CORSHAM'S title hopes suffered a massive dent at the weekend after a superb individual performance from Somerset all-rounder Keith Parsons proved to be the difference as they crashed to defeat against Taunton St Andrews .

Parsons put the Corsham batsmen to the sword as he finished with figures of 5-41 and then followed that up with a crucial 49 not out as Taunton eased to their target of 165 with eight overs to spare.

Paul Marsh, Corsham's stand-in captain, hailed Parson's display as the match-winning contribution

He said: "Keith was the difference between the two sides. His first-class experience with Somerset proved decisive especially with his bowling.

"He has figured for Somerset in both their one-day side and in their Championship side and he was just too good for us on the day. The bad weather on Thursday and Friday badly affected the wicket and on a slow, turing wicket the Taunton bowlers really gave our side a lot of difficulty."

Corsham's top scorer was Neil Shardlow, 42, and the only other noteworthy innings came from Marsh, 23, and Ranadeb Bose who hit quick 22 to make Corsham's score of 165 look a bit more respectable.

Chasing a relatively low target Taunton never looked like losing the game as they cruised to their target for the loss of only four wickets. Marsh was the pick of Corsham's bowlers picking up three wickets for 26 runs

Marsh was philosophical about the defeat but admitted that it probably spelt the end of their title aspirations.

He said: "The championship now seems to be between Bath and Cheltenham which for our part is hugely disappointing."