Plymouth III 221 for 9 Dartington & Totnes II 209 for 9
Plymouth (19 points) beat D&T (9 points) by 12 runs
Needing a win in their battle against relegation from Devon League B Division, Dartington & Totnes fell just short in a thrilling finish to a see-sawing contest at Foxhole.
D&T skipper Gavin Colegate asked Plymouth to bat and when Finlay Porter bowled Plymouth skipper Gavin Jones for 10 his decision seemed to be paying off. However, fellow opener Tom Nightingale was class batsman and added 80 for the second wicket with Mike Hope. The pair saw off the opening bowlers and it wasn’t until spinner Tom Petherick came into the attack that D&T got the much needed breakthrough, when Petherick caught and bowled Hope for 24. Fellow spinner Tyler Walton caught and bowled Knapman for a duck, and then had Mahendran stumped by Nicholls for 6. Walton ran out Edmonds as Plymouth had a collapse. Fortunately for Plymouth Nightingale’s bat continued to sing sweetly at the other end, as he continued accumulating runs and passed his hundred.
Nightingale was joined by the pugnacious Phil Taylor who bludgeoned 40 runs. Nightingale’s fine innings ended when Nikheel Jina returned to the attack and he was caught by Colegate for 106. Jina, 3 for 37, also picked up the wickets of the unrelated Taylors, Phil and Tom, both falling to good catches by Porter at cover. Porter who had a great match came back to bowl Samarkoon at the end of the innings.
In reply, D&T got off to the worst possible start when Colegate was caught behind off the first ball of the innings. Jon Perkin, who had been in a rich vein of form, soon joined him back in the pavilion- another victim of the ebullient Phil Taylor. However, Matt Haw and Petherick stopped the rot and rebuilt the innings. Things changed with the introduction of veteran spinner Martin Gill, who was believed to have taken over one thousand League wickets in his career. He was to add four more to his total. Petherick holed out to long on for 29 and Haw was out for 27. James Nicholls was in good touch and put on 34 for the fifth wicket with Jina who was caught and bowled by Gill for an unlucky 13. Half the side out for 116.
Nicholls cracked a couple of big sixes and kept the scoreboard moving nicely. Gill picked up his fourth wicket, 4 for 35, dismissing Sam Tanner for 4. Nicholls was caught behind off spinner Mahendran for 44 and Mudge departed for 7 and at 158 for 8 it looked a tall order for D&T. Finlay Porter had other ideas, however, and scored a rapid 32 off 24 deliveries with some clean hitting. He was well supported by Walton who made 15 not out. However, when Porter was bowled by Tom Taylor with the score on 202, it was just beyond D&T’s last pair and the overs ran out.
The result meant that D&T were one point above the relegation positions just ahead of Kingsbridge and Tavistock with one match remaining. Both D&T’s and Kingsbridge’s final match was rained off but Tavistock somehow contrived to bat for 18 overs at Abbotskerswell securing three points which took them one point past D&T and cruelly consigned D&T to relegation after just one season at the higher level.