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The Sweep 24 Week 9: The Ones Struggle at Exmouth but there's a Sunday ton at Oak Park.

Father and son from the Hodge family bat together for Cornwood 3XI 29/6/2024

Words: Simon Travers

Match Photos: Ivor Thomas


The Ones travelled to the Maer to face what they expected to be one of the season’s tougher examinations against a strong Exmouth team. At the midway point of the season, the hosts delivered their strongest overall performance of the season and the Ones could not keep pace.

Elliott Staddon won the toss and put Exmouth into bat. South African overseas Jason Niemand played across a straight one from Matt Skeemer and was out LBW early, but it was Exmouth’s Devon star that did the damage. James Horler hit his second Premier fifty of the season with an imposing 86 from 131 balls. His platform allowed other players to launch, with Louis Morrison hitting 37 in 29 and wicketkeeper Billy Reed striking 46 from 36. Elliott Staddon was economical as his 10 overs went for 29 runs. However, there was pain for the bowlers late on and 59 extras including 5 penalty runs. That combined to Exmouth scoring 307-8 from their 50. That is the fourth highest score conceded by the Ones in a DCL match and only the sixth time a team has broken the 300 barrier against them.

A photo taken from Exmouth's live stream of James Horler hitting a boundary against Cornwood 29/6/2024
James Horler hits a boundary (photo courtesy of Exmouth livestream)

Exmouth’s performance created immediate and sustained scoreboard pressure. The result showed quickly as the Cornwood top order staggered to 54-5 in 14.2 overs. The Exmouth bowlers formed an egalitarian collective, sharing two wickets equally between five of seven bowlers. Captain Elliott Staddon again was the pick of the Cornwood effort with a gutsy 75 from 72 balls including 13 fours. That’s his first DCL league 50 since 2019 and enough to secure 3 team batting points. Unfortunately, there was no one to hold the other end to help increase the scoreline’s respectablity and The Ones fell 138 runs short. That not a record loss for the Ones batting second against the Ex-men. It still falls 2 runs short of the 140 run hammering that was part of the ‘worst season ever’ relegation year of 2002.

The Ones returned home knowing that their performance did not reflect the true extent of their capabilities. Mid-season is a good time to remember that a remark like that says something about the team’s growth and the expectations that accompany that. It’s still only 3 years ago that the Ones went winless in June and looked vulnerable to relegation. This year, they are halfway to recording a team record for Premier wins and best league position. The team components don’t all connect yet, so the only thing to do is keep building.

Elsewhere in the Premier Division, Sandford eased past Heathcoat while Bradninch & Kentisbeare made heavy weather of beating Exeter. Paignton made the gap between 8th and 9th place obvious with a thumping win over Bovey Tracey and Sidmouth didn’t need to get out of second gear to beat Plympton. There is 5 points between top placed Sandford and second placed Bradninch. Cornwood retain third place over Exmouth, while serious heroics are required to rescue either Bovey Tracey or Plympton.

Sunday saw Ones player Ben Privett represent Devon CCC against Cheshire in the NCCA Trophy Quarter Finals. Ben performed well with the ball, taking 4 for 53 across the Cheshire innings. However, the Northern side were too strong and ran out winners by 110 runs.

A photo of Megan Hayward on the way to a century against Plympton 30/6/2024
Megan Hayward

The two honours board performances of the week went to players at the newest and most experienced ends of the Cornwood spectrum. Young Megan Hayward was the difference for the Women’s Firsts as they beat Plympton in an Oak Park match originally scheduled for Harewood Park. Gemma Lancaster was on manoeuvres at Royal Wooton Bassett as Devon beat Wiltshire comfortably. That gave space for Megan to be promoted up the order to open. She grasped the opportunity with both hands, batting for nearly 2 hours against the Plympton attack. Megan hit fifteen fours on the way to her first century for the club, scoring 103 from 79. Shini Al Khalid provided resolute support with 34 runs as she and Megan put on 121 for the fourth wicket. The Women’s Firsts reached 192-8 on the back of Megan’s achievement. Bella Greenwood was the best of the Plympton bowlers with 3 for 43.

A group shot of Cornwood's Womens First team against Plympton 30/6/2024
Women's Firsts celebrate a wicket

It took a patient effort for the Cornwood bowlers to get over the line as Plympton batted their overs for 170-5. Plympton fought to 87-2 from 24, which left them needing 106 from the last 11. The game broke open with Sofia Oxenham taking two wickets in the next over, including the settled Darcy Boote (41). Plympton picked up the pace with Violet Bell making 40 before she was run out by Evie Privett. The score was respectable for Plympton on 170-5, 22 runs light of Cornwood’s total, but the game was clinched earlier in the innings. Elsewhere, it was North Devon’s turn to be beaten by Exeter, so the Women’s Firsts climb to second place.

