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DCL Week Four: Match Reports

The 1st XI faced Cornwood on Saturday for an enticing top-of-the-table clash, writes George Yabsley. Ashburton were of course heading into the fixture having won three on the bounce, and Cornwood were themselves in good form.

The Varwell grounds staff did well throughout what was a difficult week for pitch preparing. Nevertheless, Ashburton won the toss and bowled first on a soft wicket. Rain was in the forecast later in the day, so the Chargers hoped to skittle the away side out early and pursue their total before the weather could affect proceedings.

Charlie Towers (1-43), back in the side after recovering from a side-strain, managed to achieve a relatively early breakthrough after a misjudged leave from J Goodliffe allowed the ball to clip the top of the stumps. Apart from that however, Ashburton struggled to threaten the Cornwood batsmen. Runs were coming relatively straightforwardly before the Chargers called upon Bittu (2-24) once more, who with the help of a smart one handed catch from Harry Bannister behind the stumps, dismissed C Parker.

Then Ashburton started to find form. Matt Churchill brought the next two Ashburton wickets followed by another from Bittu, and suddenly Cornwood found themselves 107-5 from 28 overs. More wickets fell as Matt Coon (3-50) and Chris Yeo (1-46) picked up 3 between them, and with Cornwood on 141-8, Ashburton looked well on top.

Alas, an Andy Bees response to a hatrick ball from Matt Coon set the tone for what was to come for the remainder of the Cornwood innings. For the 9th wicket, 53 runs were accumulated, and Cornwood finished on a respectable 214-9.

After tea, Ashburton needed to come out positive. Rain was coming, and the target was to reach 100 by 20 overs. If rain came, Ashburton would be ahead of the required rate to win should the game be cut short. 67 runs from just 7.4 overs were scored before the first wicket fell, with Bittu being particularly destructive. George Yabsley and Lloyd White managed to keep the scoreboard ticking before Yabsley also fell, quickly followed by Ash Berry, leaving Ashburton 88-3 from 14.2 overs.

With Matt Churchill and Lloyd White at the crease, the feeling was that Ashburton could see this home when rain stopped play. But the rain did not last, and the teams returned to the field with a revised total of 186 from 39 overs set. Then, Ashburton’s middle order faltered. Churchill, May and Bannister were dismissed in quick succession, and despite Lloyd White looking good, he too fell after being caught in the deep. Andy Bees made quick work of Ashburton’s tail, and Ashburton were all out for 171 from 36.5 overs, falling short by 14 runs.

So close yet so far for the first eleven, but they will look to dust themselves off and return to winning ways next week at Paignton.

Skipper, White reflected; "A game that ebbed and flowed throughout, with both sides being in control at some point during the game. I was disappointed with our fielding performance and we were all a bit lethargic, but Matt Churchill and Bittu provided great control with the ball. Jason Hall showed everyone how to bat on that wicket, be patient, play yourself in and put the bad balls away.

We couldn't quite take the run chase deep enough and if one more batter had got a score, that would have taken us over the line. Jacob Caunter's spell with the ball swung the game in their favour, he bowled brilliantly. The fact we didn't play at 100% yet still got so close to getting over the line, is a good sign for us.

We'll look to right our wrongs next week at Paignton which will be another good test."

Ashburton 2nd XI travelled to stover school to play Ipplepen 3rd XI on a green low and slow wicket, writes AJ West. With both teams currently in the middle of the table a win would benefit either side massively within the table. Ipplepen won the toss and decided to send the visitors in to bat. Special thank you to Sarah Wood for stepping in to score for the 2s with Chris West unavailable to score due to celebrating her 50th birthday.

Skipper Phil Pascoe and AJ West went out looking to see off the opening bowlers knowing there was not much bowling to follow. In the 7th over AJ fell for only 3 getting bowled by J Perry bringing in Marcus West (Westy) earlier than planned. Phil (11) followed 2 overs later along with Adam Seedhouse Evans (0) in the same over. Things looked bad for Ashburton when Alex Hayman walked out to the crease to join Westy at 24 for 3 off 9.

However, the fall of a couple quick wickets did not put Alex off, hitting 2 excellent cover drives for 4 in his first 3 balls. Alex and Westy put on an excellent 68 run partnership to steady the ship for Ashburton before Alex fell to an excellent one-handed catch at mid-off for a well earnt 18. Next in was Russ Lacey (21) who had a crucial partnership with Westy to get Ashburton to 139 for 5 with 10 overs to go. Russ was caught off the bowling of J Perry who took 4 for 32 off his 8 overs.

With 10 overs to go the goal at this point was 180+ which since before the game Ashburton skipper Phil Pascoe said 150 was a winnable total meant Ashburton was in high spirits but needed to work hard to get there. George Marshall (22) was the next in and he and Westy ran a lot of quick singles in the last 10 overs to keep the runs ticking over and managed to get Ashburton to 191 for 5 off their 40 overs. Westy finished on 92* being his 3rd 50+ score in as many innings still not out for this devon league season.

R England (31) and T Cooper (14) got Ipplepen off to a good start of 45 when George Marshall (2 for 27) made the breakthrough of T Cooper in the 9th over. R England then fell 2 overs later to George leaving Ipplepen 52 for 2. Jerry Crouch (2 for 21) and AJ West (2 for 22) kept the middle overs tight and ensuring wickets fell regularly to keep Ashburton on top with only A Maynard (13) and L Borlase (14) reaching double digits. Ipplepen’s last hope was S Harris (8) who in his first over Russ took a phenomenal diving caught and bowled off a ball that was travelling low to the ground at a very high speed. Other than a last-minute quick slog from R Courtice (11) Russ went on to comfortably clean up the low order taking 4 for 10 in under 3 overs. This gave Ashburton a 68-run win gaining 19 points to put them 4th in the league.

Skipper Phil Pascoe said after the game “Well done to the 2’s, a great game and birthday celebrations today. Happy 50th Chrissie West.... Special thanks for the tea and cake, special thanks to Sarah for scoring today outside in the elements. Westy for yet another unbeaten 50 with the bat, first league over for Patrick, wickets for many of the bowlers and a welcome return for Gunn and Rusty with runs and wickets. A very good day well done.”

With 5th place (by 2 points) Ivybridge 3s at home next week it is going to be a big game next week for Ashburton 2nd XI.

2nd XI Skipper, Phil Pascoe

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