A FIFTH successive WEPL Wiltshire loss is of little concern to Royal Wootton Bassett skipper Darren Beasant, who has sympathy for his youthful XI that lost to Warminster on Saturday.

Bassett were beaten by 177 runs at Warminster, ensuring their winless start to 2019 continued as they remain bottom of the division’s table with 24 points secured from their opening five ties.

Unfavourable results have mirrored the club’s injury fortunes this season. Beasant has already lost the bowling services of Sam Lawro due to a stress fracture in his back, while the skipper himself bravely battled through Saturday’s Warminster visit just a week after breaking his thumb against Devizes.

The above, combined with several absentees, meant Beasant travelled to Warminster with few expectations. And while he concedes this weekend’s trip to unbeaten Marshfield will be just as tough, the Bassett skipper hopes a favourable run of fixtures after this weekend can help inject some much-needed confidence into his team.

He said: “ For various reasons, this year has been an incredibly tough start for us.

“Of all the clubs, I think we have had the toughest starts. We’ve had Warminster, Westbury and Swindon away already plus Marshfield this week.

“They are probably the four toughest games of the season, and we’ve had to deal with that in the first six weeks.

“As a club, we’ve had one of the most unlucky run of injuries I have ever witnessed in 25 years of playing cricket.

“I wasn’t expecting too much on Saturday to be honest, two or three of us were playing through injuries and we had a bunch of young guys that haven’t played much cricket at WEPL Wiltshire level.”

Electing to bowl first, Bassett were soon chasing the ball in all parts of the Warminster field as the hosts totalled 380-7 from their 50 overs – opener Thomas Davie starred with the bat, scoring 163.

Bassett were brave in their reply, but ultimately fell victim to Bradley Small’s accurate bowling as they ended the game all out for 203.

Performances from former Zimbabwe U19s vice-captain Tatenda Chiradza and new recruit Mohan Balusu impressed Beasant though. And that has consequently granted him reason to be optimistic for the future.

He said: “It was a tough day, but there are some positives to take from the game.

“The youngsters picked up some bits of experience. They now know what standard they need to achieve to regularly play at this level”

Elsewhere in WEPL Wiltshire, Swindon’s encouraging run of form was dramatically halted at the County Ground on Saturday as they were thumped by eight wickets against Marshfield.

The hosts were bowled out for 85 runs from 40 overs, before the table-topping visitors knocked off the runs required in less than 15 overs.

Devizes however suffered no such heartache as they comfortable defeated Calne by 69 runs.

In other results, Westbury got the better of Purton, while Hinton Charterhouse breezed past struggling Potterne at home having bowled the visitors out for 67.