After three successive victories, Dartington and Totnes First Eleven came crashing back to earth with a thumping 112 run defeat to league leaders Bovey Tracey Seconds.
At a scorching Recreation Ground, Bovey skipper Jeremy Christophers won the toss and elected to bat first on what looked a good wicket. However, they lost their first wicket in just the second over when opener Taylor Ingham-Hill gloved an Andy Bligh short ball through to keeper Alex Winch for 1. New man Will Christophers and surviving opener Sam Taylor set about rebuilding the Bovey innings after the early loss.
The pair looked in good touch with both playing some classy shots. Therefore, it came as a relief for D&T when Taylor was dismissed LBW by Tyler Walton for 44 with the score 68-2. 17 runs were added for the third wicket before Callum Stanley was bowled by a sharp turner from Ben Hartridge for 3.
Number five Tom Andrew then played on to a Hartridge delivery for 1 and number three Will Christophers edged a Harry Baxendale delivery behind to Winch for 31 to leave Bovey struggling at 97-5.
As the pressure mounted, Dan Green decided that attack was the best form of defence and struck three fours and a six before he attempted to play one big shot too many and was caught by Baxendale in the deep off Hartridge for an 18-ball 24, in the process becoming Hartridge’s third wicket.
With the score on 133, Reuben Stanley became the seventh wicket to fall when he was LBW to Baxendale for 1. George Yabsley and Olly Clifford-Bourne added 21 for the eighth wicket before Baxendale had a third wicket when he bowled Clifford-Bourne for 10.
Number ten George Pittman joined Yabsley at the crease but the pair could only add 10 before Pittman was caught at mid-off by Hartridge off Willy Wyatt for 5. With Bovey at 164-9, D&T looked well placed to cause an upset, but last man Jeremy Christophers joined Yabsley at the crease, and the pair frustrated the D&T bowlers adding an unbeaten 58 for the final wicket. Yabsley finished 60 not out and Christophers 17 not out.
Bovey had recovered from 97-5 to make a competitive 222-9. The pick of the D&T bowlers were spinners Ben Hartridge and Harry Baxendale who both ended up with three wickets.
The D&T chase towards what looked like a large target got off to the worst possible start when they found themselves 7-2. Opener Matt Sevior was pinned LBW by Dan Green without scoring and two wickets fell in successive balls when number three Willy Wyatt was also LBW for a golden duck.
It got even worse for the visitors when James Howrihane was bowled for 5 to become Green’s third victim, leaving D&T on 14-3. Josh Orrall and Ian Bransdon came to the crease with their side in desperate need of a partnership.
The pair put on 44 before Bransdon could only pick out Jeremy Christophers at mid-on off the bowling of Will Christophers for 23. The score was on 64 when D&T lost their fifth wicket, Orrall LBW to Christophers for 18.
Keeper Alex Winch and Ben Hartridge added 27 for the sixth wicket before Winch was caught and bowled by Clifford-Bourne for 8. Hartridge, who had struck the ball powerfully was then dismissed by Taylor Ingham-Hill for 28 with the score on 101-7.
The final three D&T wickets fell for just four runs. Tyler Walton played on to a Ingham-Hill delivery for 1, Baxendale was LBW to the same bowler for 4 and Andy Bligh was caught to become Clifford-Bourne’s second wicket.
D&T had collapsed to 110 all out to lose by 112 runs. At one stage D&T had the league leaders in trouble, but the depth of their batting and a disappointing response from the visiting batsmen lead to a heavy defeat against a strong Bovey side, who deservedly sit at the top of the table. Notable performances come from Ben Hartridge who took three wickets and scored 28 with the bat and Harry Baxendale who also took three wickets.
The first team are at home on Saturday to Plympton Seconds while the Second team travel to play Plymouth Thirds.