BRAD Dawson lamented Goatacre’s shambolic batting display after his side were comprehensively beaten by Cheltenham in Premier Two.

Having put in all the hard work to get their weekend game on at Goatacre Lane, despite the localised heavy rain, the hosts capitulated in bizarre fashion, with nine players caught out, including six in the inner ring of fielders, as they limped to 148 all out in 25 overs.

Dawson was dismayed by his side’s downfall, particularly given the spectacular early platform they were given by opener Jack Haines, who spanked a barely believable 48 from 16 balls to help Goatacre to 63-1 inside four overs.

However, one Haines, who smashed six sixes and three fours, was dismissed by Liam Walker, none of the other 10 home batsmen got beyond 19. Walker ended with 4-34 and, despite being well off their best, Cheltenham set themselves a low target for victory.

Dawson said: “It was ridiculous. We were 50-0 off three overs and Jack was 40-odd. He does what he normally does and gets out in the 40s. It was a shame because we got the game on, which was good with the rain, and they’re a good set of lads from Cheltenham. It’s better to get a game in than not.

“Nine of us got caught. Ed (Wilkins) and Joe Tillyer were the only genuine wickets, they nicked off behind, and the rest of us were all caught. Six of us were caught in the ring and that’s pretty bad considering we were bowled out in 25 overs. It’s pretty embarrassing really.

“It was just weird how it happened. Liam (Dawson) tried cutting the spinner, got bowled and we all just seemed to be chipping them up.

“I spoke to their lads after the game and they said they couldn’t believe it. Both teams were absolutely atrocious in the first innings. They bowled awfully and we batted even worse. They still bowled us out for 150.”

Having reduced their guests to 39-3, Goatacre briefly had a sniff of an unlikely victory but a measured innings from Stephen Kelly, who made 57, saw Cheltenham home.

“We bowled alright at the start and had a chance when we had them 30-odd for three and then this lad came in, batted really well and almost batted through,” said Dawson. “He got them across.”

Goatacre are now sitting in eighth spot in the table, just one place and 20 points above the drop zone. However, with the division so congested above them, Dawson is not fearing for his team’s future just yet.

“Cheltenham, Thornbury, Ilminster and Potterne are between third and sixth and have 10 points between them. It’s so close. We’re on 84 and there’s a bit of a gap between us and Minehead, but that’s only one bad game from us and a win from them,” he said.

“We just need something to go right. We haven’t had much luck all season. I know on Saturday we played bad shots but their lads chipped them up five yards either side of our fielders, stuff like that just isn’t going our way. When it does go our way it’s time to cash in.”