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The Sweep 24 Week 2 – It’s the Honours Board for Fernando, Finzel, Gibson and Hall on a packed weekend.

Cornwood Women's First XI

Words: Simon Travers

Photos: Ivor Thomas


15th June 1985: London paused in the heat while Her Majesty’s finest were Trooping the Colour, Tim Robinson hit 175 as England built a dominant lead in the first test of the 1985 Ashes, and in a hospital in Derry, Nadine Coyle of Girls Aloud was born. In a small corner of Devon outside of Exeter, that day also began the longest of Cornwood’s current Premier Division rivalries as the Firsts played their debut DCL match against Bradninch in the D Division (equivalent to C Division now). It proved the one happy day in a relegation season as Brian ‘The Sound of The Underground’ Conquest and Dave ‘Just A Love Machine’ Matthews bowled 22 and 20 over spells respectively. Dave’s 7 for 50 was the decisive contribution in a 28 run victory.

Scorecard from Cornwood v Bradninch 19/6/85

Cornwood have had the best of the teams’ 21st Century encounters too. Last July’s rain off was a comma in what is now a 9 game winning streak dating back to 2013 as The Firsts beat Bradninch & Kentisbeare by 94 runs. Having elected to bat, the story of the One’s innings was steady progress that kept getting pinned back by the bowling side. Five of the partnerships for the first six wickets were between 24 and 42 runs. Ben Beaumont top scored on 42, while Ben Privett showed hints of domination taking 16 in an over from veteran journeyman Andrew Buzza. The innings finished on a solid but chaseable 192 from 44.3 overs.

Naveen Fernando and Matt Skeemer delivered a knock out blow in seven overs with the new ball. Fernando kept the slip cordon busy as he brushed aside the Bradninch top order with 4 wickets in 26 deliveries, while Skeemer took a wicket and enforced a run out. Bradninch were 20-6 in seven overs. Opener Mitchell Pugh provided defiance with 46 from 51. But after a breather, Naveen Fernando came back to finish the innings with figures of 8-1-39-6. Quite the calling card. The One’s total proved 94 too many for the hosts. That win means Cornwood and Sandford are the only unbeaten teams in the Premier Division. The Ones are the only team to win a game batting first in the first 10 games of the season as Bovey Tracey, Exeter, Exmouth and Sandford all chased successfully.

Sunday saw the Firsts pull double duty with another road trip to Helston in the ECB Club Championship. The Cornish hosts won the toss and definitely had the best of a good batting pitch and the weather conditions. However, an average of 3.65 runs per over through the leg side tells the tale that Cornwood’s bowling attack struggled for a consistent line. Karl Leathley (115 in 106) and Dan Jenkin (89 from 78) cashed in with a partnership of 168 for the 3rd wicket on route to a total of 295-6. Two slices of bad luck and a dash of scoreboard pressure contributed to early troubles in the Ones reply. At 38-3, the comeback always looked unlikely but Cornwood can be proud of the way they did not capitulate. That was largely down to an energetic, well-constructed century from Max Finzel. Max took advantage of the large outfield to keep Helston honest and tiring into the dying overs with a run a ball 105. James Richardson’s 68 from 40 late on contained some clean hitting as the Ones ended up 39 runs short.

M Finzel Wagonwheel v Helston

Sunday’s Oak Park fixture saw the Women’s Firsts clinch a 34 run victory over Plymouth in their DWCL encounter. Cornwood were put into bat by the visitors and Gemma Lancaster and Evie Privett made a confident start with a first wicket stand of 51. Most of the home batters got a start but couldn’t capitalise as Plymouth kept a grip through the 35 overs in an innings that included 3 late order run outs. Debbie Horner took a wicket with the new ball in her first league match in 3 years to put Plymouth at 26-2. The visitors looked to build some momentum with a 41 run 3rd wicket partnership between Keira DeVilliers (33) and Iona Pennington. They became the first two victims of Olivia Gibson’s 5 wicket haul that swung the match. Olivia finished with figures of 7-1-16-5 and the Women’s Firsts won their second game of the season by 34 runs. Sunday wins for Exeter and North Devon put them in the top half of the table with our team.

On Saturday at Oak Park, the Twos looked to put last week’s disappointment behind them with a strong performance against Brixham. If nothing else, the Twos showed up knowing they had an imposing opening partnership with captain Robin Dart and Charlie Finan. Measuring up at a combined 4 metres and 250kg, if you can pick up Robin and Charlie at the same time then you are Lasha Talakhadze, the two time Olympic Champion Super-Heavyweight weightlifter from Georgia.

