Hatherleigh III 187 for 7 Dartington & Totnes II 188 for 3
D&T won by 7 wickets.
The seconds completed the double over Hatherleigh with an excellent batting display on a tricky pitch at the Shebbear College ground. Leading the way was Jim Lowden who scored an excellent match-winning innings of 71 not out. Our fielders were extremely generous, spurning numerous catches that were offered, which fortunately didn’t spoil our day, despite the old adage ‘catches win matches’.
Hatherleigh had arrived at the ground to find no wicket had been prepared and hurriedly began to rectify this. Unfortunately, they were unable to stop the roller reversing before it had demolished one side of the state of the art groundman’s shed. Hatherleigh made a better job of removing the shed wall than they did of removing grass from the pitch and the uneven, grassy wicket left much to be desired. D&T skipper Gavin was soon into his ‘Private Fraser mode’ (from Dad’s Army for the uninitiated) and foresaw all manner of doom and gloom in the pitch. He had no hesitation asking Hatherleigh to bat first, and though batting wasn’t easy, the pitch proved not to hold as many demons as anticipated.
D&T got off to a cracking start in the first over when a beautiful delivery from Finlay bowled Wilf Auty for a duck. Finn bowled a very sharp opening spell, conceding just 11 runs in 5 overs. His front foot soon caused a sizeable crater in the pitch, as the unprepared surface broke down. Finn’s opening partner, Josh, couldn’t quite match his consistency but nonetheless still produced some excellent deliveries. Solkin the number three batsman showed aggressive intent right from the off and found the boundary with a bit too much regularity for our comfort.
Mick and Tyler came into the attack after ten overs and both struggled in their first over. Mick conceding 10 from his first 3 deliveries and Tyler, struggling for accuracy, needed to bowl 12 deliveries to complete his first over. Mick having got whatever it was out of his system then resumed normal service in his second over and had opener Rose stumped by PT for 9. Solkin was prepared to live dangerously and despite his 9 boundaries mishit several shots in the air which eluded the fielders. He and Cherrington took the score onto 92 before Solkin, on 48, was out to a good catch at long-on by Ollie off Mick (2 for 22). Two runs later Phil Power bowled Hatherleigh skipper Lee Rose for a duck.
Cherrington and Sharp consolidated. It seemed likely Sharp had feline ancestry because he seemed to enjoy nine lives, offering series of catches of varying difficulty. Cherrington had been dropped by PT off Mick but he later made amends by eventually catching him for 26 off Phil (2 for 34). Like Phil, Gavin bowled well and was desperately unlucky to see catches put down. His luck turned when he bowled Floyer for 13 with a full delivery. Keen to set a challenging total the Hatherleigh batsmen took on the bowlers, scoring 51 off the last 7 overs. Sharp was unlucky to miss his 50 being stumped for 49 off Gavin (2 for 44). Nelson soon got his eye in, coming in with four balls remaining and scoring 10 runs ‘on the charge’.
187 looked like a decent total on a pitch where the ball was not really coming onto the bat. At tea we were disappointed to have let Hatherleigh off the hook -but we needn’t have been concerned.
PT had to leave early and opened the batting with Neil. Neil hit a nice four but then steered a wide delivery straight into the hands of point. Jim joined PT and was soon impressing. Jim, new to the Club this season, is a stylish batman with a good technique which he soon demonstrated with admirable effect. He combined his solid defence with some crisp attacking shots. PT supported him well and pair added 94 for the second wicket. The field spread out and boundaries were harder to come by, but the pair ran very well between the wickets. PT became increasingly fluent as his innings continued and it was a surprise when he missed a delivery from Floyer to be bowled for 36- his top score of the season.
Josh, who had scored a century in the corresponding home fixture, joined Jim and the pair added 48 for the third wicket before Josh was adjudged lbw to Cherrington for 14. Ollie came in and, despite his lack of game time this season was soon showing his class, playing some delightful strokes and hitting 21 not out off 15 deliveries. Ollie and man of the match Jim took us home with 4.4 overs to spare.
Despite the win, disappointingly, we didn’t make up any ground on Yelverton who are immediately above us in the table, as they beat St Marychurch. We are in a 9 team division with 3 going up and 3 going down. Even if we win our 3 remaining matches we are far from certain of avoiding relegation, which is a real shame as when we manage to field a decent strength team we can be very competitive.