Updated: Sep 1
Ashburton first team travelled to play Brixham for their final C Division West match knowing that they had to win and hope both Bridestowe and Stoke Gabriel slipped up in order to win the division. The hosts who were at the wrong end of the division needed a win to ensure their survival.
Ashes skipper Ash Berry called correctly at the toss and elected to bat on an excellent looking wicket. Openers Lloyd White and Jake Pascoe shared a rapid stand of 40 before a rush of blood saw White dismissed for 18 in the sixth over. Pascoe then dominated the next two partnerships, first with skipper Berry (7) and then with Dan Coles (10), as the board passed 100 for the loss of just two wickets. Pascoe was then dismissed for an excellent 62 and a mini collapse saw Ashes reduced to 111 for 5 with 23 overs still remaining. This brought Matt Churchill and Steve Edmonds together and the pair batted sensibly adding 66 in the next 14 overs before Edmonds fell for a dogged 19. The rest of the innings was then dominated by Churchill as he looked to be more positive. He passed his maiden 50 and accelerated on to a fine 77 not out from just 70 balls taking Ashes to a respectable total of 232 for 8 in their 45 overs.
Tom Higgs (9 overs, 1 for 34) then opened up with a hostile spell and was rewarded with an early wicket. He was backed up well by George Yabsley (7 overs, 0 for 18) as opener Bodin struggled to get the ball away and did not get off the mark until the 13th over. However, Brixham's overseas player Muzammil, looked in great touch and kept the board moving as the two took the score to 81 for 1. Chris Yeo (9 overs, 1 for 30) was then introduced and dismissed Bodin for 28. Churchill (7 overs, 1 for 23) provided great support from the other end as the run rate climbed. With 90 runs required from 7 overs and all of the pressure seemingly now on Muzzamil he looked to take a risk against Will Coon and was well caught by Jake Pascoe for an excellent 82. Coon (4 overs, 4 wickets for 4 runs) and Jake Pascoe (0.4 overs, 2 wickets for 0 runs) ran through the rest of the batting line up with ease as Brixham were all out for 159 in the 44th over.
This meant that Brixham were narrowly relegated by two points and after the game news filtered through that both Bridestowe and Stoke Gabriel had won meaning Ashes finished the campaign in third place in the division.
After the game skipper Berry said "A great way to put the season to bed and a really good couple of performances from Matt Churchill with the bat followed by Tom Higgs with the ball. Nice to see both them displaying the abilities that we know they have. As for the season, we'll no doubt reflect on a couple of results that we didn't take by the scruff and wonder what may have been. But I also think that if you're deserving of exiting this league in the right direction, then you can't drop those kind of games. All in all, finishing third is a decent result and, more importantly, we have a core of players that will continue next year with plenty of youngsters coming through.".
Link to scorecard - https://www.play-cricket.com/website/results/4137362
The Ashburton team that defeated Brixham on Saturday. Back row left to right - George Yabsley, Tom Higgs, Dan Coles, Jake Pascoe, Matt Churchill, Steve Edmonds. Front row left to right - Matt Coon, Lloyd White, Ash Berry, Chris Yeo, Will Coon
Ashburton second team also finished with a win at home to Hatherleigh thirds. AJ West (4 for 8), Jack Warren (2 for 20) and Jerry Crouch (2 for 28) combined to bowl Hatherleigh out for 100 in 27 overs and then skipper Phil Pascoe (57no) and Jack Warren (20) saw Ashes reach the total for the loss of two wickets in the 20th over.
Ashes second team finished the season in a creditable sixth place in their division.
Link to scorecard - https://www.play-cricket.com/website/results/4138206
Match photos (credit Julian Preston) - https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?vanity=julian.preston.14&set=a.10159347342907357
On Bank Holiday Monday Ashburton entertained touring side Aldenham. The visitors chose to bat and racked up 230 for 8 in their 35 overs. Jack Warren (3 for 37) and Kirkby West (3 for 45) the pick of the bowlers.
The Ashburton reply was based around a fine innings of 98 from second team skipper Phil Pascoe. In partnership with his son Toby (56) the two added 117 for the opening wicket. Jack Warren (28) then provided good support as Ashes reached the last eight overs needing 69 to win. Dan Coles joined Pascoe and the two kept the board moving as the target became 31 runs from 4 overs. Pascoe was then stumped agonisingly short of his century. Lloyd White (11) then came in and hit a huge 6 and got the target down to 12 off of the last two overs before being dismissed leaving Coles (19no) to ensure the win was secured in the final over for the loss of five wickets with four balls remaining.
Link to scorecard - https://ashburton.play-cricket.com/website/results/4910520
Match photos (credit Julian Preston) - https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?vanity=julian.preston.14&set=a.10159350810127357