Dartington and Totnes First Eleven moved within one win of finishing the season unbeaten when they defeated local rivals Stoke Gabriel by 93 runs in the penultimate game of the season at the JE Eastley Memorial Ground.
On a dry and used wicket, D&T skipper Harry Baxendale won the toss and elected to bat first. However, the visitors didn’t get off to a good start when South African run machine Phil Snyman was unluckily given out LBW for just 10. Baxendale and Chris Cook set about launching the D&T innings and together added 65 runs for the second wicket.
This partnership was eventually broken when Cook chipped a catch to Jake Robinson at mid-on off Andy Ball for 23. Jono Colegate joined Baxendale and attempted the accelerate the rate of scoring however he could only make 15 before he was bowled by Robinson.
The fourth wicket fell with the score on 126 when Ollie Payne was bowled by Kyle Lardner for a duck and Baxendale, who had been batting well at the other end, was bowled by Withington to fall for 66. With 133 runs scored and only 9 overs remaining, D&T knew that they needed to bat with a renewed urgency.
Kalon Veale hit a large six before he was bowled by Lardner for 10 at faster than a run a ball. With the score on 153 Nick Dennis gave Jack Tolley his first wicket when he was caught by Andy Kingdon for 6 and one run later, Josh Orrall could only find Lardner off Withington for 5.
Tyler Walton and Alex Winch then added 21 valuable runs before Winch was bowled for 6 by Withington, his fourth wicket of the innings. A single off the final ball of the innings took D&T to 176-9 with Walton unbeaten on 14 and Neil Colegate on 1.
The D&T innings had been built around 66 from skipper Baxendale but he had lacked any real support apart from Cook who made a gritty 23. Withington had been the pick of the bowlers with 4/24 while there were 2 wickets for Lardner.
The champions-elect knew that while their total was a bit under par, early wickets would be crucial if they were to have the best chance of victory. In the second over, Nick Dennis picked up the crucial wicket of Jack Tolley when he could only drag a bouncer onto his own stumps to fall for 5.
With the score on 18, Andy Kingdon was then yorked by Snyman for 7. Snyman then had two in two balls when a vicious bouncer caught Withington’s glove and flew to Jono Colegate at slip to fall for a golden duck. Ant Kanwar and Calum Moses then added 33 for the fourth wicket before Kanwar was bowled by Snyman for 21.
Snyman, who was bowling with real pace, then picked up a fourth wicket when he bowled Robinson for the second golden duck of the innings. At 51-5, the game looked to be slipping away from the hosts. Kai Horsburgh joined Calum Moses at the crease but could only score 4 before he top-edged a sweep off Baxendale to be caught by Colegate.
Soon after, Snyman completed his five-wicket haul when Moses could only clip a full delivery to Veale at square-leg to fall for 20. Stoke then fell to 77-8 when Ball was caught by a diving Cook at mid-off off Colegate for 1.
Ben Till was then run-out without facing a ball by Winch to leave the home side 79-9 and defeat inevitable. The last wicket fell with the score on 83 when Charley Holtom was bowled by Colegate for 1 to leave D&T the victors by 93 runs.
Snyman was the star with 5/25 but all of the bowlers contributed by picking up at least one wicket each. Calum Moses and Ant Kanwar were the only Stoke Gabriel batsmen to show any real resistance to a rampaging D&T bowling attack.
It had been another dominant victory for Dartington and Totnes which leaves them one victory from completing an unbeaten season. They finish at home to Cornwood Seconds on Saturday which promises to be an exciting clash with the prospect of a record-breaking season for D&T.