POTTERNE captain Ashur Morrison conceded Somerset player Max Waller was the difference between victory and defeat for his side in Premier One at the weekend as they lost by 101 runs away at Bridgwater, writes JONATHAN LEIGHFIELD.

Twenty20 specialist Waller took six wickets in Potterne’s innings as Morrison’s side tried to chase the 237 that Bridgwater had posted, ultimately coming up over a century of runs short.

Potterne won the toss and opted to send their hosts out to bat first in a bid to claim early wickets, but a half-century from captain Merv Hallaran (60) pushed Bridgwater towards 178-4 with 15 overs remaining.

The home side flashed their way to 237 all out before Waller began to cause havoc in Potterne’s reply.

Thomas Cullen was removed by Callum Haggett with the second ball of the innings, and from then on, the visiting batsmen were at the mercy of Waller as the spinner ripped through the main body of the Potterne side to skittle them out for 136.

At the halfway mark, Morrison was convinced his side had a genuine chance at claiming their third victory of the season against one of the high-flyers in the division.

He said: “We did a really good job of bringing back the fast start that Bridgwater made – I think they were 70-odd from 10 overs – and I think the bowlers, during the middle part of their innings, did a really good job of containing them and helping to drag the run rate back down.

“I think 237 was a more than achievable total for our batters to chase, so I was confident during the interval. However, I was still very much aware it would be a tough chase.”

Following the wicket of Cullen, Potterne began to rebuild nicely, but Salisbury-born leg-spinner Waller came on to great effect, removing four of his victims LBW thanks to an array of turning deliveries.

Morrison felt sure his side were capable of competing with a very strong Bridgwater outfit, but admitted the ability of Waller was simply too much for his side on the day.

He said: “At one point, it looked like we were cruising it, but Max Waller bowled really well, varied his pace, bowled multiple different deliveries and was really, really difficult to pick and score against.

“He proved the big difference. If it wasn’t for his spell of bowling, it would have been a completely different game.

“Bridgwater deserved the victory in the end.”