Williamson's restraint gets Tipton back on track

Following a night of heavy rain, Tipton welcomed All Saints CC to their rain-soaked playing fields on Sunday.

Following a night of heavy rain, Tipton welcomed All Saints CC to their rain-soaked playing fields on Sunday.

Skipper David Birch lost the toss yet again, which now seems an essential part of the pre-match ritual, and was relieved to be asked to field, given the absence of several key batsmen.

His feelings seemed justified when he broke through himself in the second over, having All Saints skipper Fraser Wallace caught behind by Dave Dawson and then clean bowling Trott in successive balls.

At the other end, Paul Williamson kept an immaculate line and length, conceding only three runs in his first five overs. Birch gave way to Mark Channon after 10 overs with the score on 19-2 and the left armer soon struck when he induced the remaining opener, J Wallace, to miscue to Phil Wright in the covers.

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At the other end the young, in-form left-hander Seward was beginning to establish himself with a series of well-timed boundaries and runs began to flow more freely.

Wright struck again when his smart direct hit ran out Wells-Burr, bringing Keylock to the wicket and the start of All Saints' most productive partnership: 43 from 10 overs. Then, in what turned out to be a match-turning moment, Matt Williamson took a brilliant running catch off Dave O'Higgins to dismiss Seward for an excellent 63.

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Wright was in the action again when he bowled Cole, reducing the visitors to 108-6; one run later another direct hit, this time from Paul Williamson, accounted for Keylock for 25.

Dave James, Tipton's visiting Cornish vice-president, came into the attack and tied up one end while Birch returned at the other to claim two more wickets to finish with 4-19.

All Saints' final total of 128 all out appeared within Tipton's range, but the experimental opening partnership of Dawson and O'Higgins was soon broken when O'Higgins was bowled without scoring.

Dawson followed shortly, run out chasing a second run, and Tipton were back on their heels at 5-2. Matt Williamson and James set about repairing the damage - cautiously at first, scoring barely a run an over: the watchful James faced 36 balls before scoring. Then Tipton breathed more easily when Williamson struck a six, flat and low, to the longest boundary. From here, he noticeably gained in confidence and moved easily on to 26, when he was bowled by Seward hitting across the line with the score on 58.

Mark Rigden joined James and the pair added 11 before Rigden, too, was bowled by Seward.

Paul Williamson, under strict instructions to curb his normal cavalier tendencies, helped the innings gain momentum while James began to bat more freely at the other end, following a number of close calls. As the target drew nearer, the scoring rate increased as singles became more available and the pair gained in confidence.

They reached the last over with two needed for victory: James took a single to claim a well-deserved and hard-fought 50 and bring the scores level, then Williamson, who finished on a well-paced 32 not out, struck a straight four to secure a tense six wicket win with three balls left.

Yet another close match had gone Tipton's way in the closing stages, with this tenth straight win bringing the season's total to 20 victories from 25 matches.

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