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The Sweep 22 Week 17: Beaumont shines in the bank holiday sun.

Words: Simon Travers

Match Photos: Ivor Thomas


It’s nearly all over. With the Bank Holiday weekend’s games stored in the cloud, there is just one more week of the Devon League season to go.

First, to the serious business of Friday night’s Great Club Quiz Night. Congratulations to Dan, Laura, Tim, Nichola, Claire and Claire, collectively known as ‘Eileen’. Their knowledge of school subjects, Cornwood cricket and Children’s Television gave them an early unassailable advantage and they were crowned quiz champions.

When the Ones played Bovey Tracey away in June, it felt like a game that got away from them. With the Premier Division being so open this year, no one could be sure at the time if that result would create problems for the team at the sharp end of the season. The Ones took the opportunity this Saturday to prove the league table true. This year, Cornwood Firsts are a stronger team than Bovey Tracey. That is not intended as boasting or sledging and next year may be an entirely different story. However, it is a measure of club growth this season that while every Premier Division team deserves respect, there are no more giants.

It was a day for the Cornwood pacemen as the visitors won the toss and elected to bat. Adam Goodliffe (10-0-26-2) took his trademark two early wickets with the new ball before Josh Coker (10-2-24-3) tore through the middle order to leave Bovey at 58-5 after 22.3 overs. Coker, hurtling down the North End hill towards his season’s best figures, was dominant to the point that he was rewarded with five slips and a gully. The visitors looked to rebuild around Will Christophers’ 54 in 99 balls. The classic combination of Skeemer (10-1-33-2) and Staddon (4.4-0-25-2) made sure the Ones’ advantage did not crumble with Bovey Tracey contained to a total of 172. That is 2 runs less than the total that Bovey made on their own ground in June.

Max Finzel and Jay Bista began the reply in a brisk fashion, combining to send opening bowler Seb Ansley to the boundary 9 times in his first six overs. Their partnership ended at 66 when Jay was caught from Will Christopher’s bowling for 41 and Max followed 2 overs later. These were milestone innings for both Max and Jay as Max reached 500 runs for the season while Jay beat Divyaansh Saxena to become the first to 1000. He is only the third player (Faizan Riaz twice and Alex Barrow) to achieve that feat this century. Well batted Max and Jay.

Another quick wicket might have given Bovey the thought that they were still in with a chance. Ben Beaumont and Matt Skeemer put paid to any ideas like that with a 72 run fourth wicket partnership. Matt dug in and defended for 17 in 55 while Ben worked the ball around Oak Park. Bovey were able to get a few more wickets, but Ben finished the match with a powerful 6 that took him to 53* from 80 balls. That innings is Ben’s first 50 for the Ones this year and was fully deserving of a player of the match award.

Elsewhere on a fascinating day in the Premier Division, Heathcoat won a nail-biter by 3 wickets against Sandford but Bradninch go top after demolishing relegated Plymouth. Those results set up a winner takes all decider between Bradninch and Heathcoat next week. The other relegation spot was virtually decided as Sidmouth beat Hatherleigh by 60 runs. With Sidmouth hosting Plymouth next week, and Hatherleigh travelling to North Devon, Hatherleigh are all but down.

There were no slips for the Twos visiting relegated South Devon. Hopes that it might be a short afternoon as James Richardson (9-1-44-2) took two wickets in his first over were dashed by South Devon’s captain James Allen. Often taking the aggressive aerial route, Allen scored 69 from 72 before he was caught by Jack Brown from Josh Goodliffe’s bowling. Josh was also able to dismiss danger players John Barlow and Matt Beasant (40) on the way past 20 wickets for the season to figures of 9-0-60-4. Lahiru Samaradivakara hit a South Devon personal best of 35 to push the score to 231 before Jack Brown (8-0-42-2) cleared the tail.

After tea, Ben Griffiths (38) and Jack Brown’s (44) opening stand of 74 was built upon bad balls being efficiently buried. Progress slowed as South Devon turned to spin and the already leisurely momentum of the match was brought to a standstill when the Devon Air Ambulance landed on the next door football pitch. When Harry Woolway and captain Aaron Richards got together at 138-4 with 16.5 overs remaining, the match was still evenly balanced. A few quick wickets could have ruffled the Twos tailend. The seagulls were settling for the night along the long boundary and Harry and Aaron gave them a classy demonstration of how to manage a run chase. They reached the target with 4 balls spare. Playing low risk cricket and finding the singles with ease, South Devon had no way to apply pressure with only 5 dot balls in the last 7 overs. Aaron reached his 50 for the 3rd time in 5 weeks with the Twos, ending on 53* from 57. Harry was resolute on 45* from 63.

There was the usual mix of youth and experience on show for the Threes as they chased down 236-7 by Yelverton for a 5 wicket victory at Delamore Park. That win puts the Threes deservedly back into the top half of the F Divison West table. Putting the visitors in, there were wickets for Cumberland’s of the Duncan (8-2-38-2) and Josh variety. The innings was dominated though by a 112 from 108 balls by Yelverton opener Matt Smith. Ross Potter (42) was the only other batter to reach double figures as the Threes kept chipping away. Needing 6 an over for the win, it was a case of the old hands showing how it’s done and then the younger players doing it. A 105 third wicket partnership between Robin Dart (51) and Nick Goodliffe (49) set the tone. Then it was 45 in 34 from Jack Lane and 36* in 37 from John Whitfield that finished the game. Having watched Jack play some explosive innings in the Under 19s this year, it is great to see him transfer that form into league cricket. Jack has a lot of talent and it is going to be fun to watch him develop.

The Fours travelled to Bridestowe looking for the best result possible to try and keep their relegation battle going into a last match decider. Bridestowe needed the win to secure promotion so were offering no favours. The hosts have won nine of their last 10 games this season by bundling teams out cheaply. They had already bowled teams out for under 160 seven times this season, including the Fours for 120 at Delamore Park. Nobody ever plays cricket in the hope of getting rolled, but after being put into bat, that was the Fours’ fate. It took seventeen overs to be skittled for 61. The hosts chased that in 15 overs without the loss of a wicket.

The other two teams in the relegation battle, Stoke Gabriel 2XI and Hatherleigh 3XI, matched up with Stoke Gabriel comfortable winners. Mathematically, it is just fractionally possible for the Fours to stay up and the Mystic Meg trapped in a vortex inside the Play Cricket app has the team 51/49 favourites against Ipplepen next Saturday.

Meanwhile, on Sunday, Oak Park hosted the Under 13s West Devon Cup semi-final against Whitchurch. Thirties for Seb Giles, Stanley Baker and Sam Ford helped set a total of 133/4. Two run outs and two catches for Seb Giles powered the effort to ensure that Whitchurch came up 10 runs short. Congratulations to the Under 13s on reaching their second final of their incredible season.

Next week, the Ones finish the season with a trip to Sandford. The Twos are at Oak Park against an Ashburton team with a little more to do to secure their safety. The Threes finish the season with a lovely view at Kingsbridge and the Fours battle to the last against Ipplepen. Perhaps most importantly of all, on Sunday, your Division winning Women’s First XI look to end the league season undefeated against Sidbury.

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