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The Sweep 24 Week 10: Saturday Clean Sweep to Celebrate Cornwood’s 750th League Fixture

Lee Baker and Jason Hall having a discussion during the Cornwood 2XI match v Kingsbridge 6/7/2024

Words: Simon Travers

Match Photos: Ivor Thomas

Among Cornwood’s year of anniversaries, this week we celebrate as the Firsts played their 750th Fixture in the Devon Cricket League.* To mark the occasion, the club are now able to publish a new set of First XI DCL records. These records reflect every league game (but not friendlies or cup) since the first draw against Ipplepen on 12th May, 1984. That day, Colin Thomas and Arthur Kittle put on 121 for the first wicket and both made fifties in the team’s 20th highest league score of 258-7. There may be mistakes and gaps, particularly in the 2000s where the records get a bit harder to track, and they are a work in progress, so feel free to question things that might not seem right. These records are the first step in an effort to gather an archive of the club’s history. If you have anything you’d like to share to contribute to that, (stories, scrapbooks, scorecards, photos), then please contact the club.

If the Ones had to travel to play their 750th fixture, then a trip to the Recreation Ground at Bovey Tracey is definitely an appropriate shout. This was the 30th fixture between the clubs since they first met up in the year 2000. The Ones came into the game working for positives after a couple of brusing weeks. Bovey have not improved since avoiding relegation last season on a technicality and have won one of their last 22.

Highlights of the match between Cornwood Firsts and Bovey Tracey

The difference between the sides with ball and bat was another all-round performance from Matt Skeemer. With an early kickoff agreed for football adjacent reasons, it made sense for Elliott Staddon to win the toss and field. Ben Beaumont took a sharp slip catch for Skeemer’s first wicket and the Bovey Tracey innings settled into a now familiar pattern this season. Musa Twala (32), Lewis Hammett (48) and Edward Foreman (43) all did the work to build a platform, but on the Ones’ good days, they gradually coil and constrict around a batting side. Bovey went at just 3.36 in the second half of the innings. Pressure mounted which allowed Matt Skeemer to cause trouble in his second spell. Samuel Taylor lobbed to deep square before Daniel Green was plumb next ball playing around a straight one. Matt dropped to a 3 step run up to help the over rate, but still hit the stumps against tailenders Chris Yabsley and Ollie Clifford-Bourne. He finished with figures of 5 for 39. That’s his third DCL five-fer for the Ones and the first time in 20 years a Cornwood bowler has taken five against Bovey. The hosts finished on 184-9.

After tea, it was tee-off time for Matt opening the Cornwood reply. All the levers were working unleashing a series of brutal drives. Matt reached his 50 in 25 balls and eventually was caught on 71 from 50 with 8 fours and 2 sixes. That is the highest league score for the Cornwood Firsts in a match where a player has taken a five-fer. No player has ever made a century and a five-fer in the same match for the Ones, although Piers Moore of United Services did that against Cornwood on 25th June, 1994. The closest to the feat are arguably Jackson Thompson and Jay Bista, who both have a century and a four-fer in the same match.

Matt was dismissed with the score on 116-4 and the final leg of the chase proved an uphill march. Ollie Clifford-Bourne took 3-26 as wickets fell. Sadly, wicketkeeper George Thompson’s season ended abruptly with a knee injury that forced him to retire hurt. It took a calm knock from Elliott Staddon to guide the team home to a three wicket win that was punctuated with a six over midwicket. That win increases the team’s streak over Bovey Tracey to five games.

Elsewhere in the Premier, Bradninch & Kentisbeare go top after choke-slamming Plympton through the announcer’s table. Exmouth continued their good form with an away win at Sandford. Heathcoat and Exeter also claimed wins as the Ones stay third in the table.

A photo of Lee Baker bowling for Cornwood 2XI v Kingsbridge 6/7/2024
Lee Baker takes 5 for 17

The Twos were determined to deliver a better account at Oak Park than they did against Kingsbridge earlier in the year. Kingsbridge won the toss and batted and found early trouble at 21-4 facing Adam Goodliffe and Lee Baker with the new ball. Adriaan Maxwell looked to build some resistance with 46. He was bowled by Chris Parker, who now has a DCL wicket for every Cornwood team from Firsts to Fourths. Lee Baker was too good for the visitors as he came back to complete his fifth Cornwood league five-fer with figures of 8.5-1-17-5. The Twos top order made quick work of the Kingsbridge total of 139. Josh Goodliffe made 43 from 34, Robin Dart made 34 from 33 and Chris Parker hit 49* from 25 to complete an 8 wicket victory in time for the football. Comfortable wins for Paignton 2XI and Ivybridge and a loss for Ashburton mean the Threes remain securely third in C Division West.

