Topsham St James II were well beaten in their final outing of the 2012 Francis Clark Devon League.

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When the University pitch was under water on Wednesday, it looked as if Topsham St James might be facing a third consecutive cancellation, writes Mike Tracey.

Good drainage and some excellent work by groundsman Paul produced a remarkable transformation, although, with the benefit of hindsight, Topsham might have preferred the cancellation!

Turning out a much-weakened side, with only ten men, was a recipe for disaster against a Halberton side still in with a chance of promotion.

Topsham’s chances were not improved when Chris Coles completed a remarkable season’s record of having won every toss, and inserted his hosts. From the first ball, Topsham found it very difficult to get the ball away, and they crawled to 103 all out in 45 overs.

Only the evergreen Dave Vranch exceeded 20, just, as he registered a score of 21, while six Halberton bowlers shared the wickets, with Adrian Salter, young Josh Kallaway and Daniel Coles, after he had given up the wicket keeping gloves, taking two apiece. When Halberton batted, things seemed much easier as they raced to 104-2 in only 18.3 overs. Dave Vranch and John Elms (combined age 139 – if only they could have scored that many runs!!) took a wicket apiece, but the best bowing by far came from young Joe McShane, 7-1-15-0, who had also showed some fine shots when batting. Daniel Coles, Brian Chilcott and Andy Crossman all made batting look easy for Halberton, who took 20 points to Topsham St James’ 2.

Despite this setback, Topsham finished the season in good heart. After not winning at all in 2011, they played positive cricket and won six times this year, to set against seven defeats, and not a single draw. Hopes are high for 2013.

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