Ups and downs of Tipton cricket

Tipton enjoyed mixed fortunes last weekend, with an exciting last-gasp victory over tourists Cublington and a thrashing at the hands of near neighbours Whimple, writes David Birch.

On Saturday, skipper Jim Bugler invited Cublington to bat first on damp wicket and was rewarded with tight opening spells from John Rodgers and Mark Channon that yielded barely a run an over for the first eight overs. Then Rodgers retired injured from the fray and Cublington began to make headway, reaching 64 for the loss of two wickets, courtesy of Channon and Dave O’Higgins, from the first 20 overs.

The visitors tried to accelerate but were pegged back by tight bowling and the fall of wickets at crucial moments. Bugler and Phil Wright claimed two each and Tom Birch took two good catches as Cublington finally reached 175-6.

Phil Tolley with 92 saw Tipton home, receiving good support from Dave Dawson, John Williamson and Justin Quick before the innings seemed to founder on 125-4 with only 10 overs left. Tolley was joined by Bugler, whose flashing, Zorro-like blade finally began to make contact with the ball. Tolley was stuck at one end for most of the last three overs, but some telling blows from the skipper saw Tipton home with two balls to spare. Tipton will wish to forget their first visit to Whimple in 15 years. 164 all out was always likely to be insufficient on a flat wicket and so it proved. Tolley again top scored with 78 and there were useful contributions from Steve Shaw and Chris Tubbs, but Tipton’s total was chased down in a mere 16 overs, thanks to a brutal innings from Ben Silk (43) and Chris Palfrey (61 not out). Alex Tubbs took the only three wickets to fall, one courtesy of a great catch by Channon at square leg. At one point, Palfrey was well ‘caught’ on the boundary by Wright off skipper David Birch, but the honest fielder owned up to a foot just touching the line. It probably wouldn’t have made any difference....

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