Tipton’s unwanted hat-trick

Tipton’s fine start to the season ended with three consecutive defeats last weekend, all to touring sides, writes David Birch.

On Saturday, Golden Fleece successfully chased down an under-par 153-6, thanks to a stand-out innings of 102 from opener Gibson.

For Tipton, Phil Tolley top-scored with 45 but, despite innings of 32 and 26 from Steve Shaw and Robin Pickering, the home side failed to assert themselves enough to set a demanding total.

Steve Shaw’s excellent 4-15 and wickets from David Birch (who finally trapped Gibson lbw), Phil Wright and Pickering made a game of it, taking the tourists to their last wicket, but the visitors eventually won with six overs to spare.

Monday’s visitors were Southgate Compton, one of the strongest visiting sides each season. Tipton did themselves no favours with a poor 107 all out, after John Rodgers had got the innings off to a good start with 31. Tail-enders Birch and Mark Channon contributed a useful partnership of 24 to take the innings towards respectability, but it was never going to be enough.

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However, Tipton showed fight in the field and three wickets from Wright, two from Birch and a tight spell of 1-9 from Rodgers succeeded in delaying the inevitable as Southgate cruised to a four wicket win with all of 12 overs left.

The worst batting performance was reserved for Tuesday’s encounter with Swindon United Churches, who have never beaten Tipton in 12 years touring. Davids, Dawson (28) and Alford (18) put on a comfortable 43 for the first wicket and Pickering seemed well set with a confident 21. Then a succession of impulsive and injudicious shots sent the innings into free-fall from 76-2 to 98-8, when Birch joined Tolley to rebuild matters with an unbeaten partnership of 78 in 10 overs, a Tipton record for the ninth wicket. Tolley’s 75 not out was as good an innings as he has played all season, but the final total of 176-8 was not enough. Churchs’ reply never fell below five runs an over. Tipton made early inroads, but were unable to break an 88-run sixth wicket partnership.

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