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The Sweep 24 Week 6: Ones Canter Past Heathcoat on a Milestone Day for Captain Staddon

A photo of Elliott Staddon, Cornwood Club Captain.
Elliott Staddon: 200 First XI League Appearances

Words: Simon Travers

Match Photos: Ivor Thomas


Before a ball was bowled on Saturday afternoon, it was a momentous Cornwood weekend as Club Captain Elliott Staddon made his 200th First XI League appearance. Elliott made his league debut for the Firsts in August 2009. He was still eligible for Under 15s and earned his chance after taking 35 wickets in the Second Team. Elliott grew into his team role and established his credentials on 1st September, 2012, when a haul of 6-65 against Exeter earned the Ones the bowling points they needed for Premier promotion in their last ever drawn match. Those figures were the first of 4 times that Elliott recorded a First XI league five-fer.

A photograph of a Cornwood Colts team from 2005, featuring Elliott Staddon and Sir Garfield Sobers.
Elliott in the Colts with Sir Garfield Sobers, 2005

Elliott dove into the deep end of captaincy when the Ones returned to the Premier Division in 2016. In 2019, he became one of only eleven First XI players in club history to score 300+ runs and take 20 wickets in a DCL league season. After a few years break, Elliott resumed the captaincy in 2022 and has overseen the Ones evolution into an established, competitive Premier team. Now in his fifth season in the role, only Phil Bees and Jason Hall have served longer in the past 50 years. Robin Dart encapsulates what Elliott means to his co-players describing him as a ‘fantastic leader to play for, the lads would run through walls for him.’ Fiercely competitive, generous and thoughtful, a talented cricketer and a good man: it’s a great milestone for Elliott with plenty more to come.

A list of 11 Cornwood First XI players who have scored 300 runs and taken 20 wickets in a DCL Season.
Cornwood All Time All Rounders XI (Qualification: 300+ runs and 20+ wickets in a season)

The Ones travelled the county to play a Heathcoat team who have yet to settle in a year of squad change. Elliott negotiated the first job of the day in winning the toss and fielding. Through 5 weeks of Premier cricket, 18 of the 23 completed matches have been won by the team batting second. The Heathcoat openers got off to a flyer, scoring 65-0 from the first 10 overs. Tom Hatton would go on to top score with 43, but Cornwood slowly began to exert firm control over the match.

Naveen Fernando found both opener’s edges in consecutive overs. He and Jack Ormsby exerted pressure with an economy rate below three and Jack collected a pair of wickets too. The real breakthrough came when Matt Skeemer took two wickets in two balls to put the hosts 161-8. The dangerous Jamie Drew was removed for 36 with a tentative prod to George Thompson. Lewis Hough elected to not play at an outswinging yorker and was LBW. Matt’s hattrick ball also had a fair shout of an LBW decision but was denied and he finished with figures of 10-1-25-3. Elliott Staddon closed the Heathcoat inning at 200 with another outswinger that was edged to the keeper.

Matt Skeemer gets Lewis Hough LBW. Cornwood v Heathcoat (8/6/2024)
Matt Skeemer gets the LBW (photo from Heathcoat CC stream)

Ben Privett looked to take time pressure out of the run chase with an aggressive 47 from 41 to start the Cornwood reply. He and Max Finzel put on 70 for the first wicket in 10.3 overs. Ben carried that form into his Sunday fixture with a match-winning century in the NCCA Trophy for Devon CCC against Buckinghamshire.

Another wicket fell quickly, but Max Finzel and Matt Skeemer found cruise control to power the Ones across the line comfortably with 7.4 overs to spare. Man of the Match Max hit his second significant unbeaten half-century in 3 games, finishing on 82* from 128 balls. Matt backed up last week’s score against Exeter with 58* from 77. Together the pair put on 124*, which is a new First XI league record for the 3rd wicket.

Cornwood CC first team after beating Heathcoat 8/6/2024
First Team post match celebration

Elsewhere in the Premier Division, match of the day was Bradninch & Kentisbeare beating leaders Sandford. Exeter dropped 347/5 on Bovey Tracey to win big. Exmouth and Paignton won comfortably over Sidmouth and Plympton respectively. The week’s results tighten things at the top as seven points separate the top 3.

At Oak Park, the Twos welcomed local rivals Yelverton Bohemians. Yelverton are perhaps C Division’s ‘banana skin’ team, capable of rustling up an unexpected big performance. The truth was that both teams brought a whole bunch of banana skins to slip on in an error-strewn but ultimately compelling match. Yelverton Opener Rob Grove lost his wicket early in the purest cricket moment of the afternoon. Alex Shutt had been moving balls down the hill but got one to climb up the slope. Finn Torley made a spectacular diving take of Grove’s inside edge. Yelverton settled with an 87 run second wicket partnership. Mike Lemmings made the most of his luck on the way to 54 from 72. Joseph Trimmer batted maturely with a defensive mindset that allowed Lemmings and Ben Grove (37) to play shots. The Twos had to be patient but breakthroughs came in the last 10 overs. Alex Shutt cashed in taking 2 wickets in an over twice in three overs. Shutt finished with figures of 9-1-27-5; his first ever five-fer coming against his former team. Yelverton would have been frustrated by ending 1 run short of maximum batting points on 199. Every league point counts for them as they hover around the drop zone.

