Signed off for season

Tipton CC finished their season on a high note with what, in the end, turned out to be a comprehensive victory over south Devon visitors Harberton. Skipper David Birch lost the toss yet again, but was not displeased to be asked to field first on another damp, soft wicket in overcast conditions which were likely to suit Tipton’s seam attack.

So it proved with Birch and Jim Bugler immediately reducing the visitors to 0-2, with Phil Tolley successfully juggling a mistimed drive off Bugler for his 13th catch of the season and, at the other end, Birch deceiving Gornall with a slower ball. When Birch clung on to a low caught and bowled chance, Harberton were in desperate trouble on 14-3 with 10 overs already gone.

Shearer (42) and Tobias (43) then repaired much of the damage, putting on a defiant 80 for the fourth wicket before Steve Shaw and John Rodgers claimed a wicket each and stemmed the scoring rate at the same time. When Shearer went, Tobias began to run out of partners and was stumped by Dave Dawson off Dave O’Higgins, who claimed another victim quickly, this time caught by Dawson. Birch returned with two more wickets, finishing with 4-14 from eight overs, leaving the visitors with an under-par 114-9 after 40 overs.

Tipton’s reply began badly when Keith Collins spooned a catch to cover; Ed Bugler looked comfortable until he was caught playing too early and Jem Gillham played a brief cameo which featured a couple of leg side boundaries. When Steve Shaw joined Tolley, Tipton were on 47-3 and were beginning to ease comfortably to their target when Shaw (17) gloved a lifting delivery to the keeper.

Harberton’s bowling became more hostile and the fielding sharper, yet the reassuring figure of Tolley was there, as he has been so often this season, to guide Tipton home with a match-winning 69 not out, ably supported by Rodgers.

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Another season drew to a close on a welcome positive note, following a catalogue of cancellations due to weather and the unreliability of some opposition sides. The final tally: won 13, lost 17, tied 1, cancelled 20 and two abandoned.

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