Newton Poppleford and Tipton contest 'Ice Cold Derby' to launch new season
PUBLISHED: 10:14 03 May 2018 | UPDATED: 10:14 03 May 2018
Bitterly cold temperatures are something that every village cricketer expects at the start of the season.
The first game of the 2018 campaign was certainly no different as Tipton made the short trip across to Newton Poppleford for a 40-over contest, the opening match of the new term.
Newton Poppleford, without regular opener Isaac Thomas, who was playing in a warm-up game for Sidmouth, won the toss and skipper Kenny Clay took the opportunity to put some runs on the board first. Without Thomas, opening duties fell to George House and seasoned opener Antony Cox.
Tipton, by their own admission, had struggled to field a full 11. Chloe Adey offered to play for Tipton to ensure an even number of players on both sides.
The Tipton bowling attack set to their usual nagging line and length, assisted by a slow, low, early season pitch. When Cox found the boundary in the first over with a luscious off drive, signs were good for the home side.
The long winter was finally over, though you wouldn’t have known if you’d been shivering on the side-lines!
Cox was the first to fall for 28 when a mistimed drive was pouched at deep mid-on.
Chris Anning, the next man in, struggled with the lack of pace in the pitch and fell soon after, chipping to teammate Leigh Adey, who had replaced daughter Chloe in the field.
Popples veteran Richard Coombs was the next man in; a player with a knack of performing against Tipton. Whilst his fellow batsman struggled with the lack of pace and the wily bowling skills of the likes of O’Higgins, opener House kept his head to reach his half century. At the other end, Coombs was showing his experience in dealing with the pitch and the bowling, striking the bad ball well.
House, rather uncharacteristically, managed to clear the boundary twice, once over mid-wicket and then over deep mid-off. With his score on 66 from 88 deliveries and the total 120, House departed to a catch.
Captain Clay came to the wicket and he was unbeaten on 10 at the close with Coombs falling for 41 from 66 balls. Louis Adey was the last wicket to fall when he had five runs to his name and the Newton Poppleford innings closed on 185-7.
Post tea, Newton Poppleford went out to field in a temperature that was barely five degrees!
However, the temperature did nothing to Ross Chatwood’s fielding ability when the first ball of the Tipton innings was prodded to him at mid-on and the non-striker misread his team mate’s intentions!
A direct hit from Chatwood had Tipton one wicket down after just one delivery of their innings! The rest of the first over was less eventful as Ben Stone, who took the new ball from the Pavilion end, struggled to get grip in the cold temperatures.
Chris Davis started from the River end and had more luck, picking up two wickets, including one which jagged back and clean bowled a bemused batsman!
A change of pace in the form of Ross Chatwood from the Pavilion end did not produce a wicket, although he bowled well and can consider himself unlucky.
The cold weather meant some sharp chances went begging and Tipton were gifted a lifeline.
Louis Adey replaced Davis from the River end and started with a tight line. Louis’s bowling continues to be one of the most frustrating yet ultimately rewarding elements of his game!
Adey Jnr picked up three wickets including a masterfully delivered off stump yorker and a delivery that kissed the leg stump, dislodging the bail much to the batsman’s dismay.
Probably the unluckiest player of the day was Leigh Adey. Having found himself trapped leg before without troubling the scorers, he was thrown the ball in the final passage of play.
In total, Leigh had no less than four chances dropped or missed of his bowling. It was left to Richard Coombs and Antony Cox to do the damage and finish the game for Newton, with the winning margin being 61 runs.
The win marks the 15th consecutive win for Poppleford over local rivals and is a great start to the club’s 40-over year.
Special thanks to all those who provided teas, to Sonia and the Tipton scorer for their efforts in the cold, to Tim Alsford and his camera skills capturing the game’s highs and lows and to those who helped get the ground ready for the first Sunday game.