Dartington and Totnes First Eleven narrowly lost away to Kingsbridge by one wicket on Saturday in a game where victory would have secured safety for the visitors.
Harold Stevenson won the toss for the fourth match in a row and elected to bat first on a green track and the opening pair of James Howrihane and Ian Bransdon started positively. Howrihane in particular looked in good touch with some strong shots through the leg side. Therefore, it came as a surprise when Howrihane chopped on to a Richard Carr for 31.
Joe Parker joined Bransdon and the pair had taken the score to 59 when the second wicket fell, Parker bowled by the dangerous Bhanu De Silva for 8. Another 33 runs were added between Bransdon and Cook before the former was caught at mid-off by Olly Robinson off Chirag Appa for 29.
Overseas Matt Sevior came to the crease with the score on 92 and alongside Cook put on 30 for the fourth wicket. Cook was then dismissed when he was run out by an Appa direct hit for 18. The score had been taken to 150 when the fifth wicket fell, Matt Sevior bowled by Robinson for 33.
Bertus Loots and Josh Orrall were both now together at the crease. However, they could only add 9 runs before Loots became De Silva’s second wicket when he was bowled for 2. Harry Baxendale and Orrall had taken the score to 178 before Orrall became the second run out of the innings when he fell to quick work by Robinson for 19. New man Alex Winch then fell for a golden duck when he was given out LBW off Carr.
Baxendale, 29, and Stevenson, 4, added an unbroken 26 for the ninth wicket as D&T finished on 205 from their 45 overs. There were numerous partnerships throughout the innings with notable contributions coming from James Howrihane, Ian Bransdon, Matt Sevior and Harry Baxendale.
The Kingsbridge openers knew that they would have to get off to a good start if they were to chase down the total, and that is precisely what they did. Skipper Bhanu De Silva alongside James Fletcher showed positive intent taking the score to 63 inside 14 overs.
D&T eventually got a much-needed breakthrough when Fletcher attempted a big shot but could only miss and was bowled by Harry Baxendale for 21. The score was 91 when the second wicket fell, De Silva bowled by James Howrihane for 57. Howrihane had a second soon after when he bowled number three James Ford for 6.
Ashley Treeby, who survived a confident LBW appeal first ball, was now joined by Chirag Appa at the crease and together the pair added 52 for the fourth wicket. However, both found themselves back in the pavilion in quick succession when Appa was caught by Sevior off Loots for 24 and three balls later Treeby was bowled for 36.
Just a further two runs were added for the sixth wicket before Olly Robinson was LBW to Chris Cook for 1. Four Kingsbridge wickets had fallen for just 16 runs when Andy Sutton was superbly caught in the deep by Baxendale off Sevior for 9.
D&T felt that they had the slight advantage in what was a tight game with the hosts still needing 38 but with only two wickets remaining. Therefore, it came as a relief for the hosts when Richard Carr and Sam Rhymes added 19 for the next wicket.
Rhymes, who did not score a run, was caught behind by Winch off Cook with the home side still needing a further 19 to win for the remaining 4 overs. Carr alongside last man Neil Peach was able to see his side to victory in a game that ebbed and flowed. Carr finished 29 not out and Peach unbeaten on 11.
It was a good all-round display from D&T who would have seen victory if a couple of decisions had gone their way. Every player contributed in particular James Howrihane, Matt Sevior and Chris Cook.
Next weekend, the first team travel to Lewdown while the seconds are at home to Yelverton seconds.