Topsham St James were 12 run winners when they came up against Whimple in an Under-14 game.

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Topsham openers Jim Shepherd and Fraser Chave made a steady start against an accurate home attack, but wickets began to fall until, at 44 for 5, captain Alex Davison was joined by Inder Singh.

Together they set about the Whimple bowling and put on 57 in just six overs to give Topsham a respectable total of 101. Both batsmen remained unbeaten, with Davison on 23 and Singh on 42, a knock which included nine 4s.

Topsham St James’ chances rested on keeping the wides and no balls well below their recent record, and the bowlers responded to the task.

Vice captain Tom Sage led by example, bowling his four overs for just 10 runs without conceding a single extra! At the other end Ryan Darke made the breakthrough with his first ball and went on to take two more wickets.

Inder Singh followed up his batting display by taking 2-18 and Jim Shepherd spun his way through the middle order to claim 4-30.

His figures were dented by an exciting late rally from Whimple, but in the end the home side ran out of batsmen and finished nine short of their target, with Joe Beauchamp and Darke taking the last two wickets.

Saints coach Malcolm Shepherd said: “What a difference bowling straight makes! Eight Whimple wickets were clean bowled and we conceded just eight. Compare that with the 28 we shipped just four days before in our defeat at Heathcoat!”

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