Dartington and Totnes extended their unbeaten league season when they hammered local rivals Kingsbridge by 218 runs at a scorching Butts Hill.
D&T skipper Harry Baxendale won the toss and the visitors found themselves batting first for just second time all season. Openers Chris Cook and Phil Snyman, as they had done so many times this season, got D&T off to a solid start. Together, the pair added 61 for the first wicket before Cook was adjudged LBW off Bhanu De Silva for 20.
Snyman, who is in a rich vein of form, was then joined by Baxendale and together the pair added 51 for the second wicket. Neal Peach then broke the partnership when Snyman could only chip a return catch back to the bowler to fall for a well-made 56. New man Jono Colegate and Baxendale then formed the largest partnership of the innings.
Both batsmen looked impressive, playing some powerful shots either side of the wicket and running hard, despite the heat. The score was 211 when Baxendale was bowled by De Silva for 71, having added 96 with Colegate. 18 runs later, Colegate became De Silva’s third wicket when he was caught at long off by Richard Carr for exactly 50.
Alex Hartridge joined Joe Parker at the crease and the pair took the score to 258 when Parker was caught off Olly Robinson for a brisk 28. In the next over, new man Andy Bligh was bowled by Carr for a second ball duck. This was the last wicket to fall as Hartridge and Tom Chevallier added 52 in the last four overs to take D&T to 311-6 from their 45 overs. Hartridge was 26 not out and Chevallier unbeaten on 32.
The hosts knew that they would need to get off to a good start if they were to have any chance of chasing down the daunting 312 they had been set. However, this did not happen, when in the second over Hartridge bowled danger man De Silva for 0. Hartridge then had a second wicket soon after when he bowled Ellis for 4 to leave Kingsbridge on 18-2.
Ed Church joined Carr in the middle and together the pair set about rebuilding the Kings innings. They added 30 for the third wicket, the largest partnership of the innings, before Carr was smartly stumped by Alex Winch off Baxendale for 25. Colegate then picked up his first wicket when new man Ben Grose edged through to Winch for 1.
The hosts found themselves struggling on 65-5 when Aaron Chandler was LBW to Nick Dennis for 6. One run later, Chris Cook joined the party when he bowled Henry Rich for a duck. He had a second soon after when he had Clive Clark LBW for 4.
Baxendale reintroduced himself into the attack and he managed to secure his second wicket when he had Olly Robinson LBW for 5 to leave the hosts 75-8 and the result a given thing. Number 10 Sam Rhymes joined Church at the crease and together the pair added 17 runs to frustrate the visitors. However, Cook was able to break the partnership when he had Rhymes caught in the deep by Ollie Payne for 9.
Church, who had seen 7 wickets fall at the other end, was the final wicket to fall when he could only chip a catch to Snyman off Payne for a stubborn 23. D&T had won by 218 runs in a game they dominated from start to finish.
The solid platform laid down by the D&T top order batsmen had allowed the middle order to play positively and take the visitors to an impressive 311. The bowlers, led by Hartridge, Cook and Baxendale then bowled superbly to bowl the hosts out for only 93.
Speaking after the Kingsbridge game, skipper Harry Baxendale said “It was great to bounce back with another impressive league win. We now have the best record of any club in Devon.” It had been a superb response to the disappointment of the previous night where D&T lost to a strong Paignton side in the Aaron Printers Narracott Cup Final by 31 runs.