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The Sweep 22 Week 11: Men’s and Women’s Ones get the weekend double over Bradninch, while Plymstock bring the best out of the Twos.

Words: Simon Travers

Match Photos: Ivor Thomas


With weather warnings circling for wild desert heat rather than orthodox Devon dampness, it was a weekend to win the toss, bat hard, and have a spinner up your sleeve. The club went into the weekend confident of a quality set of results, but also having to deal with a few last minute availability issues as Covid rears its ugly head again.

The Ones came into their home match with Bradninch looking to build from their confident dismissal of Plymouth last week and put further distance between themselves and the relegation zone. In the past 10 years, the typical match between the two sides have been tight, topsy-turvy, low scoring, Cornwood wins. The Ones three wicket victory at Kensham Park earlier in the year fit that mould, while Bradninch’s last win over the Ones was back in June 2013.

Winning the toss and batting, things did not go according to plan for the top order as Bradninch’s opening bowlers Chad Classen and Ross Acton took two wickets each to put the Ones in a hole at 47-4. Ben Beaumont (30) and Matt Skeemer (22) started the recovery with a 53 run 5th wicket partnership. The lower middle order then kept the momentum with healthy contributions from captain Elliott Staddon (21) and wicketkeeper Noah Carlisle (30). However, top scoring honours went to Adam Goodliffe with a powerful 42 from 30 including 4 fours and 2 sixes. Those scores got the Ones over 200, finishing on 214-8; a total the bowlers could work with, but below the team’s pre-match hopes.

Matt Skeemer (8-0-57-2) was able to pick up Bradninch dangerman Gary Chappell’s wicket in the 3rd over and Mitchell Pugh in the 5th, but fears about the sustainability of the victory target were not helped by a fast start for the visitors. At 67-2 after 11 overs, Bradninch had built a platform to manage their chase from. The strength of Cornwood is its bowling though and four quick wickets shared between Jay Bista (10-1-25-2) and Josh Coker (5-1-22-2) put the visitors on the back foot at 94-6. Will Squire and Ankit Badwal (37) went for a Butch Cassidy and Sundance style all guns blazing counter to reach 143-6. Ben Beaumont (6-2-19-3) proved to be the gunslinger who removed Badwal and his replacement Josh Richards in 3 balls for 143-8. On a day of scorching heat, suddenly raindrops were falling on Bradninch heads. The last wicket fell on 176 as Cornwood claimed one more tight, topsy-turvy, low scoring win over Bradninch. The Ones climb up to 5th in the table, 20 points clear of Plymouth in 9th who lost heavily at Heathcoat.

On Sunday, the Women’s Ones took the turn off at Junction 28 on the M5 for the second half of the weekend’s double header. Bradninch and the Women’s Ones are the top two in Division C of the Women’s League. The team had a few key players unavailable but their level headed nature takes factors like that in their stride. Bowling first as the hosts won the toss, the Women’s Ones dominated. Becky Harris (4-1-8-2) claimed early wickets before captain Gemma Lancaster (5-0-15-3), Olivia Gibson (5.2-1-20-3) and Joanne Ricks (7-1-28-2) worked as the wrecking crew that bowled Bradninch for 116. Gemma Lancaster then confirmed her status as first pick on the fantasy cricket team sheet with a run a ball not out 77. The only breeze at the ground was the 8 wicket win with 14 overs spare that puts the Women’s Ones clear at the top of Divison 3.

As well as the sun, The Twos had to deal with a different kind of heat as they travelled to Dean Cross to join battle again with local rivals Plymstock. Although Plymstock are league leaders, the Twos could point to their first four win streak since 2019 and the absence of Plymstock overseas Alexandros Karvelos (playing T20 internationals for Greece in Finland) as evidence that they could pull off an upset.

