Wednesday, August 14, 2013
On a warm and overcast afternoon at the Ottermouth, Budleigh Salterton II slipped to their second defeat of the Francis Clark B Division season when beaten by Alphington II.
Budleigh won the toss and elected to bat; 18 overs later, Alphington’s opening bowlers had reduced the home side to 61-7!
James Leat (75) was the only ‘recognised’ batter to make any runs.
Combining with a bullish tail, Leat led a superb counter-attack that ended with the home side posting a below-par first innings total of 152 off 36.3 overs.
After tea, Alphington’s openers made a steady start against the new ball; with the score on 45 and the ball beginning to swing, Chris Batten (1-34), found the edge and Dan Messom pouched the resulting catch via first slip’s left hand.
Sean Mills (2-14), Joe Marley (2-31) and Alex Richardson (1-16), then got into the action, their combined spells yielding a nap hand of wickets.
With the score on 104-6 it was suddenly ‘game-on’.
A middle-order stand of 34 steadied the ship for the visitors and, despite late wickets for Adam Jones (1-24) and Matt Murphy (1-26), Alphington knocked off the winning runs in the 40th over.
With so little runs on the board to defend, Budleigh will no doubt be ruing the 37 extras which it could be argued cost them the game.
With second and third placed Ottery St Mary and Sidmouth continuing to pick up victories, Ben Carter’s ‘band of brothers’ need to dig deep to pick up two more wins from the last three games of the season to guarantee promotion back into the A division.
On Saturday they travel to Plymouth Civil Service and Roborough whilst rivals Ottery St Mary host Sidmouth so Budleigh have a great chance to cement a promotion berth.
They head to Plymouth holding an 11 point lead over Ottery who in turn are eight points better off than Sidmouth.