Defeat snatched from the jaws of victory
Bradninch 2nds lost a third successive Tolchards Devon League E Division East match, but, for the second week running they played their part in an absolute ‘thriller’.
However, this was a very different scenario to the one seven days before when they so nearly snatched victory from the jaws of defeat against Bideford 2nds at their Westward Ho home.
This time round the team somehow managed to lose a game that, with 30 deliveries remaining was ‘there for the taking’!
However, with 54 runs needed from the last five overs and only three wickets remaining for 10-man Uplyme & Lyme Regis, the visitors got home as they took 20 runs off the 42nd over, 16 off the 43rd and 10 off the 44th to secure the one they needed to win off the second ball of the final over.
The player who did the damage was Dorchester-based farmer, and former Bridport CC skipper Bruce Maltby who, batting in the number seven slot, rifled 49 runs from 26 deliveries to see his side to the win.
Speaking post-match, the visiting batsman said:
“It was like batting on a road and to think, years ago, I made my Devon debut here when a Hatherleigh player and got a duck that day!
But batting on that track was a luxury!”
Bradninch skipper Connor Carthew won the toss and Chris Acton and Will Birley launched the innings, putting on 55 in nine overs before Acton fell to a catch in the slips for a 27-ball 15.
Birley was then bowled without a further run being added to the score — he’d scored 36 from 25 balls, taking 27 from just nine deliveries off the opening seamer bowling from the tennis ball end.
Connor Carthew joined Tom Hardy and the pair added 90 for the third wicket before Hardy fell just five runs shy of what would have been a richly deserved half-century.
Bryn Jones was next man in — and out — but not before he had contributed 10 including one superb off drive.
Jones fell with the total on 166-4 and, after hitting 13 off 10 deliveries, Nick Acton became wicket number five with the score then 196.
Ryan Shrewsberry joined skipper Connor Carthew and the pair took the score to 196 before Carthew fell for a splendid 64 — his 50 coming off 65 deliveries.
The loss of the skipper was followed immediately by the first ball dismissal of Liam Read and Rob Acton lasted three balls before he was adjudged leg before for four and, suddenly, Bradninch were 227-8.
The fact the team ended up posting an impressive post 250 score was down entirely to a wonderful 49-run partnership for the unbroken ninth wicket between Ryan Shrewsberry (29no) and Max Cooper (27no).
The pair batted so well with ‘Shrew’ coming from 29 balls faced while ‘Coops’ got his runs from 16 deliveries and Bradninch closed on a total of 276-8.
The consensus during tea was that the total ought to be sufficient to win the game and, if the visitors did chase it down then ‘fair play to them’!
Max Cooper, from the tennis court end and Ryan Shrewsberry, from the roller end, took the new ball.
The very first delivery resulted in a wicket as Copper found the edge and Will Birley took a fine catch at gully.
The ‘Shrew’s’ first over was a maiden, but his second went for 19 and captain Carthew went for an immediate change, introducing Chris Acton, and his first four overs yielded just seven runs.
‘Coops’ was also taken out of the attack after four overs (1-17) and Nick Acton was called into action as second change and he struck in his very first over to leave the reply 47-2 after nine overs.
A third wicket was not snared until the score had reached 107 in the 19th over with Tom Hardy the successful bowler — Liam reed taking the catch.
It was third change Rob Acton and fourth change Will Birley, who combined to peg back the Uplyme & Lyme Regis run-chase.
Acton sent his nine overs down and, though wicket less on this occasion, he did only go for 37 runs while Birley picked up two wickets — one caught by Nick Acton and the other clean-bowled with 44 runs coming from his nine overs.
With Birley and Acton bowled out, the visitors were 215-5 after 39 overs, still requiring 62 from the last six overs.
The 40th over, sent down by Chris Acton, went for eight — so it was now 54 needed from five.
Over 41, bowled by Tom Hardy, went for seven — and another wicket fell as a Birley throw effected a runout to leave the reply on 224-6.
However, Maltby was facing the start of the 42nd over and he plundered 20 runs off it — including two sixes and a four.
Sixteen came off the 43rd over and 10 off the penultimate one to leave the visitors celebrating a stunning win two balls into the last over of the day.
Those Bradninch bowling figures:
Max Cooper (4.2 overs, 1-18); Ryan Shrewsberry (0-19 from two); Chris Acton (0-46 from eight); Nick Acton (1-46 from seven); Rob Acton 0-37 from nine); Tom Hardy (1-54 from five) and Will Birley (2-44 from nine).