BATES 1st XI took the long trip to Berwick looking to record their first win of the season at the fifth attempt.
Winning the toss and choosing to bowl under cloudy skies, they made a fast start as Walton trapped Dunn lbw for a duck, before Elliott and Middlemist dug in and put on a good partnership for the second wicket.
Runs were not scored quickly however, and once returning Bates skipper Baston trapped Elliott lbw for 27, wickets continued to fall regularly, with none of the Berwick middle order able to get a start against some accurate bowling.
Only Middlemist was holding firm, eventually finishing not out on 63 after the 50 overs, in which Berwick totalled 156 for 8. Wickets were shared around between five Bates bowlers in an accomplished bowling display by the visitors.
Requiring 157 for victory, Welch and Tulip got Bates off to a fast start, before Welch was clean bowled by Wales. Youngster Doyle assisted Tulip in holding out against the Berwick attack, but a couple of quick wickets stemmed the flow of runs, only for Symington and Walton to really take the attack to the bowlers, Bates now 120/5 and looking well set for victory.
Berwick opening bowler Steven Emery then returned to the attack, and rattled through the Bates lower order, with four quick wickets to leave Bates stunned. Edging towards the total, it was left to Dennis and Cragg to try and get them over the line, eventually falling to defeat a mere nine runs short of a great away win.
With Bates now firmly rooted to the foot of the table, next week’s home fixture against next-to-bottom Blagdon Park is now taking on epic proportions, and Bates will hope that new signing Ross Sample from Ashington can help inspire an immediate improvement in their batting fortunes.