Overs to spare

The glorious spring sunshine heralded the start of the Newton Poppleford CC season and, after the previous week’s loss to a good Yarcombe side, it was the Erratics who were next up down at the recreation ground, writes Richard Coombs.

These two sides are always evenly matched and, when Captain Kenny Clay won the toss and put the visitors in, and with the wicket offering something to both bowler and batsman, another close encounter was on the cards.

Erratics started cautiously, but were soon one down when Alex Raistrick took a smart catch off the bowling of Zak Thomas. The same bowler struck again, finding the edge for Kenny Clay to pouch behind the stumps.

George House bowled well from the other end for no reward and, when these two finished their spell, Erratics started to accelerate with Ferro, in particular, looking very comfortable.

The visitors had moved on to a respectable 71 for 3 at the half way stage after Matt Raistrick had removed Kirby for 26, but it was Alex Raistrick who ripped through the middle order, taking three wickets in two overs with Tom Clay`s catch at gully standing out.

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Ferro had proved imperious and, with partners running out, he had to hit out.

Clay turned to the part-time bowling of Cardwell and Coombs and it was the latter who profited with three quick wickets, with Zak Thomas making a tremendous catch in the covers.

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Kenny Clay produced two smart stumpings and the Erratics finished on 137 all out, with the disciplined Ferro carrying his bat for 78 not out.

Newton opened with Coombs and Alex Raistrick and these two soon found the bowling to their liking with Coombs, in particular, punishing anything loose.

With Alex content to support, Coombs continued scoring heavily, but, after passing his half century in only the 10th over, he was judged lbw for 51.

James House joined Alex Raistrick and these two seemed to take the game away from the visitors until the spin of Thompson threatened to cause an upset.

He bowled House for 11, had Tom Clay caught without scoring and then bowled Kenny Clay for 1 to cause some anxiety for the hosts.

But with plenty of overs to spare, Alsford joined the commanding Alex Raistrick and these two ensured the victory, with the latter finishing 57 not out and a five wicket win for the hosts.

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