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Doctors beat Quantock Stags by 40 runs
Doctors 121 for 4

Stags 81 for 3

Doctors won the toss and took first use of a damp, sluggish strip. Heavy rolling had removed all of the spite which had been present in the pitch on the previous day and a very wet outfield made run scoring hard work. John Ogle looked secure but departed early to an old failing, run out a yard short of his ground on a tight second run by a good throw by Pete Ison at third man. By contrast the ensuing stand of 35 between Alan Dunkley (20) and Dave Rooke was full of electrifying ones and twos. Dave Wilsden and Jeff Shaw used the pitch well with Wilsden in particular bowling to an immaculate line and length but the batsmen kept the scoreboard moving until they were parted by Bruce Richardson (1-21) who found Dunkley’s top edge. This brought James Powell to the wicket and a change of tactics as he and Rooke decided that the aerial route was the only way to overcome the slow outfield. Their rumbustious 50 partnership was broken when Rooke, attempting another big hit, was caught off Ison (1-22) for an excellent 36. Powell (33) fell soon after to a stunning one-handed catch at mid off by Simon Foyle off Terry Barnett (1-17), but Keith Powell (12 n.o.) and Sam Powell (7 n.o.) maintained the family honour with a quickfire cameos to ensure a challenging total.

John Down (1-12) continued his form of last season as if there had been no winter break, bowling his usual off stump line, just short of a length, and making the early breakthrough when Gordon Elkins steered the ball to the safe hands of Joe Lee at deep gully. Gary Meadows, bowling at the other end, was even more of a handful and Stags began to fall behind the clock. However by the time the change bowlers came on Paul Charles and Bob Bradley were well set and beginning to go for their shots. The tempo increased despite a controlled spell of spin bowling from Mike Sullivan who was unlucky to have Charles dropped at deep square leg, but a shower of rain made the grass even slower and boundaries were relatively few and far between. Lee proved hard to get away and the advent of James Powell (2-19) into the attack led to the demise of both batsmen. Charles’ fine innings of 29 ended with a nerve-jangling skier to Peter Reed at short extra cover and Bradley (26) was well taken by Sullivan running behind the keeper from slip. The asking rate was now over 10 an over and not even the belated appearance of master-blaster Courtney Merchant (21 n.o.) could get the visitors within range.