It’s back to 1983 for our latest ‘Blast from the Past’ feature — relive the 51-game season and check out just how many touring sides visited Kensham Park in those days…
The first run of the 1983 cricket season was scored by Jim Foat who bagged a single off the third delivery of an April 30, pre-season friendly against Cullompton. ‘Foaty’ was he was more findly known during his time with the club, was also the wicket to fall. Indeed, he and fellow opener, Simon Bailey, fell to successive deliveries in the fifth over of the game to leave Bradninch 5-2.
Subsequent wickets fell with Derrick Foan (4), Mike Foan (0) and John Freeman (2) all back in the Kensham Park pavilion leaving the home side on 20-5 after just 11 overs! Things did not get much better as the innings wall all over for the princely sum of 59, scored off 35 overs. Sam Mullick, batting at number seven, top scored with an unbeaten 26 and the only other double figure score was a knock of 11 from Dave Mitchell. When Cullompton batted, John Wingrove ‘got amongst them’ and Dave Percy (1), Alan Garnham (6) and Mike Ingersent (1), were all back in the hutch with only 13 runs on the board. Mike Baker (11) and Keith Norman (9) doubled the score, taking it to 27 when the running out of the latter started another flurry of wickets as Cully slipped to 47-8 before they edged home to win by three wickets. For Bradninch, Wingrove ended with figures of 4-14 from 15 overs while Dave Mitchell, introduced as the third and final change bowler, finished with two wickets for seven runs from 7.2 overs.
A week later, Bradninch launched a new East Devon Cricket League campaign with an eight-wicket crushing of hosts Axminster. John Wingrove and Paul Nott opened the bowling and each claimed two wickets while third change Jim Foat finished with 4-17 from eight overs as the Axe men were bowled out for 86 in 45 overs. Simon Bailey top-scored with 28 and an unbeaten 22 from Jim Foat and an unbeaten 21 from Derrick Foan saw Bradninch to a comprehensive victory.
In the next match, Whimple & Whiteways were bundled out for 90 with wickets for John Wingrove (5-28), Sam Mullick (2-10), Paul Freeman (1-10) and Rogers Miles (1-18). In the reply, Derrick Foan, Simon Bailey and Sam Mullick all fell cheaply before an unbeaten 47 from Mike Foan guided Bradninch to a six wicket win.
There was another low-scoring affair when Bradninch hosted Chelston and the visitors sent down 49 overs, restricting the home side to a score of 98-8 with Paul Nott (26) and Simon Bailey (18) the only batsmen to make much of an impression. However that 98-run total was to be more than twice what the visitors scored as Chelston were bowled out for 47. All five home bowlers claimed at least one wicket with the returns being: Dave Mitchell (4-8), Paul Nott (2-12), John Wingrove (2-14), Roy Nott (1-9) and Chris Acton (1-0).
Next up a 20-over (the overs were of eight balls) cup tie against Tiverton Heathcoat proved to be a close encounter as Tiverton Heathcoat were bowled out for 98 — two wickets each for Gary Newall, Paul Freeman and Chris Acton. However, from 41-3, Bradninch slipped to 89-9 to lose by nine runs. Simon Bailey (23) and Paul Nott (10) were the only batsmen to reach double figures.
Simon Bailey (44) and Chris Acton (52) were the principle run scorers in a total of 147-6 that proved sufficient to see off touring side Kings Heath Highfield who were bundled out for just 30 with Jon Wykes (5-2), Paul Freeman (2-9), Chris Acton (2-16) and Dave Mitchell (1-0), the wicket takers.
Next up was a thrilling Whitbread Cup tie against Chardstock that Bradninch won by a margin of just one run! Simon Bailey (23) and Derrick Foan (13) were the only home batsmen into double figures in an all-out score of 83. The reply went to the final delivery of the full 40 overs with Paul Nott leading the bowling honours with figures of 5-17 from nine overs.
Against Pensford, Chris Acton hit 80 and Francis Baker, batting at number six, scored 24 in a Bradninch total of 170-7. Roger Miles took the one wicket that fell in the reply as rain arrived to abandon the game.
