Promotion still ahead, despite comfortable win for Bovey
Another lamentable display with the bat saw the 1st XI beaten for a second successive Saturday and whilst the side remains well on course for promotion, especially given the run of fixtures between now and the end of the campaign, the confidence has taken a big knock in these past two outings.
If the game at Cornwood had seen Bradninch beaten, then the home meeting with Bovey Tracey left them battered. The visitors strolling to victory by a margin of eight wickets, and all this after Joel Murphy won the toss and sent his batsmen out to do the business. Sadly, and for the second week running, the batsmen proceeded to get themselves out with a rash selection of shots and the final total of 101 was never going to be enough.
Gary Chappell clocked up the highest home score of the day with 20. Next best was the 15 from Adrian Ezquerro but the only other players to make double figure scores were Tim Piper (13), Ross Acton (13) and Gary Newall (10).
Hopes were high amongst a good turn out of home faithful for this ‘1st versus 2nd’ meeting that having nudged the score past the 100 mark, another ‘Brixham’ was possible – that being a similar disaster with the bat before tea, only for the bowlers to steam in and win the day. Those hopes rose even higher when Ezquerro whipped out the Bovey opener four balls in. Gary Newall claimed a smart slip catch but only one more wicket was to be taken. Again Ezquerro was the claimant, helped by another smart slip catch this time by Tim Piper, and the visitors cruised to an eight-wicket win inside 21 overs.
So defeated and down but most certainly not out. What is needed now is a win at Tavistock on Saturday. Murphy’s men will no doubt deliver! (Here’s hoping).
There was better news though elsewhere in the A Division as Cornwood failed to capitalise on the chance to make things pretty tight at the top when they went down in a very low-scoring affair at Barton.
Les Kent hero as 2nd XI secure vital draw
The Bradninch 2nd XI did manage to secure a draw, albeit a losing one, in their meeting with Bovey Tracey II in a game that saw Cricket Club legend Les Kent play a pivotal role. Les was last man to the wicket and he had five balls to face to see the side to a result that would keep them in the hunt for honours. Well not only did Les survive but he actually struck a boundary that registered the side a batting point, and in securing the draw he managed to bank two more for the side.
Sunday best keeps NDL challenge alive, Hardyï¿½s happy ï¿½ heï¿½s claimed a wicket at last!
Bradninch bounced back from the previous week;s defeat to fellow title hopefuls North Devon with a comfortable win over basement-dwellers Beaford. An early double salvo from Aussie all rounder Adrian Ezquerro was a huge set back for the visitors but they recovered to post a total of 171. Ezquerro (3-21), Phil Chappell (2-16) and Ross Acton (2-21), claimed the wickets for the hosts who lost three wickets for just 54 runs before Dan Hardy was joined by Ezquerro at the crease and there was no further loss of wickets in what became a stroll to a seven wicket win.
Devon under 21 player Hardy finished on 69no, his half-century coming up in 47 balls, whilst Ezquerro, who has earned the nickname, ‘Rocky’ amongst his colleagues, smashed his half-century in 42 balls whilst his entire knock of 70 not out came off just 55 deliveries.
For Bradninch, who still have to face title rivals North Devon and, on the last day of the Sunday League season, Sandford, it’s quite simple – win each of their last six games and they will be the Champions at the first attempt.
The win over Beaford was also notable for the fact that long serving Pete Hardy, after many moons of playing for the club, finally registered his name in a BCC score book with a wicket! Hardy, who teaches at Kentisbeare Primary School in Mid Devon, and generally recognised as an all round nice guy, was always more likely to be found taking catches off bowlers with the wicket-keeping gloves. But he was thrown the ball in the game with Beaford and his very first ball, straight as a die, knocked over the middle stump!