Pring hits Topsham St James 1st XI maiden half century

PUBLISHED: 19:32 30 August 2017 | UPDATED: 19:32 30 August 2017

Topsham St James 1st XI Back row (left to right) Sheila Harding (scorer), Mark Phillips, Brian Jeary, Dan Armstrong, Matt Garner,  Joe Embery, Charlie Penn. Front row (left to right) Sam Warren, Aiden Pring, Edd Kirby, Ed Baxter, Rahul Antony

Topsham St James 1st XI Back row (left to right) Sheila Harding (scorer), Mark Phillips, Brian Jeary, Dan Armstrong, Matt Garner, Joe Embery, Charlie Penn. Front row (left to right) Sam Warren, Aiden Pring, Edd Kirby, Ed Baxter, Rahul Antony

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Topsham St James were 148 run winners when they hosted Tiverton for the penultimate game of the Tolchards Devon League season, writes Dan Armstrong.

Home skipper Edd Kirby won the toss and on a reasonable looking wicket elected to bat first. Tiverton’s opening bowlers struck early, dismissing Matt Garner.

Dan Armstrong joined young Aiden Pring, dug in to hold at bay some impressive early bowling.

The pressure on the home side to increase the run flow was dramatically reduced when the visitors first change bowler dispatched for 33 runs in just two overs!

Pring and Armstrong’s partnership continued to grow, putting away the bad balls and ensuring the run rate never dropped below four. The score soon advanced over 100 and Pring bought up his maiden 1st XI fifty, much to the delight of his teammates on the boundary.

Soon after reaching the milestone, Pring was caught at midwicket. The pair had added 112 for the second wicket. Mark Phillips was next in, and out and that brought club chairman Charlie Penn to the crease.

Penn changed the momentum of the game and he and Armstrong took the home total past 200 with Penn registering his first half century since 2013. he was eventually out for 67, with the Penn and Armstrong partnership for the fourth wicket one of 123 runs, just nine short of the Topsham record set by Armstrong and Ross Treleaven at Buckland last year.

Ed Baxter joined Armstrong with Topsham seeking to lift the score to over 250. Sadly, with just deliveries of the innings left, Armstrong played around a straight full ball to depart for 77 and Topsham closed on 251-7, their highest total of the season and the first time they had batted out their full allotted overs batting first.

When Tiverton batted, Brian Jeary and Kirby opened the attack, with Jeary striking early with the run chase on 16.

Jeary then soon removed the other opener and he went on to send down a terrific full shift of nine overs that saw him return the splendid figures of 2-10.

The young guns, Sam Warren and Rahul Antony, came on as first change at either end and Rahul struck first, aided by a Jeary catch, before Ed Baxter took an impressive catch off Warren to leave Tiverton 63-5.

The Mid Devon men recovered a little before Rahul deservedly stuck again, this time hitting the stumps and, not to be out done, Warren struck immediately at the other end with Garner taking the catch. Armstrong and Baxter then came on to bowl, with the former picking up the final two wickets to bring the game to a close, with Tiverton all out for 103.

So a crushing win for the Saints by 148 runs, with some fine individual performances from a number of the Topsham St James players. Saints therefore signed off at Bonfire Field with a full 20 points and will travel to fifth place Honiton on Saturday (September 2) for the final game of the season.

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