The BCC indoor VI went down to a narrow defeat when they were beaten by Newton St Cyres off the penultimate ball of another thrillingly close encounter at the Devon Cricket Centre.
As the ‘home’ team, BCC, with skipper Thom Bunker and Bryn Jones opening, batted first. Jones, making his seasonal debut for the side played a terrific shot through the covers that had ‘four’ written all over it – had the game been outdoors – but, the very next delivery, he was caught behind looking to effect the ‘perfect indoor shot’ a ‘dab’ to the corner of the pitch for a three run score and was caught behind. Skipper Bunker continued in his trademark way rifling the ball to all corners and he retired having reached the mandatory ‘retirement’ score of 25. Will Greig came in to join Will Birley – who had come to the wicket at the fall of Jones. Birley looked very assured and he certainly now seems to be back to his old self with bat – as well as ball.
Will Grieg fell for eight, but Birley continued to score runs and had reached his highest to date indoors of 22 when he was run out. That left Liam Reed to be joined by 15-year-old Riley Burgess who was in – to see the innings to a conclusion. Burgess was run out off the final ball and Reed was not out for 10, an invaluable contribution that helped see the side to a final score of 99, leaving Newton St Cyres – who have linked up with Woodbury to form a new team – Woodbury NSC – to compete in the Tolchards Devon League in 2017 – to score 100 to win.
A score of 99 is around 21 under par – but was more than Newton St Cyres had scored the week before when beating BCC in the final over. Thom Bunker opened the bowling and Will Grieg bowled the second. The skipper bowled the third before three successive overs from Birley with Jones at the other end. Jones took a wonderful catch off the bowling of Grieg to get rid of the NSC top batter. The ‘target’ became 51 off five, 41 off four and 31 off three and then down to nine off the last over. A total they reached with a ‘three’ off the penultimate over of the contest.
So its played six and lost six at the end of the 2016 indoor league season. Neighbours Cullompton – in their first season – secured the runners-up spot behind champions University 1st VI.
The problem for BCC VI skipper Thom Bunker has been lack of availability of players this season. The exception to the cause has been the ever present two Will’s Grieg and Birley, plus the skipper himself. It was great to see Bryn Jones play in this last league game – his presence gave the side a real lift. Young Riley is always a willing combatant and is being moulded into a decent club cricketer of the future. Liam Reed scored an invaluable 10 and also kept wicket well. Will Grieg showed once again how his all-round game is so important to the team. Will Birley is now clearly back to his best and no doubt itching for the start of the 2017 out door season and skipper Bunks (jnr) – bravely battling a debilitating knee injury that looks to have ended his football season, scoring big runs – well over 100 this indoor campaign which is no mean feat across just six games. Yes, all in all, despite the poor results there’s been plenty to be most upbeat about.
Now attention turns to the cups and the team face Division One Exeter in the first round of the KO Cup next Friday (November 25) when, if they win they’ll play in the semi-finals the following week, and, if beaten, they’ll get the chance to defend the plate competition that they won in 2015.