LECHLADE were left to rue their bowling at the death in their relegation battle in Premier One against bottom-of-the-table Bedminster as they lost by 16 runs.

After a strong start with the ball, the Manor Ground men had their hosts reeling at 166-6 with the best part of 10 overs remaining.

However, Bedminster went on the attack with a seventh-wicket stand of 65 between Richard Sillars (46) and Tom Pugsley (52 not out).

The hosts, who boast former England international Mark Alleyne in their side, closed on 275-8, with Tom Barnes the pick of the Lechlade bowlers with figures of 3-34.

Lechlade’s initial response was positive, with opener Ryan Higgins hitting a run-a-ball century.

Yet, while the Manor Ground coach went on the attack, his team-mates were unable to give him the support he required as Tom Young, Brad Dial, skipper Freddie Martin, Benny Ellis and Chris Harwood all got themselves set but could not push on.

Lechlade required 60 to win as they headed into the final 10 overs, however, Alleyne’s medium pace saw him pick up three late wickets as the visitors closed on 259-9.

Captain Martin, who can now focus on his cricket after completing his business management degree at Cardiff University, said: “It is disappointing to lose because for the majority of the game, I thought that we were the better side.

“We had them around 170-6 but in the last 10 overs, they scored 100 runs and managed to take the game away from us a bit.

“I thought that we bowled pretty well up front, but then their tail wagged.

“Ryan batted well and got us off to a flyer and I felt that Brad batted pretty well too.”

The defeat to Bedminster means that Lechlade are now just four points above the drop zone ahead of Saturday’s visit from Corsham, who fell to the bottom of the table over the weekend.