Frome 2s came up short against a strong Trull outfit in their crunch clash at the top of the league on Saturday. Trull went into the game 2 points clear and ended the day with a healthy 21 point advantage - fighting through some difficult opening exchanges to show their class by the end.
On a warm day Trull won the toss and had no hesitation in batting first on a good surface. Despite this setback, Knight and Asim got Frome off to a flyer - relentless pressure resulting in Asim snicking off opener Parker and castling dangerous number 3 Clark. A highly impressive opening 10 overs ended with the Showmen well on top at 19-2.
Sapey and Gould rebuilt steadily for Trull, however when Wheeler trapped the former LBW Frome were back in the ascendancy at 42-3. The visitors counter-attacked effectively to regain the initiative however Arthur Harman induced the in-touch Gould (40) to chip to mid-off and the dangerous Stone miscued to cover after drinks leaving the innings in the balance at 101-5.
However, despite bowling excellently to get 5 of Trull’s dangerous top order the Showmen had no answer to a majestic performance from Keith Ford. After casually lofting his 2nd ball for 6 he went on to despatch absolutely everything that Frome could throw at him - a destructive and deserved century leading the visitors out of trouble and into control of the match.
Ably supported by first Fitt (16) in a stand of 86 and then Parsons (33*) in partnership of 67, Ford’s match-winning 107 came to a close in fitting fashion courtesy of some outstanding work from Lewis on the boundary - sprinting round, catching a skier and throwing the ball to Leonard as his momentum took him over the line.
By then the damage had been done but Frome fought hard to pick up further wickets at the back end of the innings - Trull eventually finishing on 263-8.
Requiring everything to go right to threaten Trull’s total, disaster struck early in Frome’s chase - Leonard edging behind 3rd ball. However an in-form Lewis immediately put pressure back on the visitors, timing drives crisply to race Frome up to 50 within the first 10.
Trull then turned to their trump cards, bringing on spinners Fitt and Stone to provide some control. The run-rate soon dipped and eventually Lewis chipped to cover for an enterprising 43 - leaving Frome 61-2.
Potter and Pinchen battled gamely in a stand of 56 against some high quality bowling, however with the required rate increasing wickets began to fall as more risks were taken. After Fitt and Stone’s earlier efforts, spinner Blundell (6-24) reaped the benefits as one by one Frome’s batmen perished throwing caution to the wind.
When Potter (57) departed stumped at 148-6 the game had well and truly gone. Some good blows from Arthur Harman (23) got Frome up to an 8th batting point, however when Wheeler chipped back to Blundell the innings had subsided to 169 all out - a convincing 94-run defeat.
Despite the disappointment Frome still managed to pick up 16 points from the game, keeping them handily placed in second with some important games to come. The Showmen can take a lot of positives from their efforts - in particular the way they dismantled the visitors’ highly talented top 5 - however ultimately a high class innings took the game away. Fine margins, but in a season where most things have gone Frome’s way - they’ll just have to take this one on the chin and come back fighting next week.
Next up, Frome have another tricky assignment on the road with a tough trip to 3rd-placed North Newton.