Week 18 West of England Premier League review

BISHOPSTON are heading for WEPL’s top flight after securing promotion as champions of Premier Two Bristol/Somerset on the final day of the league season.

Only six points separated Bish from neighbours Golden Hill at the start of the day, but Dave O’Brien’s side made sure of the title with an emphatic eight-wicket home triumph against Shapwick & Polden.

The struggling visitors were skittled for 114, Ryan Adams, Lawrence Cook and skipper Dave O’Brien all taking three wickets before opener Tristan Jungbauer got the party started by thumping  50 off only 26 balls.

Golden Hill did all they could to keep the heat on, romping in by nine wickets at Weston-super-Mare, but could not close the gap on Bish who move up to Premier One for the first time in their history.

Downend sealed fourth with a seven-wicket home victory against Ilminster, Matt Jackson (5-27) and Bobby Naeem (4-41) inflicting the damage.

On the other side of the league pyramid, there was disappointment as Thornbury missed out on promotion from Premier Two Glos/Wilts by a single point after a 56-run home setback against closest rivals Burbage & Easton Royal who instead grabbed top spot.

Former Somerset all-rounder Pete Trego top scored with 66 from 91 in a total of 232-4 and followed up with figures of 2-43 from ten – including bowling Gloucestershire’s Jack Taylor for 27 – along with four slip catches, plus an assist, palming the ball up for another catch to be taken.

Cheltenham, who were eighth only three weeks ago, finished fourth after making it four in a row with a seven-wicket home derby win over Hatherley & Reddings, opener Pete Woodland top scoring on 88.

Promoted Painswick grabbed seventh place with a 112-run triumph away to Royal Wootton Bassett after Luke Woolway’s 127 off 121 (14 fours, five sixes) and Jon Conolly’s burst of 4-45 from nine.

Relegated Corse & Staunton were bowled out for 109 ahead of losing by nine wickets at Marshfield who also drop down.

Dumbleton, meanwhile, are promoted as champions of the Gloucestershire division after trumping Charlton Kings by four wickets, Adam Stuart top scoring on 79.

Nearest rivals Tewkesbury were 178-run victors at relegated Cirencester, Randeera Ranasingha capturing 6-30 from ten, but still finished five adrift of Dumbleton who only narrowly missed going up last year.

Chipping Sodbury finished third despite a three-wicket home reverse against relegated Cheltenham Civil Service, George Leadbetter taking 5-21.

Bourton Vale won by three wickets at Frocester 2nds, and Stroud trumped Gloucester by two wickets, Louis Gegg top scoring on 81.

Bristol, meanwhile, nailed down third place on their first season back in Premier One, seeing off relegated Chippenham by 23 runs, and Frocester, also promoted back a year ago, held their nerve for a low-scoring one-wicket success at Bridgwater to claim fifth.

Ryan Kilmister (4-17) and captain Will Naish (4-33 from nine) skittled Bridgwater for just 76 after the home side had won the toss.

In reply, Frocester were in all kinds of trouble at 48-9 only for the last wicket pairing of Richie Cave (18) and Kilmister (14) to pull the result out of the hat.

In Bristol & North Somerset, Brislington overcame neighbours Knowle by 133 runs to finish second, only one point behind champions Congresbury.

Bristol 2nds defeated their Bath counterparts by seven wickets, Twyford House won by five runs at relegated Frenchay, and Winterbourne also slipped back to the Bristol & District League despite a 21-run home victory against Bristol West Indian Phoenix who finished fourth on their return to tier three.

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