Dartington & Totnes II 177 for 7 Abbotskerwell III 178 for 5
D&T (6 points) lost to Abbotskerswell (18 points) by 5 wickets
D&T’s promotion challenge stuttered after their batsmen posted an under par total, at Dartington on Saturday.
Put in to bat in murky conditions Dartington & Totnes’ openers Steve Mackinlay and Jon Perkin gave them a good start, putting on 54 for the first wicket. Mackinlay, the team’s top batsman, has been in a rich vein of form and this continued with his second fifty in three innings. By contrast Perkin was relatively becalmed and never managed to stamp his usual authority on the bowlers. Mackinlay kept the scoreboard ticking with some stylish shots all around the wicket. He particularly took a shine to Lightowler, off whom he hit five of his eight fours. Perkin fell to a catch off Lightowler and new man Liam Bligh, the scion of Northampton University, was caught off young spinner Smout-Cooper. D&T were reduced to 56 for 3 when skipper Harold Stevenson was extremely unfortunate to sweep a wide leg side delivery from Smout-Cooper onto his stumps. Neil Colegate joined Mackinlay and looked in decent touch. Mackinlay completed his fifty and looked set to double it but was caught at mid-off, off Smout-Cooper (3 for 28), for 56. This knock brought Steve’s average to 49 after 4 innings.
The Colegate brothers, Neil and Gavin, consolidated with Gavin being the more aggressive. The pair took the score to 125 before Gavin just failed to clear the long-on boundary and was caught off Steve Beasant for 33. Brother Glenn joined Neil and they took the score to 150 before Neil was caught behind off Jelley for 39. Disappointingly D&T were unable to press the accelerator over the last 10 overs, scoring only 30 runs. Mudgy made 12 and Glenn 16 not out. (Glenn is now averaging 69 having been dismissed only once) D&T managed to gain their third batting off the last ball off the innings thanks to a lusty blow from Dave Griffiths.
After tea the sun shone and batting conditions improved. Abbots soon lost their usually obdurate skipper, Karl Beasant, when Mudge bowled him in his first over. However, Aiden Lightowler batted with aggression from the off and was soon plundering runs. Lightowler was unafraid to take chances and several mishits narrowly evaded the field. Griffiths thought he had him caught at gully but the umpire adjudged the ball to have bounced immediately after leaving the bat. The slip cordon were not so sure and believed the ball had flown off the top edge and the bat had hit the ground. Lightowler continued merrily on his way and the fifty came up in 8 overs. D&T needed bowlers to take the pace off the ball and spinner Glenn Colegate struck in his third over when Stevenson, at mid- off, caught Lightowler for 41 with the score on 61. D&T thought this would be the crucial wicket they needed but were soon disabused of this idea as Rich and Smout-Cooper added 86 for the third wicket. The pair led a charmed life and although they played some excellent shots there were numerous mistimes ones which narrowly evaded being caught. D&T gained the impression it wasn’t going to be their day and when Rich eventually hit the ball straight to the fielder on the midwicket boundary who lost the ball in the sun and the chance was gone.
Stevenson rotated his bowlers with little success until Griffiths, back for his second spell, trapped Smout-Cooper lbw for 42. 148 for 3 with 13 overs remaining. When Mudge (2 for 43) had Rich caught behind for 62 only 11 runs were required. Rusling bowled Cartwright as D&T made a late bid to pile on the pressure but Reilly and Morgan saw Abbots home with 3 overs remaining.