Dartington and Totnes 1stXI continued their superb run of form with a comfortable nine-wicket win over local rivals Stoke Gabriel at a sunny Foxhole. Put into bat by D&T skipper Harry Baxendale on a slow pitch with some variable bounce, Stoke Gabriel got off to an excellent start with openers Jack Tolley and Isaac Withington putting on 51 in the first 11 overs before Tolley was caught by Jono Colegate off the bowling of Chris Cook.
Calum Moses could only add five runs before falling LBW to Baxendale and Withington was bowled by Colegate for a patient 8, leaving the visitors at 70 for 3. Incoming batsman Andy Kingdon was dropped off the bowling of Cook before scoring and went on to anchor the rest of the innings, top scoring with 35.
Colegate’s spell of bowling did damage to the middle order of the Stoke Gabriel side, as he quickly took the wickets of Ant Kanwar (bowled for 7) and Robinson, bowled without scoring, leaving the visitors on 82-5. A second duck followed as Phil Snyman bowled Tim Withington and Alex Hartridge bowled Kyle Lardner for a third duck to leave Stoke Gabriel at 93-7.
At the other end, Kingdon was resisting the D&T attack, putting on 13 with Jake Robinson before Robinson was caught by Snyman to give Colegate his fourth wicket (his figures 4-15 off nine overs). Andy Ball and Kingdon added another 21 runs before Kingdon was out, bowled by Baxendale for his second wicket. Last pair Ball and Charley Holtom frustrated by D&T bowlers, playing out the last eight overs, taking the score to 133 and depriving D&T maximum bowling points.
Stoke Gabriel defended their total with accurate bowling and shrewd field placing, but D&T openers showed that, with patience, building an innings was possible. Cook and Snyman played each ball on its merits, not troubled by the need to chase a large total and, while often finding the fielder, they punished any loose deliveries. They steadily closed in on the total at a measured three runs an over until Cook was caught at mid-off by Kingdon off Jake Robinson for 31 with the score on 76.
The arrival at the crease of Baxendale saw the scoring rate pick up and, with Snyman reaching a well-earned 50 to bring the scores level, Baxendale sealed victory with a massive six over mid-wicket to end on an unbeaten 28, their partnership having put on 63.
It had been another impressive performance from D&T, marred only by a few dropped catches and the failure to bowl their opponents out. Each of the five bowlers took wickets and, with the early batsmen continuing to make runs, the later-order batsmen have yet to be tested.
Jake Robinson (1-22 from eight overs) and Isaac Withington (six overs for only twelve runs) were the pick of the Stoke Gabriel bowlers, with Kingdon’s innings the stand-out one for the visitors.
D&T skipper Harry Baxendale said, “With 158 points out of a possible 160, it will be nice to travel to Cornwood next Saturday, hoping we can reach the half-way point of the season unbeaten and with a good lead at the top of the table.”