After last week’s superb victory, Dartington and Totnes First Eleven made it two wins in a row with a nail-biting four run victory over league leaders Bridestowe at a sunny Millaton.
On a scorching day, Bridestowe elected to bowl first and on a good batting track D&T openers James Howrihane and Matt Sevior showed positive intent, punishing any loose deliveries and not allowing the bowlers to settle. It was a surprise when having put on 39, both fell in quick succession.
Sevior was the first to go caught at point by Patrick Ewen off the bowling of Ryan Dennis for 12. Fellow opener Howrihane was next out when he missed a Matt Dennis full toss and was bowled for 23.
The momentum was firmly on Bridestowe’s side and they quickly left D&T struggling on 59-4 after Harry Baxendale was caught behind for 2 and Willy Wyatt was stumped by Mark Fogerty off the bowling of Alex Jopling for 3.
New pair of Alex Hartridge and Josh Orrall stopped the flow of wickets for a while and were able to put on 33 before Orrall was caught at first slip by Sizmur off of the bowling of Butler for 10. Hartridge, who is in a rich vein of form, moved to 50 but was dismissed soon after for 54 off the bowling of Jopling having put on 28 for the sixth wicket with Ian Bransdon.
Bransdon and keeper Alex Winch put on 27 before Winch was caught one handed at point by Ewen for 5 with the score on 147-7. A crucial partnership followed between new man Tyler Walton and Bransdon. Together they put on 80 for the 8thwicket with the pair frustrating the tiring bowlers.
Bransdon played some classy strokes, punishing anything short. Eventually, his energy levels depleted he was bowled by Butler for a superb 75. Walton was out soon after when he was run out by a direct hit from Jopling for 17 and it was left to last pair of Harold Stevenson and Mick Rusling to take the score to 241-9 when the overs ran out.
Bridestowe openers Gary Sizmur and James Ewen got their side off to the start they required and put on 55 for the first wicket. The introduction of spin from both ends slowed down the run rate and put the pressure on the batsman, Walton and Baxendale extracting turn and bounce from the pitch.
The pair combined for the first wicket when Ewen carved a slower ball from Tyler to Baxendale at backward point for 26. Number three Phil Hatton and Sizmur put on 51 for the second wicket before the dangerous Sizmur was caught by Willy Wyatt off of the bowling of Walton for 57.
D&T skipper Harold Stevenson had turned to the bowling of Wyatt and Mick Rusling and the pair bowled with control to put the pressure of the Bridestowe batsmen.
New man Brandon Horn hit 17 off of 7 balls before he was caught by Walton in the deep of the bowling of Wyatt to leave Bridestowe on 134-3. The required rate was beginning to rise and this led to the next wicket when Matt Dennis was run out courtesy of a superb direct hit from Josh Orrall for 12.
Hatton decided to try and up his scoring rate but could only top edge a Rusling ball to keeper Alex Winch for 25 and Patrick Ewen came and went for 8, dismissed by Howrihane. Ryan Dennis was striking the ball well and together with Alex Jopling put on 18 for the seventh wicket before Jopling was yorked for 8 by Hartridge.
Then crucially Dennis was dismissed for 42 off 34 balls when he was well caught in the deep by Walton giving Howrihane his second wicket. The ninth Bridestowe wicket fell with the score on 221 when Mark Butler was run out when Howrihane threw down the stumps.
Last pair of Mark Fogerty and Tom Boother were left to try and knock off the required runs and Bridestowe needed seven off of the final over to win. The target had been reduced to four off four balls when Fogerty became the last wicket to fall edging Howrihane to Winch behind the stumps and leave D&T the victors.
It was a fantastic all-round performance with Bransdon and Hartridge starring with the bat and Howrihane, Walton and Hartridge with the ball. A special mention has to go to Mick Rusling who bowled a superb spell that turned the game back in D&T’s favour.
The first team are back in action next Saturday at home to Chagford while the seconds are away at Chudleigh 2’s.