A photo of Robin Dart batting for Cornwood 2XI v Kingsbridge 6/7/2024
Robin Dart batting

The Threes continued their promotion push with a satisfying win away at Chudleigh 2XI by 7 wickets. It’s a scientific law that for every action, there must be an equal and opposite reaction. Back in May, Australian club pro Manroz Bhullar won for Chudleigh with 135 from 60. This weekend, the innings was opened by James Grant who carried his bat as the hosts made 91. Play cricket informs that Grant has played 41 league games for four clubs since 2013, although there are records of friendlies back to 1990. Grant was one run short of his career league average as he stonewalled for 13* in 97 balls. With 12 not outs in 24 career league innings, Grant is a player that Joe Davies could take pointers from. Joe didn’t need any bowling pointers though as he led the team with 4 for 15. Mike Hodge (1.63) and Andy Bees (1.13) were both better value than Ryan Air with the economy rates. Anthony Chapman hit a run a ball 37* to ensure there were no dramas in the chase. The win puts the Threes top of the F Division West table as Bovey Tracey 3XI dropped a game at Kingsbridge. Next week’s home game against Stokeinteignhead is a big one.

A photo of Jon Nicholls preparing the Oak Park pitch
Jon Nicholls prepares at Oak Park

The Fours keep delivering quality performances as they swept Ashburton 2XI away by 115 runs at Delamore Park. Luke Temple Smith was asked to open on his first league game for Cornwood since 2017. He and Charles Knight (67 from 71) put the bash-hurt on the Ashburton bowlers with a 171 run partnership for the second wicket. Luke brought up his maiden ton with a pair of sixes and ended on 104 from 112 with 13 fours and 3 sixes. A strong team push in the last overs, spearheaded by 39 from 17 from Tim Chambers, got the Fours to 282-5 in their 40 overs. Ashburton had their own centurion in Marcus West, who hit 108* from 120. However, the Cornwood bowlers all kept the innings tight with economy rates below the required run rate. Ayaan Chatterjee looked great again with figures of 8-2-15-3. The win puts the Fours just 9 points from safety with a G Division West dogfight looming. The bottom 6 teams are all within 13 points of each other.

A photo of Luke Temple Smith batting for a century against Ashburton 2XI, 6th July 2024
Luke Temple Smith batting

Sunday saw Delamore Park thrum with the sound of the Wembury Grasshoppers as they visited the Fifths for a friendly. Peter Wilkinson was able to settle the visitors after a strong start from Seb Clewer. He hit a 50 in 35 balls that was the highlight of Wembury’s 185 for 8. Sid Warrier was in the wickets with 3 for 28. The Fifths did their best to keep up with the run rate but wickets fell regularly. They were all out for an even hundred and so lost by 85 runs,

Nathan Parsons batting for the Fifths vs Wembury 7th July 2024
Nathan Parsons batting

Earlier in the week, the Under 19s started their campaign with a 64 run loss against a strong Plymouth side. Plymouth’s top order of James Webb (50* retired from 34), George Atkinson (35), Sam Burns (38 from 24) powered their innings, while Teddy Haffenden’s 32 from 12 closed the innings at 214-5. Sam Ford batted with great credit for 53* retired from 32 balls with 10 boundaries. The rest of the team collaborated well to reach a respectable score of 150-7.

There were no weekend matches for the Women’s Firsts this week as their Super8s fixtures fell foul of the weather. Earlier in the week, the Oaks Womens Softball team delivered a defeat to division leaders the Buckland Moorland Maidens.

Two players of the week from Cornwood's Under 11s and the Cornwood Girls Under 13s team
Under 11 Players of the Week and Under 13 Girls Team

In a strong week in the Colts, there were two wins for the U11s against Whitchurch & PCS&R. Every bowler took a wicket against Whitchurch while Alfie lead the runscoring on 19. There were 4 wickets for Freddie and 3 each for Rehaan and Aalee as the team took 14 wickets against PCS&R. The Under 15s scored a friendly win against Tideford with a 50 for Ayaan. There were 2 wickets for Eva as the Under 13s girls fought well in defeat against Bovey Tracey.

Next weekend, the Ones hope to bring league leaders Bradninch & Kentisbeare back closer to the chasing pack. The Twos travel to Brixham. The Threes have a big promotion encounter against Stokeinteignhead and the Fours can overtake Hatherleigh 3XI if they win away at Petrockstowe. The Women’s Firsts travel to Paignton in the league and the Fifth XI have a game at Plympton. Earlier in the week, the Under 19s are scheduled for a road trip to Lewdown.



*750 games does not include the ghost game against Exeter St Thomas 18th May, 1990, as the league scrubbed that game from the final table. That’s a story for another time.



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