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Sapiecha’s splendid knock as Sunday XI thrashed by Plymouth South

Oh well, it’s just been ONE OF THOSE WEEKENDS at BCC!

If the disappointment of Saturday was not enough – and there were some disappointed BCC faithful present to enjoy the sunshine at Kensham Park on Sunday – then the outcome of the first Sunday XI game was a cause of some embarrassment!

view images from the Sunday XI vs South Plymouth - 7th May 2017 match
Click or tap to view images from the Sunday XI vs South Plymouth – 7th May 2017 match

Plymouth South pitched up for a 2pm game that did not get underway until nearer 3pm as we attempted to field a full side – eventually, we took to the pitch with two visiting players and two more acting as umpires.

Poor old (I know, less of the old he’d say) Chris ‘Deano’ Dean, acting as skipper for the day – asked the Plymouth side to bat first and they plundered a whopping 280-6 off their 40 overs. There were highlights for the home team – a fine seven-over spell from young Riley Burgess, a first senior cricket wicket for Sam Leathes – aided by a catch in the deep held by Max Cooper – and a first senior wicket for Alex Wright (all three of Riley, Sam and Alex, are part of Nat Hunt’s burgeoning youth system) a first wicket in his first full spell since last June for Will Birley – now clearly rid of that shoulder woe of 2016 – together with a wicket each for Ben Sapiecha and Max Cooper – but it was hard work on a super-fast outfield under a sun-kissed sky at Kensham Park!

After a splendid Julie Dowrick (and Alan of course) tea, with more extra cups of tea than usual sold owing to the excellent home support that turned out – many new faces from the Town too – it was the home turn to bat.

Will Birley and Max Cooper launched the reply and looked confident for the first seven overs until Birley was bowled for four. Cooper was then joined by Exeter player (and county all-rounder) Ben Sapiecha and it was the teenager who prevented a home humiliation as he went on to be last man out scoring a wonderful better-then-a-run-a-ball 65 (he also looked very comfortable bowling down the slope with his seamers).

Young Sapiecha – his father Dave used to play for the club – scored eight fours and a six in his 65 – but the nine from the bat of Max Cooper was the next best and, at 59-6 and 74-8 it looked likely the team might be beaten by a margin of 200 plus.

However, the fact it was not was down to a bullish innings from Neil ‘Olli’ Hardy who stuck around with young Ben for five overs. Ollie scored two – but Ben was able to pass his half-century and the pair added 44 for the ninth wicket. The final pair – skipper Chris Dean and Ben added another six with Ben the last man out, caught behind to the returning fast opening bowler. The 65 from Ben accounted for just over half the 124 home total – 39 of which were extras and 20 came from the remaining nine batters.

Again there were highlights in the batting – especially a maiden senior cricket four from young Alex Wright, but four ducks in the order did not help and a weekend to forget at BCC can now be put to bed – onto week two which, for the Sunday XI, is a home game against Kenn on May 14.