A thriller out of season’

PUBLISHED: 18:08 14 August 2008 | UPDATED: 11:00 17 June 2010

Sidbury v Newton Poppleford: On a day more suited to March and a pitch more suited to growing rice, Sidbury welcomed Newton Pop from over the hill for what turned out to be a close and thoroughly entertaining game.

Sidbury v Newton Poppleford: On a day more suited to March and a pitch more suited to growing rice, Sidbury welcomed Newton Pop from over the hill for what turned out to be a close and thoroughly entertaining game.

True to form, Bishop lost the toss and Newton captain Kenny Clay opted to field first. Tight bowling by openers Raistrick and Thomas, coupled with a wet outfield and the occasional hint of uneven bounce, made scoring difficult and the loss of a wicket was never far away.

Bishop was first to go for nine, wicketkeeper Clay taking a sharp catch off the bowling of Thomas. The same bowler also accounted for Stoyle (0) and Trawford for 23 to finish with 3-24 from his eight overs.

Nick Baxter was starting to look dangerous until Raistrick, in the last over of his spell, bowled him for 15 to finish with 1-24 from eight overs. Bill Gardner (6) and Ramesh (7) soon followed, one each for change bowlers Marsh and Stone, and a piece of running that would make Inzamam proud resulting in Hills being run out for one.

At this point, Sidbury were in trouble at 72-8. However, the tail wagged as Steve Bowler (10), Olly Derryman (12) and debutant Liam Kubazska (11*) combined some lusty blows with telepathic running between the wickets to push the score to a defendable 108 from 31 overs. Marsh finished with 3-24 from 7.4 overs and Stone 2-23 from his 7.

With the clouds threatening and tea not quite ready, a quick turnaround was agreed by both captains. Bishop knew that, in order to be in with a chance of defending such a total, Sidbury had to take a couple of wickets before tea, and demanded four! He nearly got his wish when he accounted for Last for a duck and Baxter struck in his second and third overs, removing Burton and Alsford for one and four respectively. Newton were 7-3 when captain Clay made his way to the wicket. In the gathering gloom he took little time to find his form and moved onto 20 by the time a heavy shower brought the players off in the ninth over for tea, with the score 33-3.

Clay set about steering his side towards victory, as he has done in more than one previous encounter. He was well supported by Alex Raistrick, until he was trapped lbw for nine, leaving Baxter with an excellent 3-13 from his eight overs.

One Raistrick replaced another as Clay was joined by Alex's dad Mathew. He proved just as difficult to get out and the two of them moved the score onto 57 before Raistrick became Steve Bowler's first victim of the day, when he was caught at backward point by Kubazska.

Clay then opened his shoulders and added 31 for the sixth wicket with Dave Jeffrey, moving his score past 50 in the process, before Jeffrey was caught by Baxter off Bowler with the score on 88. While the Newton captain was at the crease they were favourites but, at 92, he miscued a pull, straight to Baxter at mid-on, to give Bowler his fourth wicket.

Bowler finished his match turning spell with a maiden to give him 4-17, and eight of those runs were extras. With Sidbury needing two wickets and Newton 17 runs, the game could have gone either way.

It went Sidbury's when Mark 'Golden Arm' Stoyle bowled Thomas for one, and then took a diving catch at mid-wicket to dismiss Stone off the bowling of Bishop and give Sidbury their sixth victory from seven games this season.

By Mark Bishop

Sidbury v Newton Poppleford


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