Shaldon Optimists IIS 265 for 6 declared, D&T IIIs 79 all out
With several key players unavailable the D&T third XI had faded recently due to after an excellent start to the season. Shaldon had no such problems and started the day fop of the table but with 2 other teams within 2 points they were desperate to win to secure promotion. Despite being Optimists Shaldon were taking no chances and drafted in several of their first XI players.
Though ultimately going down to a heavy defeat the result hinged on a controversial l umpiring decision which went in Shaldon’s favour. D&T skipper Mick Rusling won the toss and asked Shaldon to bat on a damp track. Rusling soon caught and bowled Tuffnell (4)and dismissed Moore(3) when Tom Petherick took a fine low catch at extra cover. Rusling (3 for 14) was too good for the next man Day and soon rattled his middle peg. Pete Glen was bowling brilliantly at the other end and was regularly beating the bat without any luck. His luck changed when he trapped Haycock lbw for 5 and Shaldon were 26 for 4 and anything but optimistic at this stage. Opener Todd Ballman was batting well and Shaldon reached 50 when Glen deceived him completely and he edged the ball to wicketkeeper Paul Taylor who was convinced Ballman was out-as was everyone else except the man who counted-the umpire- he said he had heard nothing but also confided to the bowler that he was hard of hearing!
Had Ballman been given out it would have been a very different story. Ballman took full advantage once the opening bowlers had been relieved and punished any slightly loose delivery, cracking boundary after boundary with D&T’s bowlers struggling to turn the tide. With Bond he added 178 for the 5th wicket before Mark Andrews bowled Bond for 52. Andrews struck again bowling Ballman for 144. It left D&T with mountain to climb and clearly they didn’t have enough oxygen to scale the required heights and succumbed all too easily. After Andrews’ early departure Taylor and Petherick batted well and were the only players to reach double figures scoring 18 and 16 respectively. Optimistically Shaldon had had the champagne on ice and D&T slunk back to their end of season barbeque where the only ice was in buckets full of freezing water as several people underwent the ‘ice bucket challenge’.