Dartington & Totnes 193 for 9, Ashburton 156 all out
Dartington & Totnes (19 points) beat Ashburton (7 points) by 37 runs
After recent disappointments D&T bounced back with a good win at second in the table Ashburton. D&T built a winning platform with a fine second wicket stand of 101 between Elliot Miller (57) and Matt Hickey (40). Ashburton gave it a good shot, but three wickets apiece for Matt Hickey, Bertus Loots and Harry Baxendale did the damage for D&T.
D&T were arguably fielding their strongest side for over 2 seasons- though it transpired that several players were relying on painkillers to make it onto the pitch! With a strong line-up at his disposal, skipper Harold Stevenson won the toss and elected to have a bat.
Loots has recently been wondering if there was any point in him turning up to play after being the recipient of some dreadful lbw decisions. He and Miller opened the batting for D&T and were looking comfortable but Tom Durman soon produced a delivery which bowled him for 4. Hickey joined Miller and Ashburton struggled to prise the pair apart, using a succession of bowlers. The Ashburton track is often a ‘road’ but the pitch was slow and scoring far from easy. Ashes bowled well restricting D&T to four an over. Miller produced his best innings of the season to date and Hickey, using his height to good advantage was showing his undoubted class.
The game changed when Ashes brought Dom Durman into the attack with his left arm pace. He soon produced a delivery which seemed to hold up on the track and Miller gave midwicket a simple catch. With 17 overs remaining the batsmen felt a need to accelerate. Kalon Veale (11) looked in good touch and straight drove a beautiful six but then, attempting something similar off Durman, only succeeded in launching the ball skywards and White took the catch. Wickets began to fall regularly in the quest for quick runs. Durman (5 for 23) had Hickey caught and D&T lost 7 wickets for 57 runs. Only Cook with 10 and Stevenson with a valuable 17 not out reached double figures.
In reply Ashburton started rapidly scoring 24 off the first 2 overs but after a loose first over, James Howrihane found his rhythm and bowled beautifully, though without reward. Matt Hickey joined the attack and induced Tom Durman to crack a delivery to silly mid off where Harry Baxendale made a difficult chance look easy. Lloyd White is a dangerous batsmen, and batting aggressively, it seemed that he might take the game away from D&T. His new partner, Dan Coles, in contrast was a model of restraint, being content to block every delivery. The match turned in D&T’s favour when White, on 39, came down the pitch to man of the match Hickey (3 for 19), but succeeded only in edging the ball to keeper Alex Winch. The same combination dismissed Coles for 6. Loots took a wicket with his first ball as Wakefield was caught by a juggling Baxendale at full stretch at slip, as Ashes were reduced to 59 for 4 with D&T in the ascendancy.
A stubborn partnership between Skipper, Ashley Berry and Causey rallied Ashes with the pair adding 75 for the fifth wicket before Causey was run out by a throw from Baxendale. Ashes last 6 wickets went down for just 23 runs. Berry tried to rally Ashes but ran out of partners finishing undefeated on 52. Loots (3 for 23) and Baxendale (3 for 31) polished off the last five batsmen to give D&T a well -deserved and welcome victory.