Andy Bees bowling for Cornwood 3xi vs South Brent 29/6/2024
Andy Bees bowling

Megan’s innings was infrared hot, but at the other end of the colour spectrum is an ultraviolet light that human eyes miss but bees can perceive. Andy Bees was in blistering form for his first league five-fer since August 2018 as the Threes cruised by South Brent. The Threes were again grateful for a flashing blade up top from Sam Griffiths (39) and a meaty middle order sledgehammer from Mike Hodge (video below). Mike hit 71 from 58 balls with 8 fours and 3 sixes. Mike has made a tidy 255 runs in June at an average of 85 and a strike rate of 122.6 to score 28.6% of the team’s runs across the month. Despite those performances, South Brent stuck to their task and restrained the Threes to 154 all out with 11 ½ overs unbowled. Heartbreakingly, the dream of a Joe Davies season long red inker is deferred for another year as he was caught for a duck. Chris O’Hare led the visitors attack with 3 for 35.

That modest total still made the Threes favourites as South Brent average 2.56 batting points per game. Andy Bees opened his account with Bob Crooks edging behind before he toasted the heart of the visitor’s middle order for figures of 8-5-3-5. It’s testament to Andy that you could repeat those figures around the club and ask who got them, and everyone would know it was him. The team finished the job promptly to bowl out South Brent for 81 for a comfortable 73 run win. Bovey Tracey 3s won a nipper against Stoke Gabriel 2s, so the Threes stay second in F Division West.

A picture of Jacob Caunter bowling for Cornwood 2xi v South Devon with close fielders
Twos field in close

The Twos made light work of a seven wicket victory over South Devon at Oak Park. Spin was the order of the day as Jason Hall took a direct route through the visitor’s middle order to finish on 9-3-18-4. Jacob Caunter picked up where Jason left off to claim 3 for 8. South Devon did their best to protect their stumps through 38.4 overs, but ended all out for 88. 42 from Matt Butterworth opening the innings was plenty to chase that total and the Twos got home in just 17.5 overs. All the top four C Division West teams had 20 pointers, so the table remains unchanged.

Sunday saw the Twos get close to digging themselves out of an early hole against Filleigh in the Ivor Dewdney T20 Corinthian Cup. The Twos found themselves on the end of a devastating spell from young paceman Albert Buckley. He took 5 for 15 across his four overs, and the Twos were 36-6 at the end of the powerplay. Josh Goodliffe fought back with a feisty 61 from 37. Lower order runs helped the Twos to a respectable target of 145 all out in 19.4 overs. Filleigh’s captain Justin Saker squeezed the run rate with an impressive 49 from 23. Middle overs from Matt Puttock utilised Delamore Park’s pace and bounce for figures of 4-1-19-3 to bring the Twos back into it. However, a cool-headed 31 from 23 by youngster Matthew Boundy got Filleigh over the line with 3 wickets and 2 balls spare.

Josh Goodliffe batting against Filleigh 30/6/2024
Josh Goodliffe batting

The Fours travelled to their derby game against Yelverton Bohemian 2XI looking to build on the positivity of last week’s win. Batting first, the Fours put in a team performance with 5 players remembering what it was like to be in the twenties on the way to 173/7. Yelverton warhorse Toby Julyan led their bowling with 3 for 37. That total proved light against the Yelverton top order. Lee Johns made 52, Geoff Brain scored 45, and Lee Foskett was there at the end with 40* as the hosts won with 4.2 overs to spare. That loss roots the Fours to the bottom of the G Division West table again, but with safety only 14 points away, there is plenty to play for.

Cornwood Colts players and trainers of the week
Colts Players of the Week

In the Colts, 31* from Tom helped the Under 13s get within 7 runs of Plympton. Sunday saw them win against Hatherleigh in the quarter final of the U13 WDYL cup. Eoin retired on 30* from 13 and player of the match James took 4 for 6 in a 28 run win. The Under 11s emphasised their strength with a 135 run win at Ivybridge. Ned scored 25*, Theo took 3 for 2 and Jack took 3 for 11. At training on Friday, Freddie was U11 trainer of the week for his fast bowling and sensible batting.

Next weekend, the Ones look to make their 750th Devon Cricket League fixture a good one at the Recreation Ground against Bovey Tracey. The Twos get a crack at Kingsbridge at Oak Park. The Threes travel to Chudleigh and the Fours host Ashburton 2XI. On Sunday, the Women’s Firsts are in action in the last round of the Super 8s, while the Fifths will be all dressed up as they're playing Wembury. There’s a full range of matches across midweek too. The colts head towards the finish of their season and there is women’s softball. However, the highlight is the start of the Under 19s campaign away at Plymouth on Wednesday.


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