A visit from Hampton followed with the match ending in a draw. Chris Acton (59), Phil Treseder (43) and Simon Bailey (37no) chipped in towards the 167-3 Bradninch total with Hampton replying with 79-7 — Chris Acton and Simon Steer both claimed three-wicket hauls.
Simon Bailey top-scored with 59 and there were knocks of 26, from John Freeman and an unbeaten 24 from Chris Acton in a Bradninch score of 160-8 and Roy Nott (2-16) from eight overs took the bowling honours as visiting tourists Dowty Ashchurch closed on 105-7.
Next up was a Bass Charrington Cup tie against Exeter St James and, batting first, Bradninch posted a 20-over score of 93-9 with Simon Bailey (26), top-scoring. Sam Mullick (3-9) and John Wingrove (2-0), combined to see the visiting side bowled out for 47 16 overs and five balls.
In a Midweek XI meeting with Eton Grove, Derrick Foan was head and shoulders above the rest in terms of the batting effort as he hit 52 from the number five berth — the ‘best of the rest’ was the 10 scored by number seven bat Francis Baker as Bradninch were bowled out for 95. Etoon Grove were then bundled out for 66 with Paul Nott and Simon Bailey both taking three wickets.
Wibbandune were then beaten by 41 runs in another low-scoring affair. Sam Mullick (23) and Roger Miles (22) top-scored in a home score of 92-7 from 20 overs. Wibbandune were then rolled over for 51 with both Chris Acton and Sam Mullick taking three wickets.
A home league meeting with London & Manchester resulted in a 10-wicket home win! Paul Nott (5-35), Simon Bailey (2-13), John Wingrove (1-13) and Roger Miles (1-0) combined to bowl the visitors out for 69 before Simon Bailey (37) and Derrick Foan (21) saw Bradninch to victory.
Next up was a Whitbread Cup area semi-final at home to Cornish outfit Werrington which saw Bradninch close on 144-9 with the top two contributions being 27 not-out from Rob Acton and 24 from Sam Mullick. The Cornish side got home with five wickets and as many overs to spare. Simon Bailey bagged a brace of wickets.
A home friendly with Filleigh saw the visitors bowled out for 70 with Chris Acton (4-9) and Steve Birley (3-9) the main wicket takers. Acton then completed a fine all-round shift with the top-score of 36 in a match-winning reply of 74-4.
Back to the East Devon League next and a drawn visit to Ottery St Mary where the home side were bowled out for 166 thanks to a five-wicket return from Jim Foat (5-43) with all five wickets being clean-bowled! Simon Bailey then hit 40 from the opening berth and an unbeaten 22 from Richard Money and 12 not-out from John Freeman, saw Bradninch to a draw.
Simon Bailey top-scored with 73 from the opening berth and John Wykes, batting at number eight, scored an unbeaten 29 as Bradninch closed on 160-7 in a home midweek meeting with touring side Gents of Wivenhoe. The visitors got home, winning but five wickets despite two wickets each for John Wingrove and Paul Nott.
Next up was a league game at home to Alphington who bowled the home side out for 109 with only Jim Foat (31) and Mike Foan (27no) making any impression with the bat. The Exeter side edged home to bag a single wicket with a reply of 110-9, this despite a great effort from second change Jim Foat who claimed 5-21 from a dozen overs.
A low-scoring home meeting with Thorverton saw Bradninch bowled out for 78 with only Richard Money (16), John McKinnel (14) and Paul Freeman (11no) making double-figure scores. Paul Freeman then claimed three wickets with Roger Miles bagging a brace and Roy Nott claiming one wicket as Thorverton reached victory at 82-6.
A Bass Cup quarter-final tie at home to Exeter Civil Service ended in a six-wicket home win. Paul Nott and Chris Acton, second and third change respectively, each bagged a brace of wickets as the visitors closed on 116-4. Bradninch got home with six wickets and five balls remaining on 117-4 thanks to unbeaten knocks from Paul Nott (39) and John Freeman (35).
The very next game was also a cup tie as Cullompton were sent packing in a Devon Junior Cup tie that Bradninch won by 44 runs. Simon Bailey (41) and Gary Newall (37no) led Bradninch to 131-5 and then three wickets from John Wingrove together with a couple of wickets each for Dave Mitchell, Chris Acton and Paul Nott saw Cully bowled out for 88.
