9th June 2018
Dartington and Totnes First Eleven snatched victory from the jaws of defeat with a thrilling one-wicket victory over Shaldon in a high-scoring contest at the Hazeldown Oval.
Shaldon batted first on a good surface but D&T struck an early blow when opener Andy Lockyer was bowled by Nick Dennis for 5. New man Dan Woolnough and William Moore set about launching the Shaldon innings after their early loss.
Both batsmen played some classy strokes and took the score to 84 when Woolnough was bowled by Ben Hartridge for 30. Shaldon captain Todd Ballman continued his side’s positive approach. He and Moore added 46 for the third wicket before Ballman was bowled by the off spin of Chris Cook for 27.
Soon after Moore was dismissed for 58 to become Cook’s second wicket and Ryan Bougourd was run out by Harry Baxendale without facing a ball to leave Shaldon on 165-5. Karl Blackburn took the attack to the bowlers striking 49 off of 28 balls, putting on 31 for the sixth wicket with Richard Fisher.
Fisher became Tyler Walton’s first wicket when he was caught by Charlie Nicholls for 8, leading to a batting collapse with the final four wickets falling for 26 runs. Blackburn eventually tried to play one big shot too many and was caught at long-on by Hartridge off of Walton.
Mark Jameson was bowled by Walton without scoring, and Carl Woolnough was caught by Josh Orrall for 2. The final wicket fell when last man Ross Abraham became Walton’s fourth wicket and Hartridge’s third catch when he was dismissed for 4.
D&T had fought back well to restrict Shaldon to 222 all out on a good batting surface but a challenging chase lie ahead.
D&T got off to the worst possible start when the top three of Josh Orrall, Matt Sevior and Andy Bligh all found themselves back in the pavilion with only 7 runs on the board. They had all been dismissed by the dangerous Ryan Bougourd.
Chris Cook and Harry Baxendale set about rebuilding the D&T innings, batting sensibly to take the score to 69 before Baxendale was bowled by William Moore for 26. Cook and new man Charlie Nicholls added another 62 for the fifth wicket with Nicholls playing some powerful strokes. The score had reached 131 when Nicholls was caught and bowled by Carl Woolnough for 23.
Cook, who had looked untroubled in marching to 78 was eventually undone by a skilful piece of bowling to become Bougourd’s fourth wicket. It was a crucial innings with Cook rescuing his side and taking the game to the Shaldon bowlers.
The score had risen to 168 when the seventh wicket fell. Trying to accelerate the run rate, keeper Alex Winch was caught by Blackburn on the long-on boundary off of Moore for 15. Soon after, Walton was bowled by Abraham for 4 and three wickets had fallen in quick succession when D&T captain Harold Stevenson was LBW for 2.
The score was now 173-9 and D&T were still 50 runs short of victory with the last two men at the crease. What happened next was extraordinary.
Ben Hartridge and Nick Dennis ran hard and punished any loose bowling putting pressure back on the Shaldon bowlers. The pressure eventually told when an easy run out chance was missed. The target steadily reduced and huge sixes from each batsman took the target to just 7 runs off the final over. After a single was taken off of the first ball of the over, Dennis launched the ball high and far over the boundary to spark jubilant scenes amongst the D&T players.
It was a remarkable victory, a fine team effort with particular credit due to Chris Cook, Nick Dennis and Ben Hartridge. Played in a great spirit, both teams agreed it was one of the best games in which they had played. D&T are involved in a local derby double header next weekend against Kingsbridge with the first team at home and the second team away.