Winning the toss and batting, the Twos were forced to battle for every run on a pitch offering variable bounce and movement. Momentum shifting towards the bowlers as two quick wickets put the Twos on 76-3 after 20 overs. However, any expectations on the Plymstock side of the Twos collapsing were blocked by Ben Griffiths (84) and James Richardson (64*) making 112 for the 4th wicket. It is not just the number of runs that mark the significance of the partnership. Mixed within the buckets of sweat both batters were drenched by was courage, concentration, and extreme commitment; a determined willingness to leave their hearts on the field for the club and each other. This partnership, built by friends, had everything that cricket is supposed to bring out of us.

Recording a target of 209-4, the Twos could not have started better as Andy Bees (9-4-24-2) got Teddy Richards to nick one in the first over. Another quick wicket brought Hallam Kerton to the crease at 30-2. Kerton is a high quality player, last year hitting 4 Premier League fifties for Plymouth. He was the wicket that the Twos had to get but that prize eluded the bowlers. Their disciplined lines, only 9 wide balls bowled, met Kerton’s well-honed cover drive. At the other end, wickets kept falling, Matt Tamsett gathered key wickets to end with figures of 9-1-39-3 and Luke Richardson and Robin Dart had the sure hands. However, Kerton kept going with 79* from 101 balls and he unleashed others batters such as Seb Jordan (33* from 29) to hit out. As late as the 41st over, with 2 wickets remaining and 27 needed, the Plymstock sidelines were nervy. They were able to find the boundary enough times to get over the line in the last over. The should be proud of what was their highest quality performance of the season. Plymstock’s mantra this year has been ‘we don’t belong in this division’, and it’s hard to argue when they are 32 points clear in the table. If that’s true though, then it’s also true that as the Twos went toe to toe with them, the same could be said for their performance on this day. Funny how our rivals can sometimes bring out the best in us.

The Threes travelled to Teignmouth and Shaldon with a youthful side, keen to learn and build experience. Josh Cumberland (8-3-21-3) and Dan Skeemer (8-2-28-3) were able to leave their mark on the Teignmouth and Shaldon batters as they were bowled out for 178. Josh Wood and Barrie Fitzpatrick (29) made an opening partnership of 67 and Josh went on to record his third score above 50 of the year. When he departed on 51 from 63 balls, the run chase tumbled over the cliffs into a 38 run loss.

Meanwhile, at Delamore Park, the old men of the Fours recorded their second victory of the season, a 34 run win against Whitchurch. Phil Gibson and Charles Knight both hit their first fifties of the season. Phil reached 51 in 50 balls with 8 fours while Charles made it to 72 from 66 with 11 fours and 2 sixes. Those innings fuelled a competitive total of 224. The Fours were able to defend that total in large part to Ryan Hewitt enjoying the turn created by on a dry Delamore Park. He finished with figures of 8-1-27-4.

Although the adult season is still in full swing, the colts teams are almost at the end of their campaigns. The Sweep has mentioned the Under 13s already but all the teams have a story to tell. This week, let’s focus on the Under 11s, who have qualified for the West Devon Youth League Under 11 cup final for the second season running. They will play against Ivybridge in September after recording a 101 run win away at Plympton this week. In all their matches, the Under 11s have now won 15 out of 16, with 6 wins of more than 100 runs. Managed by Ryan Hewitt, they naturally carry something of Chewy’s character, they’re fun and uncompromising in battle. So far, Eoin Hewitt, Stanley Baker and Noah Garland have all passed 200 runs, with Tom Burrows and Mason Morrish not far behind. Noah and Mason also both lead the bowling with 11 wickets a piece.

Watch out on Play Cricket through the week for more Colts matches. The Under 13s can win their league this week against Plymstock, the Under 15s are against Buckland/Yelverton, and the Under 19s start in earnest away to Plymouth on Friday night. Next weekend, the Ones travel to the Fortfield against a strong Sidmouth side, the Twos host Yelverton, the Threes head to Bovey Tracey and the Fours host Hatherleigh. It’s derby time on Sunday at Oak Park as the Women’s Ones face Plymouth.


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