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The Sweep 23 Week 10: Plympton cause a President’s Day upset, while it’s 2 out of 3 against Hatherleigh.

Words: Simon Travers

Pictures: Ivor Thomas


Saturday resonated with all the emotions as President’s Day came around again. It’s a special day to celebrate that Cornwood CC is a community; built for its members, by its members. President’s Day demonstrates the club is far more than just 11 players on a pitch. It is a living project that protects the investment of a bunch of ordinary people’s time and financial resources over generations. Our wins and losses matter because we belong to each other and believe in each other. This President’s Day held particular significance as chairman Graham Baskerville, surrounded by a full eleven of former players, was presented with a framed baggy green cap for the pavilion. That cap pays tribute to the 107 players who played first team cricket for Cornwood between the club’s entry to the Devon Cricket League in 1984 and 2010.

A special moment like President’s Day doesn’t happen without hours of preparation and organisation. With extra preparation needed, plus Friday colt’s night and home teas on Saturday and Sunday, Helen Nicholls and the entire hospitality team have put in a massive shift this week. Preparations for the weekend started back on Tuesday and required as whole-hearted an effort as any fast bowler running up the hill from the South End.

The day’s main business was the local derby dust-up between the Firsts and Plympton. Plympton came into the match threatened by relegation but capable of an upset. Their key to success, like Cornwood, is top order runs. In the past month, Plympton have found themselves all out for 127, 147 and 66. However, they also beat Exmouth by 10 wickets as Ben Privett and Harry Kandempully put on 230 together without loss.

A lunchtime shower condensed the game to 45 overs each and Cornwood were put into bat. Similar to last week, Cornwood’s batters all got starts as the top 8 in the order reached double figures. Chris Parker top scored with solid 38 from 74 balls on his return to Firsts action. The last time that Chris played for the Firsts, David Cameron was still Prime Minister. Chris combined with Noah Carlisle (35 from 34) for a 52 run 6th wicket partnership. That contribution was able to push the Ones past 200 to finish their 45 overs on 207-8.

Josh Coker got an early wicket by finding Harry Kandempully’s edge with Plympton’s score on 15-1. Jay Bista also got into the action by removing young Surya Suresh for 5. At the other end though, Plympton’s opener Ben Privett was consolidating his good start into a half century with 58 runs from 89 balls. Privett anchored the innings while Justin Wubbeling played freely on his way to 56 from 60 balls. The pair put on 67 for the fourth wicket. Lee Baker was able to get the ball straighten on a length to remove them both and captain Alex Carr for figures of 8-0-38-3. With those wickets, Plympton teetered on 159-6, a long way from home. Jonty Walliker had the final say with an unbeaten 26 from 21 balls including a last ball boundary. That was enough to see Plympton home with three wickets and three balls spare.

That win is the first time since August 2002 that Plympton have beaten Cornwood in a DCL match. It takes them out of the dropzone and put the Ones in fourth, a full 20 point victory behind division leaders Sandford. Bradninch & Kentisbeare snuck past Bovey Tracey to go second, Sidmouth handled North Devon to jump third, and Heathcoat drop to fifth after a tie with Exmouth.

Sunday also saw home cricket at Oak Park as the Women’s Firsts took on Hatherleigh. The visitors were coming off a strong performance in last week’s Super 8s. Hatherleigh’s skipper Chloe Rose put Cornwood into bat. Both Captain Gemma Lancaster (43) and Becky Harris (36) found the boundary with regularity as they built a 75 run 2nd Wicket partnership. Hatherleigh’s bowling is their strength and Gaby Reeves created problems with figures of 7-0-30-4. Reeves’ bowling started a middle-order collapse that took the Women’s Ones from 94-2 to 123-7. Luci Atkins and Sadie Goodliffe held steady at the end of the innings to get through the team’s overs with a score of 159-8.

Hatherleigh matched Cornwood with their second wicket partnership as Gaby Reeves and Chloe Dennis put on 73 together. Reeves was the aggressor with 48 from 42 while Dennis dropped anchor with 28 from 73. The match turned when Reeves was caught by Gemma Lancaster from the bowling of Shini Al Khalid. Al Khalid has played for Yelverton Bohemians 2XI against Cornwood’s Threes this season, but proved a great addition to the Women’s Ones on debut. Shini got both Reeves and the dangerous Eloise Maxa’s wicket and was player of the match with 7-2-14-2. Hannah Bale (3-1-9-2) chipped in with wickets to curtail Hatherleigh’s momentum. The Women’s Ones won a close one by 26 runs to stay a comfortable third place in the Division 1 table. Earlier in the morning, the Women’s softball team could not quite keep pace in their derby game against Ivybridge.

