A LACK of bowling penetration saw Cirencester suffer a league and cup double defeat by unbeaten County League Division One leaders Cheltenham Civil Service at the weekend.

Readers Glos CCL Div One

Cheltenham Civil Service 223-6

Cirencester II 222-6

A strong Town side were perhaps a little unfortunate to lose by four wickets off the penultimate ball of a hard-fought away contest in the league on Saturday.

But Civil Service coasted to a seven-wicket County Cup win in The Park on Sunday easily passing a Town total of 204-6 with five overs to spare.

Having already lost at home to their rivals earlier this season, The Town were looking for revenge on Saturday and they got off to a fine start batting first as openers Ben Moody and Ross Jeffels put on 89 off 16 overs for the first wicket before Jeffels was caught and bowled by Robinson for 42.

Will Mason became Robinson’s second victim shortly after but Moody went on to reach a solid half-century before he was trapped leg-before by left-arm spinner George Leadbetter for 61.

Jock Jamieson-Black hit 21 before he was bowled by Leadbetter, but Town skipper Gareth Williams kept the runs coming in a 38-run stand with Alex Binnie.

When the latter departed, Tony Wood hit a quick-fire 33, helping push the final total to a challenging 222-6 with Williams coming off unbeaten on 33.

Leadbetter, who had been the most effective Service bowler with 3-36 from his nine overs, then began plundering the Town attack with the bat as he dominated an opening stand of 102 with Mayes who was eventually caught off Andy Cox for 32.

Leadbetter, the outstanding performer over the two days, then found another willing partner in Jones before he was eventually caught in Jeffels’ second spell for an aggressive 89, and although Jamieson-Black picked up two more wickets with his left-arm spin the home middle order were always up with the clock.

A run out and a wicket for Simon Rowe briefly raised Town hopes but they failed to part the seventh-wicket pair and in a tight finish Service passed the target with a ball to spare.

Gloucestershire County Cup semi final

Cirencester 204-6

Cheltenham Civil Service 205-3

THE scenario was little different when the two sides clashed again in the semi final of the County Cup in the Park on Sunday when the Town, batting first, once more made a respectable 204-6 from their 40 overs only to lack the bowling strength to prevent their rivals winning by seven wickets.

Moody and Jock Jamieson-Black began the Town innings solidly enough before both men fell to visiting seamer Bridge, but then Jamie Jamieson-Black and Alex Binnie put together a half-century stand.

Binnie was trapped leg-before by Leadbetter for 28, but Jamieson-Black went on to reach a fine 58 and with useful contributions by Will Mason, Jono Jamieson-Black and Jeffels in the middle order the Town reached 204-6 by tea.

Sadly, although Jock Jamieson Black trapped Jones leg-before for 12, Leadbetter and Baker were rarely troubled by the other home bowlers in a century stand for the second wicket that virtually settled the issue.

Baker eventually fell for 52, but Leadbetter went on to amass an attractive 84 before he was caught and Attwood and Gaskins saw off the remaining runs in the 35th over.