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Frome (206 all out) beat Midsomer Norton (198 all out) by eight runs – West of England Premier League, Sat. 11th July

Frome First XI climbed off the bottom of the Bristol-Somerset division with a dramatic eight run victory over rivals Midsomer Norton on Saturday 11th July. 

After winning the toss Frome elected to bat first and made a great start through the new-look opening pair of David and Daniel Dredge. Together they brought up the fifty in the tenth over, batting positively and forcing several early bowling changes.

There was no let up as the next 10 overs mirrored the first, Frome bringing up the hundred in the 20th over as they made hay on what looked a good surface. At drinks they were well-placed at 124-0.

Both players passed excellent fifties before falling in quick succession. Firstly Dan Dredge (67) was caught at long off before David fell in exactly the same fashion for 60. Bleakley departed soon after to a smart catch, and Frome were pegged back at 142-3.

Gullock and Paul Sanger looked to rebuild and took Frome onto 167-3 and a strong platform. But again both fell quickly to leave Frome in a spot of bother now five wickets down and undoing their previous good work.

From there wickets continued to fall as Smart, Quinn, Neil and Mark Sanger all fell in quick succession. The last wicket pair of Watts and Wheeler saw Frome past 200, Watts last man out for what was to later prove an important 15 as Frome posted 206.

Frome knew their score was perhaps a little below par, and would have to work hard to force a result. They started well when Neal forced Nick Cox to edge to David Dredge at slip. The home side pushed on at a good rate thanks to some strong hitting from Lear, however two quick wickets from Neal removed Lear 28 and Mosena for a duck to leave Norton reeling at 43-3.

Cox and Clifton counter-attacked and continued to go after the bowling, whilst in reply Frome kept fielders up and continue to pursue Norton wickets. The pair rode their luck on occasions as chances didn’t go to hand, but in between played some excellent strokes as both sides entertained a large crowd of home and away supporters.

The Norton hundred came up in 16 overs as Frome rang the bowling changes in search of wickets. Both Bleakley and Mark Sanger bowled well with no success, as the Norton batters both reached 50.

With the score now past 150 Frome continued to seek a breakthrough and a final roll of the dice saw Neal reintroduced from the far end and this immediately paid dividends when Clifton (52) was caught at mid-on attempting to clear the ring field. This was the breakthrough the visitors had craved, and immediately they put pressure on the new man Pang.

Following a few streaky boundaries Pang was caught off Sanger and the door was half open for Frome. But with Cox still there Norton were still looking very well-set.

Frome continued to press for wickets knowing the game wouldn’t go the distance with just 15 needed and five wickets remaining, and almost made the crucial breakthrough when Cox edged a sharp chance to slip which was put down. In the next over however, Frome got their man when Cox was caught at short extra cover off Sanger for a well-made 71.

Norton were still big favourites but were beginning to wobble, and when Sanger trapped Potter LBW the game was thrown wide open. In the same over Blackmore (0) was bowled and now just two wickets were needed with 14 runs still required.

Brooks and Davis dug in but failed to progress the score as Frome kept the squeeze on and the tension mounted. In his final over Mark Sanger trapped Brooks LBW to leave Frome on the brink and give him five wickets. In the next over Davis was bowled by David Dredge to a roar from the visiting supporters to give Frome a memorable victory from the brink by eight runs.