Dartington and Totnes First Eleven made it three wins in a row with a comfortable 8-wicket victory over Chagford at a sun-baked Foxhole.
The match marked the start of the second half of the season. D&T had secured 6 wins and three losses from the first nine games and found themselves in third place in a tight table.
D&T skipper Harold Stevenson won the toss and elected to field first in a game that started early due to England’s involvement in the small matter of a World Cup Quarter final.
Chagford found themselves in early trouble courtesy of two quick wickets. The first wicket to fall was Julian Baker who was superbly run out by Harry Baxendale for 1. Baxendale capitalised on a mix-up to throw down the stumps with only one stump to aim at. The second Chagford wicket fell two balls later when number three Will Lammonby could only skew a drive off James Howrihane’s bowling to Alex Hartridge at backward point to fall without scoring and leave the visitors struggling at 6-2.
Twenty runs were added for the third wicket before surviving opener Oliver Herrington became Howrihane’s second wicket when he was caught in the deep by Baxendale for 15. Spin was now brought on by Stevenson and the introduction of Tyler Walton and Baxendale put even more pressure on the Chagford batsmen.
The score was on 35 when the fourth wicket fell, Roger Whittingham bowled by Walton for 4, and the visitors slipped to 44-5 when Murray Hannant was trapped LBW by Walton for 8. Wickets were falling regularly and the sixth fell soon after when Alasdair Barclay chipped a return catch back to Walton for 1 to become the bowler’s third wicket.
Chagford’s number four Joss Farr had frustrated the D&T bowlers facing 60 balls for his 16 but was eventually dismissed when he was caught one handed by a diving Willy Wyatt in the gully to give Baxendale a well-deserved wicket and leave the visitors 66-7. The visitors were then grateful of a 29 run partnership between captain Derek Lammonby and ‘keeper Steve Granger.
The pair had taken the score to 95 when Lammonby played on to a Howrihane delivery for 20 and Howrihane had two wickets in two balls when he bowled Will Barclay without scoring to leave him on a hat-trick at the start of his next over.
However, before he had the chance to try and complete his hat-trick, the final wicket fell when Granger chopped on to a Matt Sevior delivery for 16 to leave Chagford 103 all out.
It had been a good bowling performance in the heat despite some errors in the field with notable contributions coming from Howrihane who took four wickets, Walton who took three and Baxendale who took a wicket, a catch and a run out as well as bowling his nine overs for only 12 runs.
The D&T chase began in impressive fashion with openers Howrihane and Sevior striking the ball to the boundary at ease. Therefore, it was a surprise when Sevior was dismissed when he inside edged an Adam Barclay ball onto his own stumps to fall for 16. Number three Willy Wyatt took over from Sevior and together with Howrihane added 71 for the second wicket, with both playing powerful and well-timed strokes. With the score on 98, Wyatt was then undone by a Murray Hannant delivery which he could only guide to Oliver Herrington at fine leg to fall for 21.
The win was soon wrapped up with Howrihane hitting the winning boundary to finish unbeaten on 54 and Baxendale one not out.
It had been a clinical and excellent all-round performance from D&T with Howrihane in particular having a superb game. The result leaves D&T third in the table with a trip to league leaders Bovey Tracey Seconds next week and a chance to climb even higher up the table. The second team are at home to Paignton Thirds in an important game.