On the second Saturday of May (2019)...
The 1st XI entertained Bideford, Littleham & Westward Ho! on Saturday, May 11 and it was a match that was totally dominated by Gary Chappell who hit a century and then claimed three wickets as Bradninch recorded a 142 run success.
‘Chaps’ hit 15 fours and nine sixes in a 129-ball stay at the crease as he racked up a score of 145. Indeed, such was his dominance of proceedings that when he was the fourth man out, he had scored 145 of the 217 runs that were on the Kensham Park scoreboard!
Josh Farley, batting at number three, was the ‘best of the rest’ with 35 – he and ‘Chaps’ put on 127 for the second wicket — and Tim Piper chipped in with 19 — the only other double-figure scores were contributions of 18, from Charlie Sheen and an unbeaten 10 from Will Squire. Bradninch closed on 257-8.
The Bideford, Littleham and Westward Ho! reply ran its course — well, for 43.4 overs. Ross Acton opened the bowling and went on to send down 10 overs for a splendid return of 3-10 and the ‘Chaps’ contribution was one of 3-9 from seven overs. The other wicket taking returns were those of Will Greig (2-29) and Josh Farley (1-38) and the latter was also responsible for the one run-out as Bradninch chalked up a 142-run victory.
There was no such joy for the Bradninch 2nd XI as they were well beaten on their visit to Uplyme & Lyme Regis where the home side batted first and closed on 217. Rob Acton was the most successful of the bowlers with a return of 3-41 from nine overs. The other wicket takers were James Mills (1-45) and Tom Hardy (1-49).
The Bradninch reply saw them bowled out for 124 in 33.1 overs. Connor Carthew top-scored with 30 and Rob Sinden hit an unbeaten 26. No one else managed double-figures.
Other interesting elements of the game — Bradninch had two father-and-son combinations involved — Pete Hardy (dad) and Tom Hardy (son) both played while Will Birley (son) also played and Steve Birley (dad) was on score book duties. Continuing the ‘family thing’ — brothers Pete and Ollie Hardy both played, as did brothers Chris and Rob Acton — oh yes, and there was a cameo outing for the Bradninch victor, the most likeable Ollie Mears.
There was also action for the Bradninch ladies on the second weekend of May with the Eagles in action at home to Cornwood who returned from whence they came with a nine-wicket win. Bradninch batted first and were restricted to a total of 91-5 after their 20 overs. Opener Kate Wright top-scored with 20 and the ‘best of the rest’ was the unbeaten 18 from number six bat Claire Whitworth, though there were double figure contributions from Fi Moran (11) and Caitlin Searle (10). Cornwood completed a nine wicket win, sealing victory off the first delivery of the 16th over. Meg Acton (1-27) was the Bradninch wicket taker.
That second weekend of May also saw the Bradninch 1st XI in T20 action as they defeated Torquay (walkover win after the South Devon side pulled out of the day-long action) and then beat Abbotskerswell by seven wickets. The ‘Abbots’ batted first and scored 140-2 – a wicket each for Josh Farley (1-28) and Tallon Burns (1-22). The run chase was led by Tim Piper who struck an 11-boundary 29-ball 60 and Kian Burns hit a 27-ball, six boundary unbeaten 47 as Bradninch reached the winning line in just 11.4 overs!