Sidmouth III beat the rain and see off Bradninch II in last over thriller

Sidmouth III came out on top in a thrilling contest at Newton Poppleford where they eventually defeated Bradninch II by two wickets in the final over of a contest hit by the weather, writes Stephen Birley.

The match began in glorious sunshine and Sidmouth III skipper Graham Munday won the toss and wasted no time in asking the visitors’ to bat.

Keith Biggs and Wes Holmes were given the new ball duties and Biggs struck in his third over to break up the young Bradninch opening duo. Biggs bagged a second wicket three overs later to send the other opener back to the dressing rooms. Bradninch then mounted a fight back, adding 58 for third wicket which was ended by a Munday catch off the bowling of Daley Holmes.

Young Jordan Fowler was next into the wicket taking action, nailing the first of three victims aided by a Louis Biggs stumping. Skipper Munday picked up two wickets in quick succession and Fowler bagged two more thanks to catches by Bruce Robson and Byron Knowles – the latter had earlier produced a stunning athletic stop in the covers to stop a certain boundary. As storm clouds hovered and thunder rumbled Wes Holmes came back to bowls and claimed his first wicket – he deserved more for the way he bowled – but just one more delivery was sent down before the players sprinted for cover as the heavens opened!

With Bradninch 132-9 after 42.3 overs tea was taken early and play did not resume for another 90 minutes.

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Once the run chase got underway batting proved to be difficult – as was bowling – in the damp conditions. However, Dave Watkins stood firm and got the home side off to a solid start, losing his wicket only after he had top scored with 41 and, on his departure – third man down – Sidmouth were 54-3 with the revised target of 88 in 29 overs very much in sight. Wickets tumbled as the Bradninch spin duo of Luke Wrightson and Will Birley sent down a dozen overs between them for just 21 runs, but Daley Holmes, batting at number five, stuck around and the winning runs were scored with an edge over gully to bring up a two wicket win with three balls remaining.

Keith Biggs, with four, was the other not out batsman at the close.

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With the visitors arriving without an umpire it was left to Ian French to officiate at both ends. The Newton Poppleford resident recently turned up to watch a game and offered to umpire for the team and he officiated in excellent fashion.

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