PURTON must rediscover the ruthlessness that saw them claim the Wiltshire League Division One title last season if they are to avoid their first term back in the WEPL fading far too fast.

That’s according to captain Elliot Hill, who cut a frustrated figure after his side managed to turn a winning position into a demoralising defeat at the hands of Marlborough in the Wiltshire Division on Saturday.

Having dismissed their guests for 157, Purton bungled the run chase and found themselves all out for just 120 in reply, as they lost by 37 runs. The defeat is the fifth Hill & Co have suffered this term and the skipper is desperate for it to be the last.

He said: “We have to keep working hard, keep the spirit in the camp high. I don’t think we’re a million miles away, we’ve created those opportunities to win games and that’s encouraging.

“We’ve just lost a little bit of that ruthless winning habit that we had last year. If we can rediscover that and put together back to back wins I’m sure we won’t be too far off. The next four games are against teams below us and that should provide the opportunity to get some consistency together and some confidence too.”

Imran Ashraf and Adam Woolford both marked their returns to the Purton attack with impressive spells of bowling early on, as Ashraf claimed figures of 2-32 and Woolford 2-33, while Akki Gomel and Tom Fullalove also took two wickets apiece to have Marlborough struggling at tea at the PCG.

However, the Purton reply barely gathered any momentum, with only Elijah Samuel and Tom Bowler making double figures from the top six.

Mark Gardner, at seven, contributed 41 but he didn’t get enough support to help see his side home.

“Our bowlers did well again and bowled us into a winning position and we decided to throw it away with the bat,” said Hill afterwards.

“If we’re honest and brutal with ourselves, the top order didn’t apply themselves. We fell well short.

“We’re disappointed, especially when you reflect on the fact that probably four of our defeats have been our own fault, rather than being outplayed.

“It’s very frustrating. The guys who came in did a great job - Imran Ashraf and Adam Woolford did great work with the ball and both were looking okay with the bat compared to the top order.”