SEAN Walbridge pulled no punches after watching Dorset crash to an eight-wicket defeat against Western Division rivals Herefordshire – their first away reverse in the Minor Counties for almost four years.

The reigning champions, who last lost on the road at Berkshire in August 2007, were also beaten for the first time in the Championship since August 2009 – with this resounding defeat at Brockhampton coming inside two days.

Speaking to the Daily Echo last night, team manager Walbridge said: “We batted very poorly and that led to our downfall. We were blown away this afternoon and the performance was below the high standards we have set ourselves over the past four or five seasons. But you have to put it into context because we hadn’t lost an away game for a very long time.”

Seamer Callum Stewart had Dorset on the rack throughout, the Brockhampton man making the most of his home track to claim match figures of 11 for 113.

Stewart (6-56) helped dismiss the visitors for 213 in their first innings before inflicting more misery (5-57) as Dorset were shot out for 185 in their second (Glyn Treagus 33).

Herefordshire, who had closed the first day on 171 for four, added 111 to their overnight total as Dorset mounted something of a fight back to dismiss them for 282 in reply.

Mark Wolstenholme (4-89) and Tom Hicks (3-51) gave Dorset hope as Herefordshire failed to build on a promising start, with a lead of 69 far from beyond the champions.

However, after Stewart had again proved to be Dorset’s chief tormentor, Herefordshire were left requiring just 117 for victory, a target they polished off with the minimum of fuss thanks to Steve Adshead (73) and Dave Exall (41).