SKIPPER Ryan Norman hailed as “huge” leaders Swanage’s three-wicket victory over Martinstown at Lower Ashton Farm.

Swans overcame the absence of several key players to chalk up a sixth successive win as they maintained their unbeaten start to the campaign.

Norman conceded the visitors had bowled “poorly”, allowing the hosts to rack up a formidable 265 after they had elected to bat first.

But an unbeaten 65 from the captain – together with crucial contributions from Pete Richards and Ricky King – saw them edge home with an over to spare.

Norman said: “It was another good win. For the first time this season, we bowled poorly, meaning we had a decent score to chase.

“We lost three early wickets to put us on the back foot but Ricky stood firm on his first outing of the season and once again Pete was good with the bat at a crucial time.

“Some very important contributions from Steve Kent and Matt Beard allowed me to see home the team and complete a good win.

“We were missing a few players so the result was huge for us as a squad.”

Opening pair Richards (2-29) and Norman (2-36) both returned respectable figures with Matt Beard (2-39) and King (2-56) also chipping in with a couple of wickets.

Mike Wells (1-44) was Swanage’s other wicket-taker as Fraser Hill (95) dominated the Martinstown’s innings.

Having been reduced to 39 for three in reply, a fourth-wicket stand of 75 between King (46) and Richards repaired some of the early damage.

Richards (62) also shared 59 for the sixth wicket with Norman as the visitors progressed to 179 for six.

Norman and Kent (22) then put on 43 for the seventh wicket before an unbroken stand of 44 between Norman and Beard saw Swans over the line.

Reigning champions Wimborne & Colehill maintained their pursuit of Swanage thanks to a 43-run victory over Broadstone at The Delph.

Half-centuries from George Bartlett and Tom Caines helped the Minstermen reach 230 before the wickets were shared around as Broadstone were stopped at 187.

Ashley Collison (5-50) and Mike Holm (3-25) both starred with the ball for Broadstone, while a defiant knock from opener Luke Carter (63) proved in vain.

Bartlett (55) dominated an opening stand of 62 with Colin Randall before he became Collison’s first victim having shared 53 for the second wicket with Mark House (35).

Collison also accounted for Grant Cormack, James Williams (18), David Guest (23) and James Miller – and caught Caines (51) off the bowling of Holm – as Wimborne posted a challenging target.

A second-wicket stand of 86 between Carter and Daniel Cook (27) gave Broadstone a solid platform which collapsed after both had departed in quick succession.

They lost wickets at regular intervals to Harrison Bowles (3-12), Bartlett (2-26), Caines (2-35), Ian Broom (1-29) and Ed Bartlett (1-37) and were eventually dismissed for 187.