1st XI

Top of the table with one to play!

by: stephenbirley


With one matchday to go Bradninch 1st XI sit TOP of the Tolchards Devon League Premier Division and, with second placed Heathcoat just two points behind, it means that the final game of the season, between Bradninch and Heathcoat, at Kensham Park next Saturday (September 3), is now a ‘winner-takes-all’ title decider!

The final away game of the league season took Gary Chappell and his team to Plymouth and, with the side travelling post match to a base in Basingstoke where they are in National T20 Cup action on Sunday (August 28) – it was a case of a mini-bus, driven by Jonny Reed, taking the team to Plymouth and then on up to Basingstoke.

Plymouth very kindly agreed to an 11am start for the penultimate league game of the top flight season and it was the home side that won the toss and asked Bradninch to bat first.

Gary Chappell and Tom Piper launched the Ninch effort, but the skipper fell when on seven from 23 balls faced and he was replaced by Ross Acton.

Acton and Piper then took a look at what the home bowling had to offer before the pair upped the anti, adding 114 runs before Acton fell for a 77-ball, six boundary 44. 142-2 was quickly 146-3 as Piper succumbed, but not before he had hit two sixes and a dozen fours in a superb 106-ball 86.

Mitch Pugh, who had come in at two down, was joined by Eliot Acton and they added 19 before, with the score on 185, Acton became the fourth wicket to fall, trapped leg before for a 12-ball 14. Chad Classen was next man in – and out – but he scored a quick-fire nine-ball 18 and, when the South African was out, Ninch were 209-5. Ankit Badwal was next in, and he had scored and eight-ball 15 when he holed out to leave Ninch 236-6.

With the score on 241, Mitch Pugh then fell for a 46-ball 38. Charlie Sheen joined Dan Hardy and the pair saw the team to the fifth batting point before, with the total on 261, Sheen fell for a nine-ball 12. There was to be one more wicket lost, that of Josh Farley, bowled for a three-ball two leaving Dan Hardy as the not out batsman on 12 with NInch closing on 265-9 after their 50 overs.

Peter Lojszczyk was the star of the home bowling effort with figures of 4-55 from 10 overs while Jerome Bossr had 3-45 from seven and Sam Stein returned figures of 2-46 from eight.

When Plymouth started their reply they found it very tough going against the pace and control of Chad Classen and Ross Acton with the latter’s first four overs yielding just a single run!

Classen struck first, knocking over the stumps of Teddy Haffenden with the Pymouth opener scoring a 29-ball 15.

It was soon 32-2 with Jerome Bossr caught behind by Darren Paul off the bowling of Charlie Sheen and when Gary Chappell bowled Jonathan Varoce for a nine-ball six and Josh Farley had a wicket thanks to a smart stumping by Paul to see and end to Tom Hughes for an eight ball duck, Plymouth were 51-4 and, just nine runs were added before the home side had half their side back in the pavilion with just 60 runs on the board with Sam White caught and bowled by Gary Chappell for an 11-ball seven.

It was soon 83-7 with Josh Farley trapping Sam Stein leg before for a three-ball five. The eighth wicket held up the Ninch charge, but, with the score on 111 (good old ‘Nelson’) – Charlie Sheen clean bowled Peter Lojszczyk for a 20-ball 18.

Just one run was added before it was nine down with Fahad Ali caught by Tim Piper to give Sheen a third wicket.

The final act was for opener Oliver Parsons, who had carried his bat throughout, facing 86 balls for his one boundary 22. But, to the 87th ball he faced he was bowled by Mitch Pugh for Plymouth to be all out after 34.2 overs for 117.

Charlie Sheen took the honours in terms of the returns with his being 3-15 from three overs. Josh Farley also claimed three wickets – his figures were 3-45 from a full shift of 10 overs while That opening salvo from Ross Acton saw him end with figures of 0-5 from five overs. Chad Classen’s return was 1-14 from six while skipper Gary Chappell’s figures were 2-26 from nine. Mitch Pugh sent down an over and two deliveries for his 1-5.

So, with Heathcoat defeating morning leaders Sandford, the 2022 title will be decided at Kensham Park on Saturday, September 3 – be sure not to miss it!




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