Bradninch took on Topsham in this Bradleys East Devon Youth League game on a sunny evening of Monday June the 3rd. Still without a win this season the team from Bradninch were looking for their first victory of the campaign. Losing the toss Will Birley’s side were put into bat, which wasn’t a bad thing, because if the toss was won Birley was going to elect to bat anyway!
So opening the batting himself, Birley and new-to-cricket Lewis Vincent, stepped into the middle for the first time together. Vincent who had only played one game before that being the week before against Kentisbeare going in at number three on that occasion was at the non-striking end as skipper Birley faced the first delivery of the game.
The opening bowler Leon Ryder-Potter opened the bowling with a rusty delivery thumbing Birley on the thigh after a flying full toss. The second ball was again on the full toss this time smartly dispatched for four by young Birley. So after Birley got a single, Vincent faced his first and second delivery which was also his last delivery to be faced on the night as he was bowled out after a good piece of bowling by Ryder-Potter.
So, following this fall of wicket Josh Putt was next on the team sheet not to face a ball straight away as the first over had ended with the scorecard on 5 runs for 1 wicket. It then took four deliveries until Putt was next on strike following a single from Birley. Putt was off the mark straight away with a nice shot to mid-wicket. So with the single from the last ball over the over Putt remained on strike but to see an end to his innings after another good bowl from Ryder-Potter.
With the score at just 7-2 Bradninch looked in a bad position, which didn’t look to get any better after Foster went early in his innings after he was caught off of another Ryder-Potter bowl. Birley on strike with the score at 7-3 now, he showed some stability after he hit his second four of the game. So Biss and Birley began to look like putting on a solid partnership until Biss was dismissed for four runs after he was bowled by James Wright, this leaving the score at 26-4. Audie Campbell then came in to the wicket and batted exceptionally well taking the score to 53, Birley was going along nicely until he was ran out for a personal top score of 23 off 35 deliveries including three boundries.
Owen Buxton then came to the wicket to partner Campbell, the partnership totalled to 12 runs, which Campbell was the next wicket to fall for a valuable hit of eight runs therefore bringing young Tom Putt.
Buxton who had batted beautifully so far this innings realised it was time to put bat to ball and get the scoreboard ticking over but was unfortunately next to fall after a splendid catch from Ryder-Potter. So number nine was drawn to the wicket this being Matt Leaney who made three runs as well as young Putt making his four runs off of six deliveries before the innings was bought to an end.
So, Bradninch finished on a fairly low scoring 84 with just 51 runs off the bat the remaining 33 being extras.
(Birley 23, Campbell 8, Buxton 8, Ryder-Potter 3-11 in 4, Jack Telford 1-11 in three)
Bradninch then with 84 runs to defend opened up with Josh Putt who for four runs of the very first ball then saw the fall of opening batsmen Sam Sterrett after another piece of superb fielding from Owen Buxton resulting in a run out, the first over then going for eight runs bought Matt Leaney to open from the other end, bringing the run rate to a half after and doubling the wicket tally after he forced batsmen Richie De-Shapland to drive in the air within the path of skipper Birley who saw an end to De-Shaplands innings.
The scoreboard was ticking over and Josh Putt came off after bowling three overs going for 14 runs, Birley then putting himself on to replace Putt at the pavilion end and began with an impressive maiden over.
Leaney later finished his spell of four overs with great figures in return of 1-14. Birley then bowled his next over and with the very first ball he caught and bowled Charlie Goodfellow for 7. So the score board now showed 29 for 3, when Birley introduced Campbell to the attack and despite bowling four dot balls he also got hit for two fours and finalised his first over going for eight runs. Birley then bowled another another which went for just one run when Campbell returned to bowl a second over and went for seven runs not including a bye. The score then 49 for 3 in the twelve over of the game, Birley wrapped up his four overs finishing with figures of 1-12. Tom Putt replaced Campbell and went on to gain three wickets for 13 runs in his 3 overs. Ryan Shrewsberry later bowled two overs going for 15 runs for no wickets.
With one over to spare Topsham completed the scoring after batsmen number eight Cameron Robinson hit 2 runs off of his first ball to take the score to 86 for 6 off of a Josh Putt return to the bowling attack going for three runs in his final over.
So Bradninch defeated again but not completely overwhelmed as some smart innings from Birley getting 23 runs to his name, held two catches as well as a wicket, bowling very economically in his four overs. Buxton secured another run out to his name this season not to mention the eight runs that he scored which took Bradninch toward the total score of 84. Furthermore, Campbell also got 8 runs staying at the wicket for a long time in a moment of desperate needs as wickets were falling endlessly. Tom Putt also took three good wickets in his three overs, which also gave Bradninch a good victory but it unfortunately just wasn’t enough.
Following this narrow defeat captain Birley said,
“Unfortunately tonight we lacked the batting that is usually there in the top order. But for splendid innings from Campbell and Buxton who both got eight runs we would have been in a really bad position. However, I know that despite the fact the batting wasn’t there to see tonight, on Thursday we will come back stronger and hopefully get some more runs on the board. We all know what a good score is and tonight I thought we were a good twenty runs possibly more short of a match winning score. The bowling was not too bad, but we still need to improve on our line and lengths to really counter bowling too many wides.”