Last wicket drama sees Newton Poppleford lose against Erratics
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Newton Poppleford’s stuttering starts to the 2019 season continued despite the heroics of all-rounder George House.
On winning the toss Erratics, elected to bat and efficiently began compiling a score.
A flat-looking wicket appeared to offer nothing for the opening bowlers C. Davis and M. Tett and they both finished wicketless at the end of their opening spells.
Erratic openers D Chave and F Chave continued to score steadily and a big score to chase looked likely.
Louis Adey was unfortunate to see D Chave edge wide of slip early in his spell before his struggles to control the swinging ball brought his spell to a premature and wicketless end.
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George House meanwhile was proving a real challenge to the well-set opening pair.
Bowling with only four men in front of the wicket such was his control over the batsmen his figures of eight overs, three maidens, one wicket for 10 runs were the clear stand out bowling performance of the day.
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The wicket of D Chave (46) bowled from the final delivery of his spell was much deserved.
The introduction of Leigh Adey to replace son Louis suddenly brought a real wicket-taking threat.
His first over could have seen three wickets as he beat the bat with seeming ease but ended wicketless as two close stumpings were turned down and an edge went straight to ground.
Leigh was to get his reward for a fine spell (eight overs, one wicket for 35 runs) when he bowled opener F. Chave for 28, with a fine delivery.
Veteran spinner T. Cox replaced House and after two expensive overs was perhaps lucky to be given a third before finding his rhythm and bowling B. Abrahams (23) and limiting Erratics scoring.
Forth batsman B. Pullan had time to amass a powerful half-century before Erratics innings closed on a respectable 204 for 3.
At the turn around, Newton Poppleford were hopeful of a chase having reached much bigger scores on many occasions. However, perhaps they were a little too confident!
The Poppleford innings was soon in disarray as the Erratics opening bowlers B Youngman (4 for 24) and R Gutha (2-40) ran through the top order.
At 4-24, K. Clay and T. Cox steadied things briefly but when they both fell in quick succession and Leigh Adey followed without scoring 'The Popp' were in ruins at 42 for 7.
A quick end seemed likely but there was still batting talent to come and the real drama of the match to unfold.
The fall of Clay and Adey Senior brought the youth of all-rounders G. House and Louis Adey to the wicket and the pair began to build a partnership with maturity and skill.
They clearly didn't think the match was over.
A partnership of 62 took the score past 100 before Adey (35) who now looked well set surprised everyone by mistiming a pull and being caught.
House was now joined by opening bowler C Davis and although still requiring 100 to win, the form of House was providing some hope.
Sensing it would take him as senior batsmen to take control he passed 50 with controlled aggression, striking one six on to the pavilion that would grace any highlights reel.
Davis with the score on 125 having supported House with the real sense.
House was joined by Tett who also showed a good judgement of the match situation running well to support House who was now dispatching all bowling to the boundary with authority.
As the score closed in on the Erratics total and House closed in on a century spectators and players alike began to consider an improbable outcome.
Just as it seemed that House would snatch the win the final twist was to unfold. Another fine blow from House carried within reach of Erratics D. Chave in the deep, who making ground took an outstanding diving catch to win the match before being engulfed by his teammates.
House was left distraught at the crease on 94, Newton Poppleford falling short of victory by just 12 runs.
Thanks go to club scorer Sonya Adey and Richard Sommers for his scoring technology. The club also thanks match ball sponsor Potburys Funeral Service.