It was a derby-day defeat for Dartington and Totnes First Eleven when they crashed to a seven-wicket loss to Ashburton at Varwell Field.
On what appeared to be a good batting track, D&T captain Harold Stevenson won the toss and elected to bat first. However, looks deceived and for the first 20 overs, the bounce was very inconsistent and contributed to the visitors falling to 51-6.
The first wicket fell with the score on 11 when Josh Orrall was bowled by Dom Durman for 2. Durman had a second wicket four runs later when Aussie Matt Sevior was caught at point by Chris Yeo without scoring.
The visiting side slipped to 22-3 when James Howrihane became Durman’s third wicket when he was bowled by a ball that kept a tad low and D&T found themselves in even more trouble when last week’s hero Chris Cook was caught by Kevin Nicholls off Akif Sohail for 5.
Harry Baxendale and Ian Bransdon added 28 runs for the fifth wicket before the former was given out LBW for 13, to become Yeo’s first wicket. Bransdon followed in the next over when he was bowled by Matt Churchill for 10 to leave D&T on 51-6.
The seventh wicket fell with the score on 74 when Matt Hartridge was LBW for 6 to become Yeo’s second wicket. Joe Parker and Alex Winch added 20 runs for the eighth wicket before Parker was caught and bowled by Durman for 27. Winch followed one run later when on 4, he got a leading edge to a Rob Lambert delivery and was caught by a diving Churchill.
The final wicket fell with the score on 95 when Stevenson chopped a Lambert delivery onto his stumps for 0. D&T had been bowled out cheaply with no one apart from Joe Parker showing any resistance to the Ashburton bowlers. Dom Durman was the pick of the bowlers for the home side picking up four wickets from his nine overs.
The visitors knew they would need an early wicket if they were to have any chance of winning the game and they got exactly that. James Howrihane picked up the wicket when he bounced out Lloyd White for a golden duck, with Parker taking the catch.
D&T knew a second quick wicket would put the pressure on the home side but it didn’t come. Numerous LBW appeals were turned down as the visitors became frustrated and the Ashburton batsmen Kevin Nicholls and Ashley Berry played patiently waiting to punish any loose deliveries.
The score had been taken to 40 when the second wicket fell. Ashes’ skipper Berry was bowled by Cook for a steady 19. 42 runs were added for the third wicket between Nicholls and Dan Coles before D&T finally won an LBW decision to see the back of Coles for 14 and give Sevior a first wicket.
New man Jake Pascoe survived a strong caught behind appeal first ball but was there at the end on 2 not out as Ashburton passed the D&T total for the loss of only three wickets. Opener Nicholls carried his bat for 50 not out in an innings that saw him pass 5000 career runs.
It had been a disappointing day for D&T with the batsmen again not giving the bowlers enough runs to have any real chance of defending the total. Next Saturday the first team are at home to Shaldon Optimists while the seconds are away at Ashburton seconds in a must win clash.