Birch celebrates 300th wicket

End of successful season

Saturday’s game against Clyst St George saw acting skipper Dave O’Higgins win the toss and elect to bat on a fast and dry wicket.

Openers Phil Tolley and Dave Jessop raced to 44 from six overs before Jessop was dismissed for 18 and Steve Shaw soon followed, the victim of a fantastic diving catch at point. However, Dave Alford and Chris Tubbs steadied the innings, the latter scoring 29 and providing a period of much-needed support for Tolley. Despite a tumble of wickets in the last five overs, an impressive 20 not out from Dylan Jessop saw Tipton go in for tea having posted 232, including another century from the prolific Tolley.

An aggressive start from Clyst’s opening batsmen was soon snuffed out by Jim Bugler, whose bounce and late away swing earned him three wickets in his first spell. A further mix up between the wickets and a fine piece of fielding from Matt Williamson left Clyst St George reeling at 55 for 4. Despite a composed half century from White, Tipton’s bowlers scythed through the middle order, with a four wicket haul for Alford complimented by two superb catches from Dylan and Dave Jessop. Tipton finally bowled out the home side to leave them victors by 59 runs with two overs to spare.

l Sunday’s home game against touring side Mount Ambrose proved to be much tougher. Bowling first on a slow wicket, Tipton’s opening bowlers failed to make much impact, despite an early wicket courtesy of David Birch, his 300th for the club. Mount Ambrose took full advantage of the helpful conditions, bringing up 100 in the 15th over, their opening batsman Johnson striking several beautifully timed sixes in a magnificent, unbeaten 153. It took the introduction of Phil Wright and John Rodgers to stem the flow of runs and exert some pressure on the batting side which eventually collapsed to 207 all out, with the returning Birch finishing with 4-27.

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Tipton began their reply shakily, losing Dave Dawson in the second over for a duck, followed shortly by Kevin Jones for four. Jem Gillham looked confident and was batting with some style, before he, too, was bowled for eight. Once again, it took the experience of Rodgers to save Tipton from collapse, joining Tolley to bat through to the end for an unbeaten 54 in a partnership of 164.

Tolley’s 132 not out was his 11th century of the season and guided Tipton to 208-3 and what at one stage had seemed an improbable victory.

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