Whitchurch were beaten by five wickets thanks to a four-wicket haul from John Wykes that saw the visitors restricted to a score of 147-8, answered by Bradninch with 151-5 thanks to an unbeaten 37 from John McKinell and 35 from Simon Bailey.
A Saturday game against visiting Dorchester was won by five wickets. Dorchester batted first and declared on 163-9 after 41-4 overs with home wickets for Dave Mitchell (3-41), John Wykes (3-45), Chris Acton (2-21) and Charles Lowe (1-26). An unbeaten 66 from opener Derrick Foan saw Bradninch to a five wicket win.
Ealing Wanderers were next to visit. Simon Bailey top-scored with 63 in a home total of 141 all-out, a total passed for the loss of five wickets by the visitors with Simon Bailey claiming two of the wickets.
Back to the East Devon League next and a single wicket away win at London & Manchester who batted first and were restricted to a close of 133-8 with Dave Mitchell and Simon Bailey both claiming three wicket hauls. It was last pair Dave Mitchell (5) and Charles Lowe (1) who saw Bradninch edge home on 134-9. Jim Foat top-scored with 34.
The Bass Charrington Cup semi-final meeting with Feniton ended with Bradninch losing by a margin of just four runs! Hosts Feniton batted first and were restricted to a close of 119-7 with three wickets for Sam Mullick and two for John Wingrove. Simon Bailey then hit an unbeaten 47 from the opening berth, but Bradninch were left disappointed on 115-4.
A second successive cup defeat followed after a five-wicket loss to Braunton in the quarter-finals of the Devon Junior Cup. Derrick Foan top-scored with an unbeaten 48 in a total of 109-9, answered by visiting Braunton with 110-5, two of the wickets claimed by Dave Mitchell.
A league game at Exeter Civil Service saw Bradninch beaten by 88 runs. The home side batted first and closed on 169-3 and then bundled Bradninch out for just 81.
An away league game at Whimple was abandoned just after 4pm with the home side on 92-8 — three wickets each for Paul Nott at Simon Bailey.
Slimbridge visited for a friendly meeting that saw Bradninch bat first and power their way to 252-6 thanks to a 131-run opening stand between Simon Bailey (66) and John McKinnel (79) and then number three Sam Mullick chipped in with 66. Slimbridge replied with 157-5 with the home side using no fewer than 10 bowlers — opener Charles Low finishing with figures of 3-24.
A visit to Teignmouth ended in a five-wicket win for Bradninch. The home side batted first and were restricted to 158-8 with Sam Mullick taking four wickets and then openers Simon Bailey (50) and Richard Money (48) gave Bradninch the perfect start that ultimately ended in success.
Tourists Alcester and Ragley were next at Bradninch with the home side batting first and closing on 210-5 led there by Simon Bailey (72) and Paul Nott (68 not out). Simon Bailey and John Wykes then both claimed three-wicket hauls as the touring side were bowled out for 134.
At home to Chichester Nomads, Bradninch batted first and closed on 170-6 with the principle scorers being John McKinnel (42), Derrick Foan (40) and Simon Bailey (30) and then three wickets each for Del French, Chris Acton and Charles Lowe and one for Roger Miles saw the touring side bowled out for 77.
The last day of July saw a league meeting with Ottery St Mary abandoned by rain with the home side struggling on 37-5 replying to the Ottery score of 188 all out — three wickets for Paul Nott and two for Dave Mitchell.
Next up a friendly against Tiverton Heathcoat that saw Bradninch bat first and close on 164-8 with number seven John Freeman top-scoring with an unbeaten 53. Heathcoat closed on 139-5 with the wickets shared by Paul Nott, with three, and Steve Birley, with two.
There followed the then annual Bradninch Cricket Festival with game one against Old Coulsdons. Bradninch batted first and were bowled out for 120 with extras the top score on 25! The match ended in a draw with the visitors closing on 102-9 with Paul Nott and Charles Lowe each claiming four wickets.
