WEPL Premier One
Lechlade 182 all out
Corsham 163 all out

LECHLADE gained the points in their must-win home game with bottom-of-the-table Corsham as they fight for their Premier One survival.

But they were helped hugely by an abject lower-order batting display from the visitors.

Lechlade captain Freddie Martin duly lost the toss again but was probably not too disappointed when asked to bat as they have struggled to chase in recent weeks.

The pitch was offering something for the bowlers and the overhead conditions favoured the bowling side but it was still another indifferent batting display by Lechlade’s top order that contributed significantly to their plight.

A score of 61-5 soon became 99-7 and an early finish looked likely. Brad Dial was his usual phlegmatic self at one end, pushing the ball around and punishing the odd bad ball but the spell of 10-3-25-3 from James Arney appeared to have won the game for Corsham.

Finally Dial found a partner in Harvey Jupp. The 15-year-old has been bowling well all season but he is a competent batsman and displays a cricketing brain well beyond his years.

He defended stoutly, gave Dial the strike whenever possible and hit some elegant boundaries while his partner tried to give Lechlade a target to bowl at. When Dial went for 68 the partnership had added 62 in 12 overs. Jupp himself finished on 34 not out and Lechlade posted a below-par score of 182 all out.

Lechlade’s luck didn’t change when Chris Harwood had to pull out of the attack after only one over. Corsham’s Steve Bullen (73) was in aggressive mood and although Tom Barnes had Tom Abbott lbw with his first ball Corsham raced to 131-3 at drinks and needed only 52 from 25 overs to seal victory.

While Lechlade spilled a couple of half chances their ground fielding was good and they generally bowled well but what happened next was probably due more to the inexplicably poor batting of Corsham.

In the 14 overs after drinks they lost seven wickets for 32 runs, with none of their bottom eight reaching double figures.

The 18-point victory takes Lechlade two places above Frocester, who have the last relegation place, but just as importantly only 13 points behind third-placed Downend.

It remains a monumental battle to avoid relegation as Bath run away at the top.