The Twos travelled to the Dartington & Totnes with opportunities for a younger squad than usual to learn and grow. They faced a team who have been through the mill in the past few years having won 1 of their previous 28 games. When the game got going after rain, Dartington & Totnes took advantage as the Twos took time to settle. Harrison Hodge (8-0-42-2) kept challenging the batters outside off stump. However, the hosts were able to hit 11 boundaries in the first 11 overs to race to 85-2. Returning home for his first game of the year, Dan Skeemer slowed the scoreboard with a spell of 7-1-17-1. The spin combination then of Joe Davies (8-0-36-2) and Tom West (8-3-15-2) cashed in as 117-4 became 136-8. It took Robin Dart to finish the tail’s resistance as Dartington & Totnes finished on 172. The Twos looked sharp in the field but gave away more wides than any individual batter scored runs.

Central to Dartington’s batting was a stoic 20 from 44 from stand in captain Chris Cook. Chris is one of those league cricket characters you have to admire; a veteran, a gentleman, one of only two players still active at the club who were in the side the last time the Twos visited Dartington in 2019. He’s seen it all, stayed loyal to his team and deserves his good days. When Cook came into bowl in the 11th over, the Twos were 45-2 and looking comfortable. Sixty four minutes and eight overs of old-school off spin later, he ended with career crowning figures of 8-0-21-7. Congratulations, Chris. Incredible effort. If you asked five of Cook’s victims would they like a re-do on their getting out shots, they would probably would bite your hand off. The other two though could take consolation that, in both playing the exact same lob to midwicket that did for Steve Smith on Friday, they at least got out to test match quality bad shots. That’s how it goes sometimes as the Twos landed 34 runs short.

Back at Delamore Park, the Threes maintained their positive momentum with a 79 run victory over Ashburton 2XI. The club welcomed back Craig James who made 32 from 22 as an opener. Josh Wood controlled with middle overs with a 43 while Cornwood’s own Knighthawk, Charles Knight, reached a 76 ball 51* with a last ball boundary. Chasing 204-5, Ashburton weathered an early storm to reach 88-3. Josh Wood (8-4-15-4) and Craig James (8-1-17-2) then caused a collapse as the visitors finished on 125. 20 points for the Threes keeps them second in the table in a group of five clubs hunting promotion.

The Fours took the long, long road to Petrockstowe to face Hatherleigh’s 3XI. At Old Trafford, they name the ends after legendary fast bowlers. At Petrockstowe, you either bowl from the back end of beyond or the far end of nowhere. Hatherleigh batted first and were able to put an imposing 214-4 on the board. In reply, the Fours could only reach 145-8. However, there was reason to celebrate as Under 15’s Charlie Farmer made 59 to record his second half century for the team in three weeks. The Fours stay sixth in G Division West.

Sunday also saw the Under 13s make the Hatherleigh road trip. This time there was nothing but celebrations as a 93 run victory guaranteed the Under 13s win their league for the second year running. The game also extended their unbeaten league streak to 20 games. Ollie Offer shone with the bat, retiring and coming back to get his half century with 53. Seb Clewer also finished unbeaten on 34*. At Under 13’s level, a score of 169 is virtually insurmountable. Ayaan Chattejee recorded figures of 2-0-2-3 and Ali Nimmo-Smith took 2-0-8-2 as the bowlers restricted Hatherleigh to 76-5 in their 20 overs. One further home game against Plymouth Civil Service & Roborough stands between the team and the phenomenal achievement of a second consecutive unbeaten league season.

Enjoy every special moment of success, Under 13’s. You’ve done remarkably well. You can look forward to the day soon when you too will be unleashed, like hobbits exploring middle earth, to face the army of wizened-old mystery-spin druids that lurk in every foxhole and clubhouse across Dartmoor. Of course, you’ll do fine. What could possibly go wrong?

Next week, the Ones travel to red-hot Bradninch & Kentisbeare, the Twos are at Oak Park against Plymouth 2XI, the Threes have a top of the table clash at Stokeinteignhead and the Fours host Ipplepen 3rds. On Sunday, the Women’s Ones travel to Division leaders Exeter.


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