Flurry of late runs sets Tipton pulses racing

For the first time in many years, Tipton visited the idyllic ground at Killerton to play Broadclyst on Sunday and finally emerged victorious from a match which both sides could have won, writes David Birch.

Skipper Birch won the toss, chose to bat and was dismayed to see stroke-makers Alec Pace and Steve Shaw back in the pavilion with only 11 on the board, courtesy of the difficult swing and seam of opening bowler Weatherhead. They were followed shortly by Jem Gillham and Robin Pickering, leaving Phil Tolley holding on grimly at the other end with the score on 22-4 after 12 overs.

At this point Dave Dawson joined Tolley and the pair contrived one of the most dramatic turnarounds in Tipton’s history. They batted watchfully until drinks, then launched a superb counter-attack, which saw Tolley bludgeon an increasingly ragged attack into eventual submission as Tipton finally reached 200-4.

Tolley’s 149 not out included 13 fours and 10 sixes but Dawson’s dogged, unbeaten 27 was equally vital in building a platform for the bowlers in a fifth wicket record partnership of 178.

Broadclyst began strongly and had reached 61 before Shaw struck twice in the same over to remove both openers, courtesy of a catch by Paul Williamson and a neat stumping by Dawson.

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The hosts hauled themselves back into the game, adding another 62 before Dave O’Higgins also claimed two in one over, to mark his 76th birthday from the previous day. Two overs later, Phil Wright performed the same feat and the game looked safe.

However, a quick flurry of runs had Tipton hearts beating anxiously before Pickering and Channon claimed a wicket each, leaving Broadclyst 22 runs short of their target on 178-8.

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This was a hugely enjoyable match, undoubtedly the first in what is hoped will be a long series between two sides who clearly share a similar approach to friendly cricket.

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