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The Sweep 24 Week 3: Nailbiting finish for the Women’s Ones on a weekend disrupted by rain.

Simon Garland bowling for 5th XI on way to his first ever Five-fer.
Simon Garland bowling for 5th XI on way to his first ever Five-fer.

Words: Simon Travers

Match Photos: Ivor Thomas

 

Saturday saw the West Devon Rain Tax in operation for the first time this season. Six games were abandoned across the Premier to B divisions. Four of those games were at Plympton, Plymouth, Plymstock and Hatherleigh. Even when the weather radars showed the clouds rolling from the east, the worst of the weather landed at our end of the county.

Cornwood Women's First Team vs North Devon
Cornwood Women's First Team vs North Devon

However, we start this week’s round up with clear skies at Oak Park on Sunday as the Women’s Firsts faced their sternest test of the season so far with a match up against North Devon. Last season, North Devon’s Tarka Ladies scored the most batting bonus points in Division One. Skittled by Hatherleigh for 63 in their first match, North Devon found form to hit 222/7 against Plympton last week. The visitors might have believed they were more than half way to victory after they bowled the Women’s Firsts out for 78 in 20.3 overs. Evie Privett showed she was settling into the season with a solid 39 from 51 balls. At 65-2, Cornwood looked like they had made progress towards a good total. Momentum shifted rapidly though as Tarka Ladies’ Flora Corbin caught fire with figures of 6-1-27-6. Corbin tore through the lower order in only her third DWCL game. A short afternoon was in prospect but not without a twist in the tale.


North Devon took a measured approach to their chase after an early wicket from Kat Frost. Frost is bowling with maturity and venom with the new ball for the Women’s Firsts. In three DWCL matches this season, she has taken six wickets at an average of 5.67 and an economy rate of 1.91. Shini Al Khalid and Evie Privett also kept the match competitive by bowling dry. Tarka Captain Regina Lilli was the only boundary threat with 3 fours on the way to 30. At 58-2, the visitors still looked to have the chase well under control but our team knew there was still a chance if they could just get a wicket or two. Captain Gemma Lancaster stepped up and crushed the heart of North Devon’s middle order. The collapse was on again as 58-2 became 58-4 and then 72-4 crashed to 78 all out. Lancaster finished with figures of 6-3-7-4 and the match was tied. That’s a great escape and impressive turnaround that keeps the Women’s Firsts in second place.

The tying wicket for Cornwood Women's Firsts
The tying wicket for Cornwood Women's Firsts

The only DCL team of the weekend to earn a positive result were the Threes, who saw Brixham Twos tumble faster than the rain at Delamore Park. Fielding a strong side, the Threes made the most of their advantage in winning the toss and fielding. Quick wickets for Cumberlands Senior and Junior (Josh Cumberland 6-1-27-3) meant Brixham found themselves in trouble at 42-4. That trouble was compounded when Joe Davies became the second Cornwood player this year to post a hat-trick on the way to personal best figures of 4.3-2-10-4. Building on the momentum created by Duncan Cumberland winkling out Brixham’s bulwark Simon Caunter, Joe’s first wicket was a smart grab from Tom West at midwicket to remove Jubin Pol Albans. Next ball, Colin Horrocks tried to sweep a straight one. He missed and Joe hit. The hat-trick ball came with a dash of confusion as most of the Threes appealed for a caught behind. Brixham captain Mark Coysh didn’t help his case by pleading the ball had hit his toe as the umpire had given him LBW. The end of the innings followed quickly with Brixham bowled out for 68.


A rain break between innings reduced the target to 57 and the Threes reached their goal in 6.3 overs. Ewan Grewal hit 46* in 22 for an 8 wicket, 20 point win that puts the Threes into a tie for second place on 43 points.


Hopes of a third win of the season for the Ones were washed out at the people’s palace of Harewood Park. After a delayed start, Plympton won the toss and elected to bat. The One’s bowlers stalled early but were working through the gears before the match was abandoned. Josiah Caunter posted figures of 6-2-12-3 against his old team to leave Plympton on 90-5. That result means that in the 31 times the Ones have faced Plympton in the DCL since their first match in 1990, 8 matches have been either abandoned or cancelled. That’s over 25% of league fixtures between the clubs.


In other Premier games, Exmouth and Exeter fell foul of the weather, but there were wins for Bradninch & Kentisbeare, Heathcoat and division leaders Sandford. The Ones also remain second.


