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The Sweep 22 Week 13: Easy wins for Ones, Twos and Women’s Ones cap a strong weekend.


Words: Simon Travers

Match Photos: Ivor Thomas

 

We start with the Ones who entertained league leaders North Devon at Oak Park. If your yardstick is Premier League wins, last week’s victory at Sidmouth already makes this season the best in club history for the Ones. The sixth win of the season beat the previous joint record of five wins from 2013 and 2016. Against a North Devon side who find a way to win, the Ones could feel confident. Even the Play Cricket Live app had them as 5/6 favourites at the start of play.


Winning the toss and fielding, the Ones were after the visitors immediately as Matt Skeemer removed dangerous all-rounder Ben Howe in the third over. A 59 run second wicket partnership between Dan Bowser (28) and Jack Whittaker (53) was the highest of the innings for North Devon. Jay Bista caught and bowled Bowser and then cleaned up season top runscorer Jack Moore before he could settle. Another quick wicket put North Devon on 99-4 with 27 overs in the books. The Ones kept pressure on with spin from one end and seam from the other. Ben Beaumont picked up two wickets and a run out, while Elliott Staddon removed the threat that Jack Whittaker could produce a damaging late surge. That was the first of three wickets for Elliott as he ended with figures of 9.3-0-34-3 as North Devon fell shy of making 200 all out for 191.



That marked an exceptional performance by the Ones bowlers, but there could be no room for complacency on the Cornwood bench. North Devon had defended a total of 202 against Sandford the previous week. It is important to hold onto the fact that nothing in a cricket match is inevitable, because it helps to appreciate when you see something like the very special run of form Jay Bista is experiencing at the moment. Yes, Jay is a first class cricketer with an exceptional pedigree; both gifted and, as is obvious to anyone around the club, prodigiously determined and hardworking at his craft. Even so, three hundreds and a ninety, twice unbeaten, in five games at any level is phenomenal. Jay’s 127* in 78 balls with fourteen 4s and six 6s deserved this week’s Man of the Match award as the Ones smashed the league leaders by 9 wickets with 23.2 overs spare. The win puts The Ones in third place in the Premier table, 6 points behind Heathcoat and 10 behind North Devon.



Cricket is still a team sport and batting is a partnership. Max Finzel’s opening partnership with Jay is at the heart of what is clearly becoming the One’s best ever season. Their 148 partnership is their fourth century partnership of the seaosn. There are 9 players who have reached 400 Premier League runs this season so far. While six are overseas professionals, with 423 runs and an average of 38.45, Max is one of the three British players so far to reach this landmark.


The Twos also had an encounter that on paper looked more of a challenge than it proved in practice as they visited a dusty Mountwise to face Plymouth 2XI. The Twos were significantly better than their opposition in every department. However, increasingly, cricket is a game of matchups and perhaps this game is best understood through the matchup between team openers Ben Griffiths and Plymouth’s Matt Petherbridge. Petherbridge is a talented player who has played 9 Premier League games this season. Opening for Plymouth, Petherbridge looked comfortable before being caught by Ben Griffiths from James Richardson’s bowling for 9. The catch was the third entry in Ben Griffith’s private catch of the year competition. Diving right at gully, this catch was not quite as instinctive or reflexive as the one at Teignmouth, but the catch had a satisfying ‘world standing still’ quality with Ben floating mid-air as he made the grab.


An eighteen over bowling partnership between Josh Goodliffe (9-1-43-3) and Dan Skeemer (9-2-29-2) swung momentum towards the Twos, removing dangerman Harry Stephenson for less than 50 for the first time in five innings and keeping things tight so that Plymouth reached the second drinks break at 116-6. The first ball after the break, young Ollie Mitchell’s first ever ball for the Second XI, a full toss that would have got above the eye line of King Kong and then dipped, was holed out Dan Skeemer at deep square leg. Stanley Langmead was able to provide some resistance with 34* while Luke Richardson cleared the tail for figures of 3.5-0-23-3 as Plymouth ended on 185, obviously short of runs.


How short became immediately clear at the top of the Cornwood innings. Plymouth packed their bowling attack with spinners, and as a senior player in the side, slow left armer Matt Petherbridge took the new ball. In Matt’s 3 overs before he was taken off, he was hit to the boundary five times each by Jack Brown and Ben Griffiths. The Twos had reached 55 in the first six overs and the contest was gasping. At that point, the sensible thing to do was keep attacking and Ben Griffiths lead the way. Playing the situation and the waywardness of the bowling, Ben drove, swept and dented a car windscreen on way to his first century for Cornwood. He finished on 103 from 86 balls with 16 fours and 3 sixes. Ben offered limited chances to the opposition. However, when on 95, he holed out to deep square leg, there was Matt Petherbridge to drop the chance. It was that kind of afternoon.


The Twos go clear second in the table with their 9 wicket win. Plymstock are still comfortably ahead with only one team promoted to B Division.


On Sunday, the Women’s Ones took another decisive step towards winning their division as they remain unbeaten after a 7 wicket win against Taunton Deane Seconds. The home team had built a nice platform at 93-3 but quality spin from Becky Harris (7-1-14-3) and a determination from batters to play across the line against Laura Bale (7-0-30-3) sparked a batting collapse with Taunton Deane ending on 125. Becky Harris (38) won the player of the match award while Laura Bale (32* in 16) left a few dents in the leg side boundary fence as the Women’s Ones got home comfortably.



The Threes continue to their priceless work of player development at home against a Paignton 3XI team who have strengthened since the last time these teams met. Ewan Horner shone as the Threes were put into bat. He backed up his best ever score of 69 last week against Bovey Tracey with another 61 in this match. Lloyd Taylor, Suresh Varier and Alex Passman all made 20’s as the Threes set a target of 178. That proved too challenging to defend as Paignton’s Jason Woodcock hit his second century away from the trials of Torre Valley in three weeks.


The Fours also lost on the road at Buckfastleigh against their fourth team counterparts from Bovey Tracey. Put into bat, the Fours struggled to 17-3 before 56 from Paul Skeemer steadied the ship. Rocky Travers played patiently to stick around and keep Paul company, while Dan Stones made a punchy 35 to bring the Fours to 175. That was not quite enough as Bovey were able to chase their target with 10 balls to spare and seven wickets in hand. The Fours stay nine points above the drop zone.



In midweek, the Under 19s had mixed fortunes when facing Ivybridge and Plympton. A strong Ivybridge batting attack, led by Harvey Johnson’s 54* in 25 balls, set a target of 214-4. That was too much, even with a quality 43 in 28 from Jack Lane. At home to Plympton on Friday, Noah Carlisle reached 50* in 28 as Cornwood finished on 179-6. The match was won between overs 6-10 of Plympton’s reply, as Ethan Carlisle and two overs each from Ben Beaumont and Harrison Hodge combined to restrict the batters to 15-2. That was the difference as Plympton ended 17 short.


Next week, the weekend starts on Friday night as the Under 19s finish their campaign against Plymstock. The big games keep coming for the Ones as they travel to second place Heathcoat, looking to jump above them in the table. The Twos host Teignmouth and Shaldon and the Threes are at home to Ashburton 2XI. The Fours stay on the road as they are up against league leaders South Brent.

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