DORCHESTER 278-7 (19pts) beat POOLE TOWN 213-9 (7pts) by 65 runs
TITLE holders Dorchester handed out a massive signal of intent by beating old rivals Poole Town by 65 runs at Dorchester Rec.
Dan Belt’s men have scrapped with Poole for Dorset Premier League glory in the past three seasons, beating their counterparts on each occasion.
But Dorchester were simply too good for Poole this time out, compiling a big score with the bat and then bowling tidily to keep the visitors at bay.
It was the sort of performance Dorchester have delivered regularly in the past three years and the 19 points gained, added to last week’s win at Broadstone, already puts them at the top of the table.
READ MORE: Dorchester beat Broadstone by eight wickets
Dorchester capitalised on winning the toss amid good batting conditions, Jim Ryall and Simon Mitchem building a commanding 120 stand in the warmth as Poole’s bowlers toiled.
Ryall (70) breezed to a fine half-century and Poole did not break through until the 28th over when Joey Wormington (3-67) snared Mitchem (43).
With Ryall well set, Dorchester were further propelled along by the fluency of overseas star Gautham Rajendar, who quickly set upon Poole’s attack.
When Ryall was run out by Dan Jackson, Rajendar (52) took up the baton and carved a 50 of his own before he was bowled by Jackson (2-66), ending his 50-ball knock.
With Dorchester on 216-3, Mike Peak (41) and Jack Owens (22) both scored rapidly as the hosts posted an imposing 278-7 from their 50 overs.
Poole needed a fast start but Belt (2-28) had other ideas, dismissing openers Jamie Bennett (1) and George Moses (18) and reducing the away side to 43-2.
Left-arm spinner Jon Legg (3-42) followed up with a trio of wickets, including the key scalp of Badrul Alam (43) to put Dorchester firmly in control.
When Darren van Niekerk (32) and David Miller (12) perished, Poole’s innings wobbled at 164-7.
Jackson (39) and Jordan Down (26) worked hard in putting on 45 for the eighth wicket to give Poole a sniff of victory, requiring 70 from the final six overs.
However, Dorchester persisted with aggressive field placings and backed their bowlers as both batters departed in the 47th over, Owens (1-36) taking a return catch off Jackson before Down was run out.
Wormington and Wilson then played out the final overs – surviving a dropped catch – to deprive Dorchester of maximum points, but captain Belt was nevertheless pleased with the victory.
He told Echosport: “With Poole, they’re going to be a hard team to play.
“We didn’t know half the players on their teamsheet, so it was (about) being cautious because you never know if they could be better or not.
“I asked for the team to give an extra five to ten per cent from last week and the boys performed with the bat getting us to 278 – amazing to watch.
“We took the fight to them. Poole are quite a loud team in the field but they were quiet for long periods, which showed how well our batters did against them.”
He added: “We bowled well and I was lucky enough to be able to change the bowlers around every four or five overs so the batters weren’t getting used to a bowler.
“We missed a couple of chances which cost us the 20 points. There was an easy dropped catch but I’m happy with 19 points.
“You’d always take 19 against Poole, any day of the week. It was a good all-round performance from the team and I’m very happy.”
Elsewhere, Dorchester Seconds lost by four wickets at Beaminster in County Division Two, while Dorchester Thirds suffered a nine-wicket reverse at Weymouth Seconds in Division Six.