Bradninch were 64 run winners when they entertained Thorverton in the final warm-up match ahead of the launch of the 2021 Tolchards Devon League A Division season.
It was an afternoon in which home skipper Eliot Acton ‘rescued’ his side with a superb late order half century; a ‘comeback’ to opening bowling at 1st XI level cricket from the ‘evergreen’ Paul Nott and three wicket hauls for Will Squire and Craig Penberthy.
Bradninch skipper Eliot Acton starred with the bat as his side recovered from 42-3 after 8.2 overs to post a respectable total of 222.
After winning the toss and opting to bat, Acton sent Gary Chappell in with Joshua Farley to launch the innings.
However, Chappell was soon back in the pavilion, out to the final delivery of the third over having scored 14 from the 15 deliveries he had faced.
Will Birley was in at three and he suffered the ignominy of becoming the clubs first home ‘duck’ of the season as he was trapped leg before to the fifth ball he faced.
Thom Bunker was in at five an he was soon the third wicket to fall, in his case, clean bowled and out for an 11-ball nine to leave the home side on that 42-3.
Young Farley was joined by Aryan Raigangar, but the pair were parted when the latter had score 13 from 20 balls faced to leave Bradninch on 75-4 after 14.4 overs.
Will Squire was in at six and he stayed with Farley until the opener was finally dismissed by the 46th ball he faced, but not before he had scored 44 with five fours and two sixes.
The Farley departure left the home innings on 94-5 after one ball of the 19th over.
Craig Penberthy joined Squire and the pair took the side into three figures and the score was 129-6 midway through the 25th over when Squire became wicket number six, in his case having faced 31 balls for his 14.
Wicketkeeper Darren Paul was in at eight, but he was soon the seventh wicket to fall, clean bowled for six and this brought skipper Acton to join Penberthy with his side on 142-7 halfway through the 28th over.
In the very next over Penberthy fell, out for a run-a-ball 25 and, at 148-8, a sub 2000 score looked highly likely.
Number 10 bat Jordan Biss had other ideas though, and he stuck around as his skipper, at the other end, took the attack to the visitors.
The pair added a vital 45 runs before Biss was run out for eight with one ball of the 26th over remaining.
Paul Nott was last man in and he joined his nephew and helped see the side beyond 200 before the skipper was the last wicket to fall, trapped leg before a splendid 45-ball knock of 62, an innings that lasted 47 minutes and included five furs and four sixes.
Nott was the not out batsmen with six to his name and the Bradninch innings had closed on 223, two balls into the 40th over.
For Thorverton, who used seven bowlers, the pick of the returns was the 3-26 from eight overs by Jacob Broom while Bobby Heard had 2-38 from five and four other bowlers each claimed a single wicket.
When Thorverton batted the new ball duties were shared by the evergreen Paul Nott and Aryan Raigangar – and the pair did well with Nott holding a catch off his fellow opening bowler to leave the Thors 15-1 with the departure of Paul Fielder for an 11-ball six. They recovered and reached 50, but shortly after the introduction of Gary Chappell the second wicket was snared with Gary Chappell hitting the stumps of Alistair Chillcott to leave the visitors 58-2 midway through the 14th over.
The very next over saw the end of the other Thorverton opener, Andy Pitt, caught by Eliot Acton to give Josh Farley his first wicket of the day and the score was then 64-3.
The wickets continued to tumble; Dale Robbins was caught by Craig Penberthy off the bowling of Farley, out for one and that left the reply 71-4 and it was very soon 72-5 with Will Squire knocking over the stumps of Thorverton wicketkeeper Harry Choules.
Gary Chappell then showed ‘safe hands’ to pouch a catch that gave Will Squire a second to see the end of Tom Diamond for 14, that left the Thors 81-6.
The seventh wicket was claimed by Will Squire who took the wicket of Ben Coe, caught behind by Darren Paul having scored 10 and that meant the run chase was wobbling on 90-7 after one ball shy of 24 overs.
Ben Slaviero and Bobby Heard then combined to take their side into three figures, but, when the Thors had 123 on the Kensham Park scoreboard, Salviero fell for 16, to a Craig Penberthy delivery that thundered into the stumps.
The end came soon after with Penberthy accounting for both Bobby Heard (24) and Alex Jopling (15) thanks to catches from Aryan Raigangar and Paul Nott to leave Thorverton all out for 159 in 36.1 overs and Bradninch the winners by a margin of 64 runs.
The Bradninch bowling returns were topped, in terms of wicket taking by Will Squire and Craig Penberthy who each claimed three wicket hauls; Squire returning figures of 3-19 from five overs and Penberthy 3-26 from 5.1 overs.
In terms of economy, it was Gary Chappell who once again took the honours with his four overs yielding just seven runs.
Special mention for Paul Nott who, a few short years ago thought his bowling career was done owing to his troublesome shoulder injury and here he was opening the bowling AND coming back for a late over as he returned figures of 0-26 from six overs. Josh Farley had a return of 2-40 from his eight while, Aryan Raigangar, who shared the new ball with Paul Nott returned figures of 1-36 from eight.