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The Sweep 22 Week 12: Bista Shines In Historic Win for Ones.

Words by Simon Travers


No prizes for guessing the top story with this week’s Sweep. We start with the Ones trip to the thatched roofs and sea views of the Fortfield at Sidmouth. It may be Fortfield by name, but it is a reflection of Sidmouth’s season that it is not a fortress by nature this year. Sidmouth had only lost 10 completed matches at home in the five previous seasons. This year four teams have already liked to be beside the seaside, with North Devon, Heathcoat, Paignton and Hatherleigh winning at the Fort. The Ones came into the game hoping for their first double over Sidmouth in the 21st Century. The closest they had come to this before was winning one game and abandoning another in 2005.

With Ryan Rickard, Harry Woolway and George Thompson all back in the team, Cornwood won the toss and elected to chase. That decision was vindicated by early wickets as Skeemer and Staddon removed the Sidmouth openers to leave the hosts 26-2. Two fifty plus stands centred around a 66 from 69 balls by Taylor Ingham-Hill before he was run out by Ben Beaumont moved Sidmouth to 161-4. That was the point at which Sidmouth’s overseas player, the South African Codi Yusuf, took over. Scoring 78 in a fifth wicket partnership of 128, Yusuf hit eleven 4s and five 6s on route to 116 from 92 balls. This was his first century in English club cricket, which looked to have swung the course of the match Sidmouth’s way. 83/1 from the last 10 overs meant that the hosts set an imposing total of 291-5.

However. The Ones have an overseas player who can bat as well. Back at Oak Park, there was speculation about at what point Sidmouth might have realised they were in trouble in this game? Maybe it was as early as the end of the 9th over, when Jay Bista had hit 6 boundaries in the previous three overs, while opening partner Max Finzel had to make do with only three. Possibly it was by the 15th over, when back to back overs from Byron Knowles failed to deliver a dot ball, but were cashed in 21 runs by the Ones. More likely in the 19th over, when Jay hit his first six, followed by another boundary next ball, from Taylor Ingham-Hill. Certainly by the 27th over as Bista raised his bat for his hundred in 80 balls and the gloom would must been sinking as the 200 partnership came around in the 34th. Local optimists may have thought they had a sniff when Max Finzel departed LBW by Charlie Miles for an excellent 77 from 108 balls with 9 fours. The echoes of the ‘there’s a long way yet’ calls in the field drifting away with the tide. Except that Jay Bista accelerated, scoring 43 runs from the last fifteen balls of his innings. Jay finished on 182* from 125 balls with 20 fours and 6 sixes as the Ones got home with 38 balls spare.

Jay has demonstrated his first class credentials this summer and this was a superlative performance. It means the Ones are fourth in the table. They’re above Sidmouth, Bovey Tracey and Plymouth, who continued to struggle this week. They’re 30 points away from the relegation zone but only 27 behind North Devon in top spot.

The Twos welcomed Yelverton Bohemians for an early start at Oak Park. The visitors asked for the time change due to their two-years-delayed-by-Covid sixtieth anniversary celebrations of the merger of Yelverton and Plymouth Bohemians that gave the team their name.

If it sometimes takes the kind of performance that Jay Bista delivered to win in the Premier League, what wins in C Division West? At 2 o’clock in the afternoon, Cornwood were 150-8 with thirteen overs remaining. At 5:32, the Bohemians were virtually identical at 143-7 with thirteen to go. How did that translate into a 70 run win for the Twos?

Rewinding for a moment, it took a team performance for Cornwood to get to this position. An eighty three fourth wicket partnership between Aaron Richards and James Richardson, both of whom made 51, was the backbone of the Two’s innings with wickets tumbling in clumps either side of it. When bowling, there was a pair of wickets for Andy Bees, Jack Brown and Josh Goodliffe against a batting line up that was built for comfort rather than speed; scoring 100 of their 164 in boundaries and another 28 in extras.

What wins in C Division West? Experience and player availability are key factors. Yelverton came without their two regular opening bowlers. They could not sustain pressure late in the innings which left an opening for Archie Trevethan (34*) and Matt Tamsett (29) to capitalise with a run a ball 59 partnership for the 9th wicket. Tams had not scored a run in the league since the last time these teams met in mid-May. However, every deft late cut he played counted as an essay of how form is temporary and class permanent. When it was Yelverton’s turn to get a partnership from their lower order, Matt Tamsett was again the Twos’ ace up the sleeve. It took him 3.1 overs to clear the tail with figures of 3 for 7, delivering a double-wicket maiden in the process. Contributing with bat and ball and a few committed diving stops in the field along the way, Matt’s experience made the difference as the Twos won their fifth out of six, drew equal with Teignmouth & Shaldon in the table and face the opportunity to go second next week.

On the other side of the gravel tracks at Delamore Park, the Fours were in a relegation dogfight against Hatherleigh 3XI. A quick look at the G Division West table shows that while the Fours rank fifth in their division for batting points, they are joint last for bowling points. It was good news for the team that this week the bowlers led the way restricting Hatherleigh to 156-7. Alex Passman was the standout with 8-0-20-3, but everyone was economical and challenged the visiting batters. Sam Griffiths opened and closed the Fours reply, reaching 85* from 92 with 13 fours. Hatherleigh’s target was met with 64 balls to spare, taking the Fours eleven points clear of the relegation zone.

The Threes travelled back to Stokeinteignhead to play against Bovey Tracey 3XI, with youth development continuing to be at the forefront of the team’s aims. Joe Davies (6-0-43-3) and captain Josh Wood (3-0-25-3) took the bulk of the wickets as Bovey set a target of 235-9. James Bowden was also economical with figures of 8-1-19-1. Last year on the 31st July in this fixture, the Threes set a target of 235-8, which Bovey were able to chase. This weekend though, the target proved elusive for the Cornwood batters as they fell 41 short. Credit though to Ewan Horner, building on his Under 19s form with a solid 69 from 104 balls with 9 fours before being run out. Duncan Cumberland also did well with a powerful 42* from 28.

Speaking of the Under 19s, their year’s campaign started in earnest on Friday night against a strong Plymouth side. Ewan Horner (37*) and Finn Torley (32) put on 77 for the fifth wicket in a mature rebuild after early wickets fell. Setting a target of 117-5, the Under 19s were not able to apply enough pressure with the ball to dent Plymouth, who won with 7 wickets and 34 balls to spare.

Congratulations though to the Under 13s, who completed an undefeated division winning season this week with wins over Plymstock and Plympton. Plymstock travelled to Oak Park on Wednesday still able to win the league if they could beat our boys. An impressive team bowling display limited a strong Plymstock line up to 94-4. Even with the fall of 3 quick early wickets, the Under 13s strength in depth showed as Seb Giles and Sam Ford both made 30s on the way to the title. If there was a club wide shot of the season competition, an immaculate off drive from Seb would certainly be on the shortlist.

The Under 19s are away at Ivybridge on Wednesday but will be bringing the noise to Oak Park against Plympton on Friday. Come Saturday, the Ones next challenge is league leaders North Devon, the Twos have another derby match at Plymouth, the Threes welcome their counterparts from Paignton to Delamore Park and the Fours travel to Buckfastleigh for a match up with Bovey Tracey 4XI. On Sunday, the Women’s Ones travel to Taunton still unbeaten and top of the table after Plymouth conceded their game this week.


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