance from Chris James, Braden Taylor and Ellis Taylor followed, but ultimately it was not Minehead’s day and they were dismissed for 108 in the 39th over.

This was a more positive display than the previous week especially with the ball, but Minehead know improvements must be made in the batting department if they are to compete again at this level.

On Saturday Minehead are away to Bridgwater where both Bowditch and James struck superb centuries last season.

Minehead 108 all out lost to Wembdon 193 all out by 85 runs.