By Simon Travers
Match Photos by Ivor Thomas
After the jubilee pageantry, Oak Park settled back into a mellower, more meditative mode this week. For once, the westerly breeze was friendly as it brought relief from the sun rather than the usual buckets of rain.
The Ones were all the way up the A386 visiting Hatherleigh. On a ground sandwiched between an electric substation and a cement works, Cornwood hoped to create sparks and get a concrete result.
Putting their hosts into bat, it was pace-off that worked for the bowling unit. Hatherleigh’s openers, Fishleigh and Tidball, made a stand of 56 before Jack Brown’s off-spin claimed them both. Jack likes his trips to Hatherleigh, having taken 5-37 for the Twos there last year.
For readers who like a riddle, what links Adam Goodliffe to Simon Harmer? Both have claimed the wicket of Hatherleigh’s South African batter Kagiso Rapulana in 2022. Adam got success through a catch by Robin Dart with to leave the hosts 81-3. Lee Baker (10-2-20-3) claimed wickets in three consecutive overs to put Hatherleigh on the back foot at 134-6 with ten left.
However, Jasper Presswell and keeper Ryan Davies launched a counter attack. Both reached the 50 mark and while Presswell’s strike rate of a run a ball was not pleasant, Davies’ reaching 50 in 31 balls was potentially match altering as Hatherleigh reached 218-7 in their allotted overs.
In reply, The Ones lost Craig Harris and Aaron Richards early before Max Finzel and Ryan Rickard put on 70 for the third wicket. Boundaries were scarce but both Max and Ryan found the gaps and were able to rotate the strike. Max fell to a stumping with the Ones 106-3, requiring 113 from 17 overs.
With wickets in hand, Cornwood found the necessary power surge. Matthew Skeemer began hitting the boundaries that would take him to 47 from 39. Ryan Rickard reached 50 and was run out on the same ball trying to scamper a second. With 6 overs remaining, Cornwood still needed 48 to win. It was a good day for keepers with a powerful bat as George Thompson joined Matt Skeemer. Skeemer hit sixes in consecutive overs and then Thompson pummelled Hatherleigh’s opening bowler Sean Letheren for 16 in an over. The Ones crossed the line with two overs to spare for a 4 wicket, 18 point win that demonstrated why they’re right in the middle of the Premier League pack while Hatherleigh are slipping into the distance.
Sunday at Oak Park saw the Womens’ Ones start their league season with a convincing 36 run victory over Bradninch. The standout individual performance came from Gemma Lancaster, who goes the top of the charts with the Top Batting Performance across the club this season. Her 89 not out slightly edging Jay Bista’s 89 in the Sunbelt Rentals T20 due to keeping her wicket. (Jay will be back next Saturday to battle with Gemma for top spot) Reaching her 50 in 76 balls with a deft cut, Gemma put Cornwood in a dominant position at 182-5 in 35 overs. Hannah Parsons supported with 34.
The Women’s Ones were in control with Olivia Gibson taking early wickets, but Bradninch stuck to their task and defended stoutly. However, they still required 80 runs with seven overs remaining and Hannah Bale was able to finish with figures of 7-3-24-3 as the Womens’ Ones came out on top by 36 runs.
Speaking of standout individual performances, did you hear that bonafide club legend Ryan ‘Chewy’ Hewitt took a hat-trick for the Fours this weekend? The achievement happened as the Fours were able to get their first win of the year under their belts away at Stoke Gabriel. The Fours were put into bat by the home team and Barrie Fitzpatrick had a great day out, scoring his first league 50 since his century against Yelverton back in 2018. Barrie raided the Stoke Gabriel attack for 74 in 107 balls with 10 fours, while the rest of the team chipped in here and there to push the Fours score to 207-9. Would that be enough?
With Stoke Gabriel on 84-3 after 16.2 overs and their captain Kai Horsburgh getting off the mark with a boundary, perhaps not. But cometh the hour, cometh the Chewy. Next ball Horsburgh was trapped LBW. Then Liam Mair walked out and walked straight back again
bamboozled with the bails separated from his stumps. Hat-trick ball: gathering all of his years and 1198 (play-cricket recorded) overs of experience, Matthew Kerr missed and Chewy hit.
The hat trick was complete. Speaking later, Chewy noted that it is, “always nice to get a personal milestone, but the most important thing was the fours getting our first win of the season for DT.”
After that bombshell, the result could only go one way. Credit to the Under 15s Charlie Farmer who got stuck into the clean-up operation with 2 for 20, and Chewy claimed another to finish with 4 for 29 as the Fours win by 60 runs.
The Twos had a much tougher time as Stoke Gabriel 1XI out played them in all areas at Oak Park for a comfortable 6 wicket win. Not blessed with bowlers of great pace, Stoke Gabriel were fast like an insurance salesman getting their foot in the door. They thrived on hustle and pressure as a field unit; rattling through their overs at 17 per hour and having a team dot ball percentage of 74%.
They forced the Twos to play at their rhythm. Finn Torley continued to show his promise, top-scoring with 34 out of a team score of 130. Last week, that was enough for the Twos, but despite a strong opening spell from James Richardson of 7-0-27-3, upsets aren’t upsets if they happen every week. Stoke Gabriel were patient before attacking after drinks. The visiting captain Jack Tolley, ended with an unbeaten 52* as the visitors got home one ball after halfway through their overs.
Going into their match against South Devon 2XI, it would be fair to see the Threes as favourites having won four out of five previously. However, South Devon put on a strong batting performance, with Jonty Tupman’s 52 the top score from a team total of 235-8. In reply, wickets tumbled with regularity to leave the tail with an optimistic T20 chase of around 140 with 3 wickets spare. They did a remarkably good job.
Groundskeeper Bradley Nicholls was unbeaten on 63 from 57 balls. Bradley,
the Delamore Demon, now has 145 runs and 6 wickets across 5 games with the Threes and Fours. Billy Dixon also fired a few bombs as the Threes got within 41 of South Devon and stay second in F Division West.
Finally, it would be remiss to not give a shout to the outstanding effort from the Under 13s this week who qualified for the ECB Devon Cup T20 Under 13s finals day with a 25 run win over Plymstock.
Stat of the week, the Under 13s bowled 20 overs without a no ball or wide. Solid stuff.
Next weekend, the Ones and Twos will both be hungry for wins against their counterparts from Paignton. The Ones will be hosting at Oak Park. The Twos get the trip beside the seaside. The Threes are off to Stokeinteignhead and the Fours have Plymouth Civil Service and Roborough Seconds.