Dropped catches prove costly for seconds against Ashburton

Dartington & Totnes II 169 for 8 Ashburton II 172 for 6

Ashburton (18 points) beat D&T (7 points) by 4 wickets.

It was top versus bottom at Foxhole on Saturday. Ashburton had a 100% record, whilst we were looking for our first win of the season.  Despite the gulf in our relative League positions there was very little between the teams as Ashes won with just over an over to spare, in an exciting and competitive match.  Indeed we spurned a good opportunity to win by failing to hold numerous catches, proving the old adage ‘catches win matches’.

Ashburton won the toss and put us in to bat.   Dismissed for 80 the previous week, we scored 91 before losing a wicket.   Paul Taylor and Gavin Colegate got us off to a fine start on a good batting pitch.  Taylor aggravated an elbow injury whilst hitting a four and, though he bravely carried on, finally had to throw in the towel and retire hurt.  76 for no wicket at drinks was a firm foundation.

Joe Parker joined Gav and was in good touch, striking the ball well.   With fifteen overs remaining Gav was out for a solid 39, trying to up the run rate.   It was a big blow when Tom Petherick lasted only two balls as Russ Lacey took the first of his four wickets (4 for 28) when Tom was adjudged lbw, despite being a good way down the track. Lacey then bowled Keith Hodgins and Joe for 5 and 23 respectively and then had Sam Tanner caught for 3 as we collapsed to 126 for 5 with 8 overs remaining.   James Hartridge was unable to stop the rot, falling to Bartram for 4 but Glenn  and Phil Power put on a useful 21 runs for the seventh wicket before Phil was bowled by spinner Churchill who also bamboozled  Mudgey.  We closed on 169, with Birthday Boy Glenn 12 not out and Mick 6 not out, a total which seemed to be about 20 runs below par, and so it was to prove.

After a fine tea Ashburton got off to a flying start scoring at 5 an over, with seasoned campaigner Marcus West and Young Devon player Jake Pascoe in fine form.  With only one fit pace bowler in the team spinner Tom spearheaded our bowling attack with Mudgey.   Searching for control, Skipper Gavin, soon brought Glenn and Mick into the attack.   The pair have a long history of exerting a stranglehold in the middle of an innings.   On this occasion Glenn (2 for 44), began in wayward fashion but his Birthday improved as he trapped Pascoe lbw for 19 with the score on 70 after only 12 overs.   He then had Lacey lbw for 22.

West (51) completed his half century but was visibly tiring.  Gavin found the edge of his bat as Steve took a fine high catch at slip (pity he dropped a dolly off me- editor)- 116 for 3 with 15 overs remaining to score 54 runs.   The match was poised on a knife edge but we needed wickets.  Gavin trapped Jack Churchill lbw for 11   and Phil bowled Rob Lambert for 17 and Higgs for 6.  Phil bowled with great variation and was the pick of our bowlers.   He might have taken a ‘fivefor’ but had abysmal luck with four straightforward catches dropped off his bowling.   Andy Harvey and Tom Rush eventually saw Ashes home, with Harvey finishing it in fine style with a huge six.

Thanks to Gav for doing the post -match BBQ.

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