Topsham St James win well at Axminster

PUBLISHED: 14:05 16 May 2018 | UPDATED: 14:05 16 May 2018

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Topsham St James were six wicket winners when they travelled to Axminster to play a Tolchards Devon League E Division East fixture, writes Matthew Williams.

Skipper Edd Kirby won the toss and elected to field. Ross Treleaven and Mark Phillips opened the bowling, with the former picking up the early wicket of Dylan Hurst.

The bowlers continued to keep things tight and, following Phillips’ opening three-over salvo, Kirby turned to the pace of Brian Jeary. Karl Hurst and Paul Miller built a solid partnership for Axminster, before Delieveroo’s rider of the month, Joe McShane, delivered two fantastic deliveries – one to entice Hurst to play onto his stumps and a sumptuous out-swinger which Max Felgate nicked through to wicket-keeper Matt Garner.

Things took an unfortunate turn for Axminster when, having made his way to 50, captain Miller retired hurt with an injured hamstring.

The Saints continued to field well, and in his second spell Phillips removed David Field to leave Axminster 96-4.

Joe Elsworth came on and stroked the ball well round the field, including a couple of big hits, before Axminster lost another wicket – Jeary taking an early catch-of-the-season contender to remove Bradley Conway. A spot of spin from Charlie Penn continued to keep the run-rate low, and Axminster closed on 170-6, which, at the interval, looked a below par score.

Topsham St James opened with Aiden Pring and debutant Jon Sapwell. Both played the new ball well, putting on 45 for the first wicket before Sapwell missed a swinging delivery and departed for 22.

Narender Dhayal came in at number three and, having moved the score to 78, was lbw to Felgate.

Phillips came to the crease, and he and Pring began to put pressure on the fielders and rotated the strike before Pring played a soft shot, hitting the ball to silly-mid-off to be out for 34.

Treleaven and Phillips continued to play sensibly, offering very few chances and pressuring fielders into mistakes with hard running. Victory was in sight for the Saints when, with just one run required to win, Treleaven feathered an edge through to the keeper having made 36 off 39 balls.

Phillips remained not out with 44 off 57 balls, but the honour fell to Chairman Charlie Penn to calmly strike the winning run, leaving Topsham winners by six wickets, claiming 18 points to Axminster’s six.

Skipper Kirby said: “It was a good all-round team performance. The bowlers didn’t give anything away, but our ground fielding and running between the wickets were what made the difference today.

“This puts us in good shape for our first home game against Honiton on Saturday (May 19).”

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