Wessex Pilgrims were next and, again batting first, Bradninch closed on 162-4 thanks to 45 from John Freeman, 31 not-out from Rob Acton and 23 not-out from Chris Acton. The touring side were then bowled out for 79 with all eight of the home bowlers claiming at least one wicket!
Witchampton were the next side to visit in Festival week. They batted first and were bowled out for 183 with John Wykes claiming four wickets and two each for Paul Nott and Trevor Lloyd. Derrick Foan then top-scored with 24 and Paul Nott chipped in with 22, but Bradninch came up short, bowled out for 142.
Stapleton were the fourth and final opposition of Festival week and they claimed a single-wicket win in a close encounter. Batting first, Bradninch closed on 167-7 with Billy Wells top-scoring with an unbeaten 52 and Robin Turner ‘guesting’ for the home side — scoring 48 against his Stapleton club mates. Jim Foat then claimed a ‘fiver’ as the visitors got home on 170-9.
Back to the league and a visit to Alphington where a magnificent 121 from Simon Bailey guided Bradninch to 201-7 and then John Wingrove ((5-18) Jim Foat (3-20) and Paul Nott (1-12) combined to see the Alphas rolled over for 69 to leave Bradninch 132 run winners.
The next game was also a league game and it too was won as Countess Wear were beaten by five wickets. A five-wicket haul from Dave Mitchell and two wickets each for John Wingrove and Paul Nott saw Countess Wear bowled out for 146 and then 66 from Jim Foat and an unbeaten 26 from John McKinnel, saw Bradninch to a five-wicket win on 147-5.
A trip to Filleigh ended in a draw with 90 from John McKinnel and an unbeaten 51 from Rob Acton seeing Bradninch to 172-9 which Filleigh answered with a score of 162-8 — three wickets for Simon Bailey and two each for Chris Acton and Dave Mitchell.
A home league meeting with Axminster ended in a three-wicket defeat. Mike Foan top-scored from the number eight slot with 29 — brother Derrick got 26 from the number two berth and fellow opener Simon Bailey hit 21 in a Bradninch all-out total of 116. John Wingrove and Simon Bailey both bagged three-wicket hauls as the Axe men closed on 120-7.
Touring side Krakatoa were next at Kensham Park and they were bowled out for 118 with Rob Acton taking 4-24. Simon Bailey (41) and Chris Acton (24) were the only home batsmen to reach double figures and five of the last six wickets were ducks as Bradninch were bowled out for 90.
Cricklade were the August 27 opposition and, batting first, Bradninch reached 218-4 with Rob Acton, from the number six spot, top-scoring with 90 and Derrick Foan hit 74 from the number three berth. The visitors were then bowled out for 108 with four wickets for Simon Bailey and two each for Rob Gitsham and Steve Birley.
The final league game of the season was an away ‘derby’ at Cullompton where the home side batted first and scored 2020-6. John Wingrove and Simon Bailey each got two wickets and then the home side bowled Bradninch out for 83 with only Simon Bailey (30) offering any resistance!
Old Vigornians were the visitors for a friendly on the final day of August. The visitors batted first and closed on 195-4 — two wickets for Steve Birley and then Rob Acton (38) and Simon Bailey (36) underpinned the home effort that ended on 163 all-out.
An early September meeting with Whitmore was washed out after just 15 overs of the visitors innings.
Honiton RBL visited Bradninch on September 4 and, batting first, were bowled out for 125 with Paul Nott taking four wickets, Jim Foat claimed three and Simon Bailey two. Richard Money then top scored with 24 as Bradninch closed out a single-wicket win.
Knowle Hill were the September 3 visitors and they batted first, closing on 182-9 with Paul Freeman and Francis Baker each claiming three wickets. Bradninch were then bowled out for 119 with opener Simon Bailey scoring 50 per cent of the runs before being run-out for 60.
Teignmouth were the 51st and final opponents of 1983. Batting first, Bradninch were bowled out for 139 with Rob Acton top-scoring on 39 — Mike Foan hit 30 and Keith Walker scored the final run of the season. Teignmouth closed on 96-8 and it was John McKinnel who had the honour of taking the final wicket of the season.