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The Sweep 24 Week 7: Sandford too good on a poignant day for the club.

Matt Skeemer bowling to Jackson Thompson Cornwood v Sandford 15/6/24
Matt Skeemer bowling to Jackson Thompson.

Words: Simon Travers

Match Photos: Ivor Thomas


The weekend began in reflective mood as the club marked the passing of club vice president Graham Shears with a minute’s silence before Saturday’s DCL matches. Graham made a lasting contribution to the club, and to the wider world of Devon cricket.  He was a founder member of the Devon Cricket League in 1972, and worked as the league’s first secretary, chairman from 1982-2002 and president from 2023. He was dad to Sarah Skeemer, one of our first team scorers, grandparent and head cheerleader to Matt and Dan, and a fixture at Oak Park as part of our wide Cornwood family. Nick Goodliffe commented that ‘Anyone who had the pleasure of sharing a story or two on a park bench at Cornwood will know what a knowledgeable and warm-hearted man Graham was.’ Cricket is a sport that gets passed through the generations and that’s the work Graham did. He cared passionately about the game will be missed across all the cricketing corners of Devon.

A photograph of Graham Shears watching Cornwood at Oak Park
Graham Shears (Centre) with CCC life members Gerald Staddon, Andy Rickard, Graham Baskerville and VP Dave Elliott

Main billing at Oak Park went to a top of the table clash between the Ones and last year’s champions Sandford. Seven points separated the two teams at the start of play. Sandford’s loss last week to Bradninch & Kentisbeare was not only their first loss of the season, it broke a streak of 22 successful run chases in the DCL dating back to 30th July, 2022. Sandford prove an awkward prospect for the Firsts, winning seven of the last eight matches between the clubs.

Birthday boy Elliott Staddon avoided a Sandford chase by winning the toss and fielding. Early momentum generated by a first over wicket for Matt Skeemer and an LBW decision for Naveen Fernando was short lived. 22 year old UAE international Aryan Lakra and Sandford captain Jackson Thompson put on 113 for the third wicket. Thompson utilises himself more as a bowler these days but tends to bring his batting A game to Oak Park. He hit 3 fours and 3 sixes on the way to 54 from 75 balls.

A photo of Jack Ormsby fielding for Cornwood vs Sandford 15/6/24
Jack Ormsby fielding

When Lakra fell for 64 with the score on 153-5, the Ones might have felt a momentum swing starting. However, the Sandford lower order collaborated for enough momentum in the last 20 overs to post a total of 260. Ben Privett took late wickets for figures of 3-54, but there was a 3.56 runs per over difference in the economy rate between the top 3 and bottom 4 bowlers in the Cornwood analysis. It’s two days short of a year since the Ones last conceded full batting points to the opposition when North Devon scored 277/6.

Sandford showed their quality in the second half of the match, disappointing any hopes of a heroic Cornwood run chase. Ben Privett was able to get the Ones moving with a brisk 39, but he and Ryan Rickard fell to Aryan Lakra’s left arm spin. As well as claiming key wickets, Lakra cut the supply of runs with an economy rate of 2.4. The Ones wicket started to fall in a steady stream but even at 92-5 and with Naveen Fernando making his way towards 32 from 35, there was still batting to come. Unfortunately, that batting ran into a sharp spell from Jackson Thompson who sealed the visitors’ victory with figures of 6-0-32-4. That’s a best in division 17 wickets on the season already for Thompson. Cornwood were all out for 142 and lost by 118 runs.

Elsewhere in the Premier Division, there were comfortable wins for Bradninch and Kentisbeare, Exmouth, Exeter and Sidmouth. Cornwood stay third in the division through bowling points, but are now a full twenty behind Sandford. Bovey Tracey and Plympton are starting to slip behind the pack in the relegation zone.

After last week’s hiccup against Yelverton, a quality Twos squad found plenty of ways to show their strength against Sandford 2XI. Put into bat in conditions that were never comfortable, the Twos produced a resilient innings for full batting points. Robin Dart fought through the early overs on the way to his second fifty in two games. He reached his 50 in 96 balls before falling victim to one of two run outs for Brian Leach. Wickets fell in clumps for the Twos, but each time, nerves were steadied and progress resumed. Adam Goodliffe brought the shots with a run a ball 32 but the highlight of the innings was a 78 partnership for the 7th wicket between Harry Woolway (30) and Craig Harris (39). Both players read the situation perfectly, responding to Sandford’s deep field by picking off singles and twos at will and capitalising on bad balls. Their stand enabled the Twos to finish on 212-8.

