Bradninch 2nds ended the 2017 Tolchards Drinks Devon League campaign in some style as they recorded a 42-run victory at Shobrooke Park II.
The game also saw two batsmen, Connor Carthew and Ryan Shrewsberry, both hit their highest scores of the season – in Ryan’s case his highest score in senior cricket – and, what’s more, the pair also set a new 2nd XI B Division East record for the third wicket partnership as they took the score from 21-2 to 175-3, adding 154 runs for the third wicket – beating the previous best (ironically scored by another ‘Ninch’ pairing – Paul Nott and Bryn Jones had scored 148 for the third wicket in the 2016 Kensham Park meeting with Chudleigh II).
After winning the toss and batting first, Ninch lost Thom Bunker for four and Chris Acton for 10, to leave them 21-2 after a dozen overs. Ryan Shrewsberry joined Connor Carthew and the pair had taken the total to 92-2 at the halfway stage of the innings.
Post drinks they accelerated and, when ‘Shrew’ was out to the third ball of the 33rd over, he’d scored a ‘best in senior cricket to date’ of 76. The teenager faced 72 deliveries and hit 11 fours. Alex Dunlavey was next in – and out – he was caught for a run-a-ball seven and Connor Carthew’s innings ended to the very next delivery with him picking out the safest pair of hands in the home side who was fielding in the deep and he pouched a ‘skier’ that, had it gone to any other fielder, would surely have meant the Ninch batter would have survived to net the team’s second century of the term.
Carthew trooped off having scored 90 from a 99-ball stay at the wicket during which time he hit nine fours. A big feature of the Carthew/Shrewsberry partnership was the running between the wickets and the pair – both are no slouches – ran no fewer than 11 threes!
Once the two main contributors had been removed, it was a similar tale of woe to the week before when there was a collapse – this time the side fell away from 174-2 to 208-8 with the ‘best of the rest’ the seven from Paul Nott, followed by Liam Reed (6) and Vinny Clark (2) with Derrick Foan (1no) and Richard Spruce (1no) the unbeaten batsmen as the innings closed on 208-8.
Thom Bunker bagged the opening wicket when the home side began their run chase – it was thanks to a Richard Spruce catch – Richard went on to take one more catch in the game – and the hosts were 14-1 after three overs.
The second wicket partnership took the total to 51 when Ryan Shrewsberry knocked over the stumps and it was soon 58-4 after 11 overs with ‘Bunks’ and the ‘Shrew’ both claiming a second victim.
The fifth home wicket fell with the score on 89 – Chris Acton holding a catch off the Richard Spruce bowling, and a sixth fell with a run out to leave Shobrooke Park 114-6.
The seventh wicket seemed to get the hoe side back ‘into the contest’, but, with the core on 150 Liam Reed ended the partnership with a second catch from Richard Spruce.
The eighth wicket fell immediately with Vinny Clark claiming his first when he hit the stumps and it was soon 164-9 with a second run out before – with the home side on 166 – Alex Dunlavey held a ‘skier’ off Vinny Clark to leave Shobrooke Park all out, well shy of the Ninch total.
One disappointing feature of the Ninch effort with the ball was the number of wides and no-balls – 28 in total. It led to a very slow over rate with – at one stage – just seven overs were sent down between 5.30pm and 6pm! When the game ended, at 7.40pm, there were still six overs to bowl!
The bowling figures read: Thom Bunker (2-30 from nine overs); Ryan Shrewsberry (2-63 from nine); Vinny Clark (2-4 from 2.2 overs); Richard Spruce (1-21 from five overs); Liam Reed (1-7 from three); Alex Dunlavey (0-15 from four) and Chris Acton (0-15 from eight).