BLOODING some of Wiltshire’s talented young players during a turbulent Twenty20 campaign earlier this summer has stood the county in good stead for the season’s remaining fixtures, according to coach Tom Morton.

Morton’s troops recorded a second successive Unicorns Championship Western Division victory against Herefordshire at South Wiltshire Cricket Club in Salisbury, promoting the county to sixth in the three-day league table.

Another standout performance from young opener Jack Haines in the first innings set Wiltshire up well as they headed Herefordshire by 112 runs after both teams had batted their first innings.

While the visitors rallied to post 258 in their second innings on a deteriorating wicket, Wiltshire played with cool heads to knock over their target of 146 having lost only four wickets.

“We played really well this week, it’s certainly the best we’ve played all season for sure,” said Morton.

“We made a slow start to the season, the Twenty20 fixtures didn’t go the way we wanted them to.

“But what we did do was gave starts to a lot of younger players. They’re now really starting to show their worth in the side and perform well at this level.

“That’s transferring to wins, which is really pleasing.

“We’ve gone about our recruitment in the right way – we haven’t drafted players in to help get us results, we’ve stuck with the younger lads and they’re starting to perform now.”

Wiltshire now have one further Championship fixture to complete, a home tie against Oxfordshire at Marlborough Cricket Club in 10 days’ time.

And the county’s strong performance against a Herefordshire side experiencing an up and down year has injected plenty of confidence into the dressing room as Morton targets rounding off the season with a third successive win.

Morton added: “What pleased me a lot was that a lot of players contributed, and it’s helped to push us up the table more.

“A lot of our lead was down to Jack Haines and Ed Young’s partnership.

“We probably had the best of the batting conditions in the second innings, but it was still generally a good batting wicket.

“There certainly wasn’t a 112-run difference. That lead gave us a nice buffer heading into the last day, which was really important as the wicket became more difficult to bat on.”