RELIEVED skipper Greg Parsons called for more consistency from his charges as Broadstone remained in the Premier One title race by the narrowest of margins.
Going into Saturday’s final round of fixtures before the top and bottom four were split into two groups, the Delph outfit knew they had to make up ground on their rivals when they entertained Stalbridge.
Broadstone were looking good having elected to bowl, limiting their visitors to 44 for five before Chris Hedges (89) and Frank Turrill (32*) rattled off more than a run per ball from the lower order.
The duo’s 88-run partnership turned round a Stalbridge innings which had initially been stifled by thrifty home bowler Steve Trembath (three for 22).
Chasing 212 for eight, Broadstone remained in contention throughout their reply, but despite the best efforts of Luke Carter (32) and Matthew Jones (32), alongside Trembath’s 31 from 28 balls, they were skittled for 205.
Broadstone’s 11-point haul was still enough to relegate Swanage to the bottom half by a single score, although Parsons acknowledged their title hopes had taken a significant dent.
Broadstone’s captain told the Daily Echo: “While it was pleasing that we managed to get into the top four before the split, the loss was disappointing as it dropped us further behind the top spot. Chris (Hedges) batted well for Stalbridge to help their recovery.
“We gave him too many balls that he could hit for boundaries but he was very positive in putting them away.
“We need to be more consistent with our bowling performances and we also had five batters who scored more than 20 without going on to score at least a 50. If we have ambitions of catching the teams above us then we are going to need big scores from the guys that get in.”
Swanage, who went into their match at leaders Poole Town in third place, missed out on the top four having only collected five league points from the fixture.
The Swans managed 185 for nine but were surpassed by their hosts who racked up 187 for four, a victory which put Kristian Wilson’s men 10 points clear at the summit.
Parley also made the cut by virtue of their six-wicket success at cellar dwellers Ferndown Wayfarers.
Leigh Dunham (29) and Connor Coppard (24) provided the only significant resistance as the hosts were bowled out for 125.
Coppard (three for 24) did all he could to stop the league champions but below-par scores from openers Dominic Clutterbuck (25) and Alex Nippard (26) were still enough as Parley totalled 126 for four off 30 overs.