Robin Dart batting against Yelverton Bohemians 8/6/2024
Robin Dart batting

Robin Dart has been showing the form to produce a significant score for weeks and contributed 54 as the Twos reached 108-4 in the first 25 overs. From there on, there was little that was regulation about the Cornwood chase. Finn Torley made 40, his highest score for the Twos, but was dropped 3 times before eventually being caught. Ben Grove made a significant contribution in the field with two wickets, two deep catches and a run out. Yelverton gambled on bowling out their openers early when Cornwood were 150-7. That didn’t seem to work as the score rose to 186-7 before 2 wickets fell in 2 balls when Yelverton trusted in young Toby Julyan and Joseph Trimmer to close the match. Alex Shutt and Joe Davies held their nerves but fell one run short in the final over. From this perspective, the match is less frustrating reversal and more precious learning time. Every young player in the Twos side had a meaningful opportunity to put the team on their back this Saturday. The youth wing of the Twos are still works in progress, but they are talented and experiences like this could prove invaluable as they continue to grow.  

On Sunday, the Women’s Firsts competed well against unbeaten Exeter, last year’s champions and favourites to repeat. Shini Al Khalid (7-0-31-3) struck early to reduce the visitors to 19-4 in 4.2 overs. Exeter rebuilt on the back of 53 from 42 balls from Devon and Middlesex’s Amelie Munday. There were two wickets each for Megan Hayward and Olivia Gibson, but a late 67 run partnership for the 9th wicket powered by captain Rosie Fairbairn’s 37* pushed Exeter to 170. The Women’s Firsts top order had few answers for Exeter’s opening bowling and momentum swung fast. Exeter’s Katie Donovan took 3 for 9 as Cornwood were all out for 43. A 127 run loss isn’t easy, but there are positives. Exeter came into the game having lost 13 wickets in their first 4 matches. To register 6 points, 5 of them for bowling, is a better return on the afternoon’s work than any other team has managed against Exeter so far this year.

Sofia Oxenham makes a run out against Exeter Women 9/6/2024
Sofia Oxenham with the run out

The Threes found it much easier going at Delamore Park on Saturday as they dispatched Babbacombe 2XI with a 7 wicket victory. Dan Skeemer blasted a couple of early wickets but it was the wiles of Duncan Cumberland and Simon Garland that collapsed the Babbacombe middle order. Seth Williams scored 41 to help the visitors reach 164-8 in their 40 overs. Any thoughts that might have been a few more to chase than was strictly necessary were soon silenced by an impressively dominant innings from Evie Privett. Evie batted through 29 overs to post 88 from 94. The Babbacombe bowlers had no reply as she crushed 10 fours and 2 sixes for a career best in DCL matches. The win bumps the Threes into second place as Chudleigh 2XI lost their second in a row to leaders Bovey Tracey 3XI.

Evie Privett batting against Babbacombe 2xi 8/6/2024
Evie Privett batting

The Fours continued their recent pattern of competitive performances that don’t quite translate into a result. Put into bat by Ipplepen 3XI at Stover School, 3 wickets from young Hudson Epkins (3-38) put the Fours at 25-4. Captain Marc Whaley steadied the ship with 76 from 88 balls. That’s Marc’s second time in the seventies in back to back matches. He was ably supported by 45 from young Eoin Hewitt playing in his DCL debut. The pair put on 106 for the 5th wicket as the Fours made 180 in their 40 overs. Keith Wakeham, who once took 7 for 36 against the Ones back in 1996, lead the bowling with 3 for 19. Hudson Epkins delivered with the bat as well as ball, making 90 before becoming one of Anthony Goodwin’s 3 wickets (8-0-44-3) Lee Baker also posted figures of 8-3-18-3 to make the match close but Ipplepen got home by 2 wickets.

Simon Garland deals with a bouncer in the Junior v Seniors friendly
'Healthy rivalry' in the Juniors v Seniors friendly.

The Fifth XI’s game against Kenn was cancelled after the opposition pulled out. So, on Sunday, bragging rights were at stake in a Seniors vs Juniors match. The olds won, they always do. Five of them survived wicketkeeper Freddie’s cauldron of mental disintegration to retire on the way to 203 from 30 overs. Ollie and Noah made runs for the juniors. The real winner was Helen and the catering team who produced a finely crafted and well received spread for tea.

Mixed results in the Colts this week as the Under 13s dispatched Menheniott/Looe but were chased down by Ivybridge in the league. The U10 Delamores won a close one against Plymouth Mount Wise while the U10 Oaks lost to Plymouth Peverell. Trainers of the week were Will, Imogen, Ollie, Ava, and Theo. Keep up the good work people.

A montage of Cornwood CC colts trainers of the week
Colts Trainers of the Week

Next week, it’s crunch time for the Ones as they host last year’s champions Sandford at Oak Park. The Twos head to Creedy Park for the reverse fixture against Sandford 2s. The Threes travel to South Devon while the Fours face Paignton 4XI at Delamore Park. On Sunday, the Fifth XI have a fixture against Holbeton.


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