TWO Somerset betters hit debut County Championship tons in the drawn run-fest at Essex that ended yesterday (Thursday, July 28).

But the county was left counting the cost with two players withdrawn through injuries picked up during the match.

Super sub Tom Banton only appeared on the final day as a concussion replacement for Lewis Goldsworthy, who had been hit on the head by a delivery from Shane Snater, and took full advantage to plunder a belligerent 126 from 120 balls.

He passed his previous best first class score of 79, including three sixes in a Dan Lawrence over.

Wicketkeeper-batter James Rew was more watchful as he knocked an unbeaten 101, with his century coming up in 209 balls.

He and Banton enjoyed a partnership of 164 before the latter was caught at long on.

Somerset declared on 606 for 5 in reply to Essex's 505 for 9 declared, with Tom Lammonby the pick of the bowlers with analysis of 3-35.

Essex played out the match with 30 for 1, Peter Siddle accounting for Nick Browne, who had scored an undefeated double century in his side's first innings.

Skipper Tom Abell retired on 90 not out in Somerset's innings after pulling up with a hamstring injury going for a quick second run.

After the game, Rew said: "It is a strange feeling. It has come around really quickly, I’ve only been in the side for the last few games and today I’ve managed to get a few today. It has been an honour really.

“It was a pleasure to be out there with Bants. I watched him growing up a lot. He kept me in my box."

Banton said: "It was a weird one. I woke up this morning at about 9am and just cruised into the ground. I knew Golders was 50/50 but I literally didn’t hit any balls before the game so that might be a key to success moving toward.

“We talked about being proactive against Harmer and today it has come off. I took my chance and that wicket was probably perfect for sweeping.

“I kept reminding Rewy not to get carried away about how I was playing and to play his own way. Everyone is so happy for him.

“I was joking when I came off that I never thought I would get a red ball hundred. To get one in the column is a nice feeling. I wasn’t meant to be playing, and hopefully Golders will be back soon, so I’m not going to get carried away. The game is such a leveller we know what will happen next week."