LESS than 50 overs were required by Marshfield to wrap up the WEPL Wiltshire title with two rounds of fixtures still to play as they defeated Warminster by 125 runs on Saturday.

Patrick Grieshaber’s XI have lost just one of their 16 league fixtures this season, and hold an unassailable 62-point lead over second-place Westbury.

By Marshfield’s standards, they were perhaps shaken to be bowled out in less than 30 overs on an admittedly tricky home wicket after fourth- place Warminster elected to bowl first when winning the toss.

But any slight concerns amongst the home camp were quashed when Warminster were reduced to 13-4 – with top order batsmen David Bateman, James Leworthy, Richard Davie and Sanjay Malik all falling for one run.

In fact, only visiting skipper Bradley Parry (10), Rory Cullinan (11) and Beau Blakeman (11) reached double figures as Warminster were skittled out for 52 in just 19 overs.

Grieshaber always felt his team were worthy of their title credentials, and was delighted to wrap up the crown in such brutal fashion.

He said: “If you look back at the last couple of years, we have gone very close.

“We strengthened the side over the winter, and we always knew we were going to be in or around that promotion hunt.

“The team expected to be pushing for the title, so we’re glad to have wrapped it up early.

“We didn’t falter at any point – the group of players we have got are probably the best we’ve had at the club for a while.

“We were in a position where if one person had a bad day, there were another 10 players that were capable of making up for it.”

The Marshfield skipper is yet to play at Premier Two Glos/Wilts level, but has previously represented Downend in the region’s top tier – Premier One.

Taking his strengthened XI into account, Grieshaber sees no reason why Marshfield can’t challenge for more honours next season – but admits progress will be far from straightforward.

He added: “Chippenham went up from WEPL Wiltshire last season and are now fighting for promotion.

“We certainly have a side that can do well in that league. You never know, we might be able to push towards the top of the table again.

“Encouragingly, over the last five to eight years, the club’s youth system has grown massively.

“When I played youth cricket, we had 50 kids playing – now it’s more like 200 on a training night.

“We’re fortunate to have that large pool of players, now it’s a case of pushing them on into third team and second team cricket.”

Elsewhere in WEPL Wiltshire, Swindon halved the gap between themselves and second-place Westbury to three points after both teams beating their weekend opponents.

Swindon bowled Purton all out for 47 to record a devastating 224-run victory, while Westbury were as equally dominant against Hinton Charterhouse – reducing the visitors to 26 all out.

There were also wins for Royal Wootton Bassett and Potterne 2nd.