PHIL Morris's maiden Southern Premier League half-century failed to save Bashley from a 70-run defeat against Premier Division leaders South Wilts.

Morris (60) led the Bashley reply as they attempted to chase down South Wilts's 234 for eight at Lower Bemerton.

However, with wickets falling around him at regular intervals – Bashley were 103 for six at one stage – Morris's exploits proved in vain as the visitors were bowled out for 164, just four overs from scheduled stumps.

The South Wilts total was built around opener Tom Morton (97) who was superbly run out by Mitch Wilson's precise throw to teenage wicketkeeper Patrick Lewis.

Morton’s stand of 110 for the second wicket with Will Wade (38) pointed South Wilts towards a potentially big score but some poor shots led to a flurry of wickets before and after lunch (Josh Digby 3-56, Simon Watkins 2-44, Ross Grierson 2-69).

But although South Wilts dropped from an imposing 140 for one to 160 for six when Morton departed, late runs from Arthur Godsal (40) and Joe Weld (28) effectively put them out of reach.

Defeat saw Bashley drop to sixth in the table – 34 points adrift of frontrunners South Wilts.

Bashley host New Milton on Saturday.