Season ends on disappointing note for seconds.

Dartington & Totnes II 89 for 8, Paignton III 92 for 3

It was a disappointing end to the League season for Dartington & Totnes’ second XI  who went down to their third defeat of the season against a powerful Paignton line-up.  Needing a win to avoid relegation Paignton were taking no chances and packed their side with Premier division players.  Only four Paignton players survived from the team which D & T had beaten comprehensively in June.   The odds were further stacked against D&T after Paignton won the crucial toss and asked them to bat on a damp green track with uneven bounce.

Paignton opened  their attack with seasoned campaigners- former first team captain Mike Pedley and Terry Farkins,  who both obtained prodigious movement off the pitch.  Pedley surprised Sam Gornall in his first over with an inswinger which kept low and hit off stump.  Enter David Carter, the ideal man for a rearguard action and a perfect foil for Mike Jarvis, playing his valedictory match as skipper.   Paignton were pumped up and Carter raced to 5 runs, thanks to four overthrows from an over- zealous fielder.  Carter’s run rate decelerated markedly after that and by the time he was fifth man out in the 27th over he’d only added 2 more!

D&T have relied heavily on Jarvis’s runs all season and if they were to post a competitive total they needed another big score from their Captain Fantastic.  Paignton’s bowlers bowled a disciplined line and length and gave the batsmen virtually nothing they could score off.   Jarvis was going to give it his best shot when he spotted a ball he could hit and he smacked a straight six into the pavilion only to be bowled by Pedley for 12 in the same over.  After Pedley bowled Paul Raven, James Nicholls (13) batted well and also struck Pedley for 6.  Nicholls had some fortune but his luck ran out when he fended off a ball from North, which had risen off a length, giving simple return catch to the bowler.  This put D&T on 39 for 4 at the halfway stage off their innings. Ashworth bowled Carter and Gareth Havard, feeling under the weather, could only manage one before he was trapped lbw.

Mick Rusling came in with 20 overs remaining and Umpire Darren Colegate was about to raise his finger to give him out to the first ball until Rusling pointedly tapped his bat to indicate he’d hit the ball and Colegate paused and put his hand back into his pocket.  Rusling, modelling himself on his hero Carter, went on to defend dourly but like the rest of his team found run scoring exceedingly difficult.  Pedley (4 for 27) came back for his second spell and bowled the plucky Olly Paine for 2.  Nick Dennis defended well  but was bowled by Smith and when Pete Glen joined Rusling  D&T were in dire straights at 57 for 8 with seven overs remaining.   Runs at last began to flow freely when Paignton brought on their usual opening bowler.  Glen got his eye in striking three fours to finish on 20 not out and with Rusling unbeaten on 9, the pair added 32 valuable runs.

Restricting the powerful  Paignton  batting line up to less than 90 runs was always going to be a tall order.  In addition, the wicket had dried out and there was limited movement off the pitch for D&T’s bowlers.  Pete Glen trapped North lbw for 2 but  when Mark Smith got his eye in he was particularly severe on Rusling, probably worn out by his batting exploits.  When David Carter and Gareth Havard came into the attack it was too late for them to have much influence on the result.  Havard bowled former Devon County player Edwards for 14 and Carter dismissed Smith for 49 when James Nicholls took a one handed catch at point, but Paignton had reached 82 by then and the game was virtually over.

Despite this loss the second XI can hold their heads up after having had a good season under Jarvis’s inspirational stewardship.  If the weather had been kinder they could well  have mounted a serious promotion challenge, which augurs well for next season.

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