Established 1891

Fine all-round show as 1st XI march on towards A Division glory

The Bradninch bandwagon that has taken the Tolchards Devon League A Division by storm this season made  it 14 matchdays without defeat as Abbotskerswell were beaten by a margin of 106 runs in a Kensham Park match reduced to 30-overs-per-side by early afternoon rain.

It was another terrific all-round show that got the side over the lline – a combination of some solid batting – yet another half century from Gary Chappell and a terrific shift from the skipper who scored 39 from just 26 deliveries batting at number nine.

Then a four wicket haul from Chappell and three for Josh Farley, saw the side to another comprehensive victory.

Play finally got underway at 3pm and, after being asked to bat first, Bradninch skipper Eliot Acton sent Gary Chappell and Thom Bunker out to launch the innings.

Chappell and Bunker were together unto 19 runs were on the board when Bunker fell for a nine-delivery six. Mitch Pugh was in at three, but he was  bowled by the 11th delivery he faced, out for two, to leave Ninch 43-2.

Dan Hardy took over and he and Chappell saw the total to 79 when Hardy became the third wicket to fall, in his case, caught for a 24-ball seven.

Next man in was Rory Thomas and he helped Chappell see the side into three figures when, with the total on 118, Thomas became the fourth home wicket to fall, out for a 16-ball 27 with 18 of his runs coming from three huge sixes.

Josh Farley joined Chappell but, having just chalked up yet another half century, Chappell fell for a 52-ball 53, hitting two sixes and three fours to leave Bradninch with half their side back in the hutch and 126 runs on the board.

Will Squire joined Farley, but, with the total on 140, Squire was trapped leg before for a  six ball two.

Craig Penberthy was next man in, but, with the score on 150, Farley fell to a stumping, dismissed for a  19-ball 17.

That left Ninch on 150-7 and looking unlikely to reach 200. However, skipper Eliot Acton, in at nine, had other  ideas and it was his shift with the bat that underpinned what would ultimately be a post 200 total.

Acton lost Penberthy, out for a nine ball 12 – his knock including a six and a four – and, when Ross Acton was ninth man out, in his case dismissed for an eight ball 14, Ninch were 180-9.

Aryan Raigangar joined the skipper and the pair not only saw their side beyond 200, but they managed to get the total to its close of 215-9 after 30 overs.

Acton, leading by example, was not out 39, scored from just 26 balls, hitting five fours while Raigangar was not out five from three balls.

Alex Birt, with 3-47 from six overs, took the bowling honours for the visiting side.

Abbotskerswell began their run chase facing Ross Acton from the Mill End and Mitch Pugh, from the Tennis Court End.

There were just six runs on the board when Gary Chappell took a smart catch at mid-off to give Acton a wicket. The second wicket was claimed with the score on 43-2 with Pugh knocking over the stumps of Abbots’ skipper Nick Watkin – out for a 15-ball six.

It was soon 59-3 and then 63-4 with Gary Chappell claiming both wickets, the first clean bowled and the second, a leg before.

The fifth wicket pair edged their side towards three figures before, with the score on 96, a Mitch Pugh catch gave Chappell his third wicket. From 96-5 it was soon 97-7 with leg before decisions going in favour of, first Gary Chappell and then Josh Farley.

The visitors limped beyond 100 before losing two wickets with the score on 103, first with a stumping from glovesman Thom Bunker to give Farley his second wicket and then Rory Thomas held a catch to give Aryan Raigangar his first wicket of the day.

The last pair did not survive for long as Farley picked up his third wicket with Chappell claiming his second catch.

As for the Bradninch bowling returns; the top figures were undoubtedly the 4-15 from five overs sent down by Gary Chappell. The Josh Farley return was an equally exceptional 3-9 from three overs while there were single wickets for Aryan Raigangar (1-32 from five), Ross Acton (1-22 from six) and Mitch Pugh (1-25 from four) while the other bowler to see action was Craig Penberthy (0-6 from three).


So another handsome victory for Ninch and, with four games remaining this season it seems nothing is going to stop the team enjoying a top two finish and with it, a place back at the top table of Devon League cricket in 2022.