The damp squib of a match can’t darken milestones reached for two players this weekend. George Thompson played his fiftieth game for the Ones behind the stumps, celebrating with the dismissal of Plympton opener Surya Suresh. That achievement is impressive and George has many games ahead of him.

Matt Butterworth, Cornwood hero.
Matt Butterworth, Cornwood hero.

However, special recognition goes to Matt Butterworth’s 200th outing for the First Team. Matt made his debut for the Firsts in 2006 and has consistently contributed through the years. He is the only 21st Century player to score 300 runs for the Firsts in a season without hitting a 50. While he has spent plenty of time behind the stumps, Matt also took 21 wickets in 2011 and 19 in 2015. You may not find Matt on the club honours board, but there is a match that perhaps typifies his contribution to the club.


26th May, 2007: the Ones are away at South Devon. Despite Mohammed Salman taking 4-64, North Devon reached a very comfortable 238-7. Cornwood wickets tumbled early leaving the team 20-5, with Jason Hall and Matt at the crease and a mountain to climb. They start climbing. Jason got the headlines with a strong 67, but the team would have lost without Matt’s 37. The pair put on 102 together for the 6th wicket. That’s the only century partnership for the 6th wicket in 40 years of league cricket for the Ones, and so still stands as a First Team record. Also, the team escaped with an unlikely draw.


Matt went on to register century partnerships with Mark Roca, Jackson Thompson, Mohammed Salman and two eight wicket partnerships of 89 and 88 with Elliott Staddon. Those stats point to a team man, a collaborator, Cornwood in name and nature, a steady hand in shaky moments. Over 18 seasons and still going, the Ones couldn’t have done what they have without Matt’s contribution.

Oak Park Clubhouse in the Rain
Oak Park Clubhouse in the Rain

The Twos and Fours were united by a sense of what might have been as the rain cut short both their matches. Harry Solomon’s 58* had looked to set things up nicely for a nip and tuck affair at Oak Park as Ivybridge made 167-7 in 39 overs. The second band of rain in the afternoon was enough to make the outfield too dangerous to play on. The Fours batted first against Whitchurch and reached a very defendable 169-7. There were healthy signs for the team’s batting as Charles Knight (36), Stanley Baker and Marc Whaley all made 30s. The game was also notable as Lee Baker completed what must be a unique achievement of playing for the Firsts, Seconds, Thirds and Fourths in the same calendar month.


The Fifths recorded their first win on Sunday as they beat Modbury by 64 runs at Delamore Park. Edmund Goodwin top scored with 43* and Paul Skeemer went full Bairstow with 31 from 19. Simon Garland took his first ever five-fer for the club to lead the bowling with 4-0-10-5. One of those wickets was a miracle catch by Ross Warner. Standing at short cover, Ross was hit in the stomach by a tracer bullet from batsman Tom Hatch, like The Simpsons episode where Homer gets hit by a cannonball. The ball popped up and Ross took it on the fourth juggle.

Ross Warner fielding at short cover for the 5th XI.
Ross Warner fielding at short cover for the 5th XI.

Also on Sunday, the Oaks Women’s Softball team fell one agonising run short against Plymst**k. Eva Moyle and Katie Bees both took two wickets as the visitors made 89-8. The drama ran to the final over as Bethany Ford and Sadie Goodliffe needed 13 runs with no wickets for victory. They hit two huge boundaries but made 11 on the over. The team’s 78-6 was 2 wickets better but 11 runs worse, so the visitors snuck the win.


In the Colts section, there were wins in both league and cup for the Under 15s, with the highlight of the week being a maiden 50 for Greg in a 92 run win over Holsworthy. The Under 11s beat PCS&R by 97 and Joseph stood out among a raft of great performances for his wickets and energetic calling and running. The Under 13s boys got unlucky in a friendly against Hatherleigh. At training on Friday, trainers of the week were Harvey, Lukey, Milly, and Chester.

Cornwood colts trainers of the week
Cornwood colts trainers of the week

There is so much cricket happening across the bank holiday next weekend at the club and beyond as long as the weather permits. The Ones face Sidmouth at Oak Park, the Twos head to surprise early C Division leaders Ashburton, the Threes take the Kingsbridge test while the Fours welcome Plympton 3s. The Women’s Firsts are booked in to travel to Stoke Gabriel on Sunday to admire their lovely boundary fence and play a set of Super 8s games. There’s T20 cricket at home for the Ones this Wednesday night and the Twos on Sunday. There’s also a full schedule of colts games and training too.

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