Tipton's weekend double

Tipton's excellent start to the season continued with two victories last weekend to make it five wins from five matches so far.

Tipton's excellent start to the season continued with two victories last weekend to make it five wins from five matches so far. Saturday's visit of Erratics saw skipper David Birch lose the toss and be invited to bat first. Openers Dave Dawson and Phil Tolley did all that was asked of them in building a solid partnership of 78 from 18 overs. When Dawson was trapped lbw for a resilient 18, Tolley and Robin Pickering put on a further 68 in only 12 overs, with Tolley in particular ruthless on anything short. When he fell for a commanding 86, Tipton seemed in a great position to push on beyond 200, but Pickering and John Williamson were kept in check by the quick and accurate Ferro. When he removed Williamson, Jim Bugler struck a quick 20 to take the total to 181-4, with Pickering 32 not out at the end.Birch opened with the youthful attack of Adam Gibbins and Alex Tubbs, who both bowled sharply, if a little erratically to begin with. Within a few overs, however, both had settled well and Tubbs was rewarded with the wicket of Brunt. At 45-1 Birch turned to Dave O'Higgins and Paul Williamson, who brought a measure of control, not only conceding just 48 from their 16 overs but also crucially removing the visitors' middle order. Williamson's 3-14 seemed to have turned the game decisively Tipton's way and when Birch followed up with two quick wickets, it looked all over on 112-9.The opener Ferro was still there, however, playing a measured and controlled innings and, with dogged support from number 11 Thomas, took Erratics to within 16 runs of victory with two overs left. The mood in the field and among the spectators was tense, to say the least, by the time Birch brought himself back and bowled Ferro for 97 as he tried to hit across the line, leaving Tipton narrow winners by 14 runs with an over to spare.On Sunday's visit to Tedburn, Tipton put themselves in a commanding position with 237-3, thanks to an excellent stand of 92 for the second wicket between Dave Jessop (52) and Steve Shaw (26), who for once was content to play a solid supporting role after the early loss of Justin Quick for five. Phil Tolley and John Rodgers, both not out on 62 and 46 respectively, appeared to have made the game safe with a dominant and controlled partnership of 117 from the last 16 overs.Tedburn's reply was orchestrated by Rich who took the attack to the bowling with a quick 52. But Tipton's persistence eventually reduced the home side to 165-9 by the close, 72 runs short of their target. Skipper Paul Williamson was delighted with the contribution of all his bowlers: Gibbins' opening spell returned the excellent figures of 1-23 from his eight overs.O'Higgins and Williamson himself claimed two wickets each - the latter recovering impressively from a first over which conceded 20 runs - to finish with two wickets for 41 including the dangerous Rich. Phil Wright bowled a controlled spell which yielded 1-29 and Rodgers chipped in with two wickets at the end. Shaw took two catches and Wright contributed a run-out in a good all-round fielding performance.

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