Tipton somehow snatch defeat from the jaws of victory in penultimate match of cricket season

Tipton’s players will look back ruefully on their penultimate match of the season against Seaton and wonder how they contrived to lose it from a position of almost total dominance, writes David Birch.

Chasing a modest 117 and coasting along at 70-1, a home victory seemed a formality.

Openers Justin Quick and Dave Alford had mastered the tricky, damp conditions and a lively bowling attack.

They had amassed 56 at five runs an over when Alford perished on 25 to be followed by Quick for a confident and fluent 33.

Even so, with the prolific Phil Tolley in at four, there seemed to be no cause for alarm until Tolley was bowled third ball by a grubber. Panic began to set in when Chris Tubbs quickly holed out and Michael Dawson ran himself out, but even on 74-4 Tipton should have been home and dry.

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When Steve Shaw skied one once too often, and with the innings hopelessly becalmed, Joe Birch gave Tipton brief hope with a six and two fours in successive balls, leaving the tail to try and scratch its way across the line. Phil Wright nurdled manfully to 10, but Tipton were still 6 runs short with only Dave O’Higgins to come: alas, the veteran spinner could only spoon his first ball to mid-off and a fine opportunity was lost.

Earlier, Tipton’s cause had been hindered by dropped catches as Seaton’s openers proceeded calmly to 51. Then Shaw’s devastating spell of bowling returned 4-11 and dismissed Seaton’s first four batsmen in the space of 10 overs. Wright then claimed four of his own, with David Birch and Alford chipping in with one each, as Seaton collapsed as ignominiously as Tipton did later, except for those precious six runs which in the end made all the difference.

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