Topsham St James 2nd XI maintain 100 per cent start to league campaign

PUBLISHED: 21:44 20 May 2019

Clyst St George 2nds at home to Clyst Hydon 2nds. Ref exsp 21 19TI 5306. Picture: Terry Ife

Clyst St George 2nds at home to Clyst Hydon 2nds. Ref exsp 21 19TI 5306. Picture: Terry Ife

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Topsham St James 2nd XI maintained their 100 per cent start to the season with a comfortable win against nine-man Exwick.

Opting to bat, Topsham started well, with Maddy Ross, a reluctant opener, hammering 23 off only 20 balls.

Neil Shillabeer played a sensible supporting role, but after he was out for 19 Topsham displayed their well-known ability to collapse!

The wicket lacked pace, with some variable bounce, and the outfield was slow, but the middle-order batsmen did not cope well with the conditions, and only young Tom Russell (14) reached double figures.

Fortunately, for the second week running, two lower-order youngsters, Dan Thornhill (17 not out) and Rhys Norman (19 not out) displayed a maturity beyond their years and showed their elders how it should be done, batting out the overs and running exceptionally well between the wickets. Topsham eventually totalled 123-8, which was not good, but could have been much worse.

The Exwick bowlers stuck well to their task. Seventy-nine years young, Rehann Caryl, was a model of accuracy, using all his experience to take full advantage of the conditions. He finished with 1-14 from his eight overs. Rudi Ellis (1-24) and Lee Kulec-Elston (1-14) were also very economical, but the star of the show was Rhyan Jenkins, who took 3-17.

Unfortunately, the Exwick batsmen could not match the efforts of their bowlers. Experienced opener Paul Mackie batted with total composure to compile 40, but at the other end it was carnage, with numbers two to eight contributing 11 runs between them. Rhyan Jenkins and Paul Diamond both hung around tenaciously, but it was only Rehann Caryl, last man in, who looked capable of achieving anything, and he was 11 not out as Exwick eventually subsided for a total of 89.

The wickets were shared equally by four Topsham bowlers, who took two apiece. Captain Jack Telford led the way with 2-19, while Rhys Norman again looked the part with 2-18. The youngest player in the side, Tom Russell, outshone everybody with 2-7 from 5 overs of skilful off-breaks, although the ball of the day - indeed, of the season - was the sharp in-swinging yorker with which Maddy Ross (2-17) got rid of danger man Rudi Ellis.

This Saturday (May 25) Topsham St James 2nd XI travel to face Countess Wear 2nd XI.

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