Wonderful Walker knock sets up superb home win for 1st XI
Fighting relegation and looking for a ‘great escape’? That is what most pundits would have said of the Bradninch 1st XI situation heading into the first Saturday of August and a meeting with the Tolchards Devon Cricket League Premier Division table-topping side Sidmouth.
However, post stumps on what had been another sweltering afternoon at Kensham Park, the topic of conversation was one of possible mid-table security after another super turn out of support witnessed a terrific 50-run win for the home side.
Even without their talisman skipper Gary Chappell – missing the second of two games owing to a family holiday – the side, ably led by stand-in skipper Tim Piper, ‘did the business’ to such a degree that the latest top-flight table shows Bradninch sitting third bottom and now just five points behind fourth-bottom Bovey Tracey and 24 behind sixth-placed North Devon with four games of the campaign remaining.
Batting first at home to Sidmouth, ‘Ninch’ were led to a closing total of 252-6 by a splendid unbeaten 74 from Charlie Walker.
Indeed, on a good day for the home batsmen, all the top seven got into double figures with the ‘best of the rest’ being a knock of 46 from opener Rory Thomas while there were contributions also from Tendai Maruma (26), Tim Piper (23), Leon Horn (23), Ross Acton (12) and Kian Burns (10) while the other not-out batsman at the close of the innings was Tallon Burns with nine to his name.
Sidmouth were then bowled out for 202 in 44.5 overs with left-armer Ross Acton the star of the home bowling show as he showed he is now over his early season injury woes by returning figures of 3-26 from 10 excellent overs. Two others bagged a brace of wickets; Tendai Maruma (2-49 from 9.5) and Tallon Burns (2-38 from nine) and there was a wicket also for Kalann Nessling (1-39 from seven).
So, four games to go and the team head into Saturday’s game at Hatherleigh knowing that a second successive win and the team will be looking at a mid-table finish.