Cornwood 2s batting

Brixham won the toss and elected to bat, but maybe regretted it when Adam Goodliffe broke through with a 5th over hat-trick of LBWs. The visitors struggled to find any traction and Jason Hall’s off spin proved far too much for their middle order. Jason attacked the stumps and hit them three times on the way to figures of 8-2-13-5. Those were his best figures in a Cornwood shirt since taking 5-12 against Budleigh Salterton in 2015’s season of miracles. Brixham were all out for 87 by 2:53pm, requiring a 10 minute turnaround between innings. If last week’s batting had resembled a petrol car filled up with diesel, this week the Twos found cruise control with a no drama 88-3 in 17.3 overs. Chris Parker hit 9 fours on the way to a 35 ball 42* to seal the victory. Brixham leave with some work to do after two heavy defeats. Elsewhere in C Division, Ashburton, Ivybridge and Paignton are unbeaten.

Cornwood 2s bowling

The Threes travelled to Stokeinteignhead looking for their first win of the year. Adam Whiting won the toss and chose to bat and was backed up by attacking fifties for both Sam Griffiths (57 in 61) and Finn Torley (58* in 53). The Threes set a target of 184-6 in their 40 overs. Younger players led the way with the batting, but the older wing of the Threes party took over with the ball. They’re not your Manroz Bhullar’s (cough, only scored 20 in B Division this week, cough), but Lee Baker and Andy Bees with a new ball on a village wicket in May are plenty. Lee cracked the top of the Stokeinteignhead order with four for 20. Harry Flack then went better than that with another four wickets for just 16. Chris Presst provided some doughty resistance for 48 but the hosts were bowled out for 129 and the Threes are off their marks.

Cornwood 4s batting

The highlight for the Fours on a difficult afternoon against Hatherleigh 3s was a 95 run 6th wicket partnership between Phil Gibson (39) and Charles Knight (33). Unfortunately, the other 9 wicket partnerships only combined for a further 28 runs. Earlier, Hatherleigh looked decent enough to reach 219/6 in their 40 overs. Oscar Moore batted through for 83* and Luke Westacott hit a 32 ball 51. The other big positive of the day was Malik Wasim making a club debut. Malik’s figures of 8-1-24-4 confirmed what watchers at Delamore Park could see clearly, that it won’t be long before he is facing bowlers in a higher league.

Cornwood 4s bowling

As well as the cup match and DWCL game, Sunday also saw the introduction of the 5th XI to club life. The Fifths are hoping to achieve two things this season; be a positive pathway to help colts transition to the rhythms of adult cricket, and re-establish a tradition of social cricket at Cornwood. The first 30 years of Cornwood’s existence was purely social cricket. At its height, the club would arrange over 50 games a season with local rivals and teams on tour. It’s good to have that flavour back in the pot. The match against Saltash St Stephens was one sided in favour of the visitors but only two stats matter. 6 colts got a chance to field and bowl for 40 overs and Barrie Fitzpatrick claimed the weekend’s ‘Tonight Matthew, I’m going to be Zac Crawley’ prize with a liquid 33 from 16.

Cornwood Fifth XI

Speaking of the colts, a break in the weather meant that most teams got a match this week. The boys Under 10s, 11s and 13s all claimed wins against Plymouth. Freddie took man of the match for the U10s, Marriott took the wickets for the Under 11s with a spell of 4 for 15, while Mason hit a 30 and took 3 for 12 for the Under 13s. The Under 15s came close to pulling off a mountainous chase against Plymouth with fifties for Sam and Megan. Friday night’s trainers of the week included Tommy, Amelia, and Lennon.

Cornwood Under 13s Boys v Plymouth

Last, but by no means least, the Cornwood Delamores Women’s Softball team got their season underway with a 42 run loss against Buckland’s Moorland Maidens. Like the Fifths, its great to see a combination of youth and experience in the field, with a special shout out for Lynne Whitfield opening the batting.

The season hots up next weekend with a whole range of roasting derby matches. The Ones take their unbeaten league start to Plympton, while the Twos face an Ivybridge side who have started impressively at Oak Park. The Threes are home to Brixham 2s, while the Fours make the trip to Whitchurch. On Sunday, there’s a test of strength for the Women’s Firsts as they face North Devon, while the Fifths entertain Modbury. The Oaks Women’s Softball team the biggest challenge of the weekend as the first team this year with the chance to beat Plymst**k. Ladies, the right result and you’ll be first story in next week’s Sweep.



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