That proved plenty as the Twos were a clear yard sharper in the field and with the ball than their opponents. The last time that the Twos visited Creedy Park in 2015, they conceded 68 extras, but this weekend they only conceded 9. Alex Shutt and Adam Goodliffe made life difficult from ball one for the Sandford top order. Young Ellie Bishop responded bravely to make 40 from 71 with 7 fours. After her departure, the more senior players in the team couldn’t handle Harry Woolway (3 for 33) and Josiah Caunter (3 for 26) and the hosts were all out for 121. The Twos dominance on the day was illustrated in the way they scored 63 runs between the V compared to Sandford’s 15. The Twos rise to Third in C Division West, with the opportunity to close some ground against leaders Paignton 2XI next week.

The Threes increased their winning streak to 6 games as they visited South Devon 2XI. That is now the team’s second best ever streak, with only a 9 game stretch in 2019 ahead of it. The strength of the Threes so far this season is their batting, with 8 league points more than the nearest team. There was full points again at South Devon scoring 200-6 from their 40 overs batting first. Sam Griffiths opened with 42 from 43 balls. Sam is averaging 43 in 3 DCL appearances for the Threes, an increase of 20 runs from last season. Mike Hodge hit his second fifty of the year with a powerful 65 from 46 balls with 7 fours and 3 sixes. Otty Yip lead took 3 wickets for South Devon. Hodge’s junior and senior had success attacking the South Devon top three but the heart of the order was ripped out by leg spinner Joe Davies. With two catches, a bowled, an LBW and a stumping, Joe did a full tour around the dismissals on the way to the honours board with a career first five-fer. Joe finished with figures of 7-1-36-5 as South Devon slumped to 108. The Threes are now a full 10 points clear at the top of F Division West.

A photo of Dan Skeemer batting for Cornwood 4XI on his way to his first ever 50 for the club 15/6/24
Dan Skeemer on his way to 50

At Delamore Park, the Fours put in a good shift to make a game from an early lost position. Put into bat by visitors Paignton 4XI, they struggled early to reach 50-7. It was only fitting that Dan Skeemer led the fightback with a maiden 50 for Cornwood. Dan reached his total in 46 balls with 9 boundaries. With support from Simon Garland and Ollie Mitchell, that was enough for the Fours to bat 39 out of 40 overs and post a total of 152. Paignton Captain James Holland (42) and keeper Sam Kirkup (44) appeared to have the game sewn up with a partnership of 75 for the 3rd wicket but the Fours fought back again. Ayaan Chatterjee shook Paignton with two lethal spells for figures of 8-2-21-4. Marc Whaley backed that performance up with figures of 3 for 34 and Paignton limped over the line with only 2 wickets intact. The Fours made it a close run thing again and better results feel just around the corner.

A photo of Marc Whaley bowling against Paignton 4XI 15/6/24
Marc Whaley bowling

There was no game for the Women’s Firsts as it was their non-playing week in the Super 8s. Other results from their group mean a straight shoot out for top spot in the West group against Plymouth is set for 7th July. In midweek, the Oaks Softball team came second to Buckland’s Moorland Maidens with a stand out performance of 30 runs and 2 wickets for Lucy Knight.

A boundary catching chance for Cornwood's 5th XI playing against Stokeinteignhead 16/6/24

The only Sunday game was the Fifth XI travelling to a Stokeinteignhead side supported by players from Paignton 3XI. Stokeinteignhead batted first and scored 156-5, which was 60 more than the Fifths could achieve on the day. As ever, the day was primarily about learning and developing young players. Greg Thomas reached his retirement 25* and there were wickets for Sid Warrier, Neel Shivane, Tommy Burrows and the decidedly not developing young player Julian Burrows.

In a drama packed week for the colts, there were two strong wins in the league for the Under 15s. Megan took a four-fer against Plymst**k and there was a 50 for Stanley and 38 for Chester with a strike rate of 271 against Plympton. The Under 11s tied a friendly away at Tavistock while the Under 13s were knocked out in ECB Devon Cup Quarter Final away against Paignton.

A photo of two Cornwood CC Colts cricketers who performed well in Week 7
Week 7 colts players of the week

Next weekend, it’s another double header as the Ones host Paignton while the Twos travel to the seaside. The Threes have a promotion tussle against Bovey Tracey 3s and the Fours have a local derby against Ivybridge 3XI. On Sunday, the Women’s Firsts head north to Hatherleigh and the Fifths travel east to Kenn.


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