Fifteen teenagers in action as Topsham St James defeat Kentisbeare II

PUBLISHED: 08:09 11 August 2020 | UPDATED: 08:09 11 August 2020

Clyst St George 1st team at home to Honiton 1sts. Ref exsp 24 19TI 6463. Picture: Terry Ife

Clyst St George 1st team at home to Honiton 1sts. Ref exsp 24 19TI 6463. Picture: Terry Ife


There were eight teenagers in the Topsham St James II team and seven playing for Kentisbeare II, all of whom contributed to an entertaining and thoroughly enjoyable game when the sides met in Mid Devon for a Devon League game.

A cricket ball on the scorers table.A cricket ball on the scorers table.

The fixture was played at the quaintly named ‘Tale Miller’s’ ground, a venue that is some way from the beaten track, but it is well worth the effort of finding it – a pastoral idyll, with a stream to one side and an extensive farm complex to the other.

The wicket was perhaps a touch lively, but never dangerous, and the sun shone brightly all afternoon – what more could any cricketer desire?

Topsham St James won the toss and stand-in skipper Maddy Ross, herself still in her teens, had no hesitation in offering Kentisbeare the opportunity to warm themselves with a little gentle bowling. What she probably did not expect was that no fewer than nine of them would do so! For the Topsham batsmen it was primarily a day for nudging and nurdling against some generally accurate bowling, with a slow outfield limiting the number of boundaries.

The side’s two wicket-keepers, Alex Collins and Jeremy Tojy, batted for longest, but the highest score came from Dave Miles, who does not normally expect his duties to extend beyond acting as chauffeur to his son Reece.

On this occasion, however, he hit four fours in an innings of 18 at better than a run a ball.

Even quicker was Jasper Rockey, making a welcome return to the side, who hit three fours in a ten-ball 14, while Morgan Maynard was not far behind, finding the boundary three times in eighteen balls for a score of 16.

After his fine innings the previous week, young Morgan had been promoted to number ten, and at this rate he will soon be opening the batting.

Alex Collins was the only other batsman in double figures with 13, and the innings closed with one over of the allocated 35 remaining, and 119 on the board.

The star turn for Kentisbeare was undoubtedly Seth Findlay, who thoroughly deserved his 4-23 from six good overs.

Not far behind was young Tom Kittow, who bowled beautifully to take 3-6 in only four overs, while Jacob Lewis had 2-19 and Joe McQueenie 1-17.

Kentisbeare also fielded two wicket-keepers, Zara Maynard and Cam Dennis, both of whom bowled tidy spells without reward.

There was some debate over tea as to whether or not the Topsham total was a good one in the conditions, but it soon became clear that Kentisbeare were finding batting no easier.

They suffered the early loss of Jacob Lewis, caught behind by Alex Collins off young Reece Miles, who opened the bowling with his leg-spin and proved an inspired choice.

Cam Dennis (14) then joined the only non-bowler in the side, Justin Gillett (19) in the largest stand of the day (36), until Katy Baylis got one through Gillett’s guard and rattled his middle stump.

After that Topsham always felt they had a slight edge, and so it proved.

There were brave knocks from Connor Findlay (16) and Zara Maynard (10), while skipper Rory Dennis (positively antediluvian in this company!) also contributed 10.

It was not enough, however, and Kentisbeare’s 10-man team were all out for 95, leaving Topsham winners by 24 runs, a much larger margin than had seemed likely for most of the day.

Topsham allowed a mere seven bowlers to exercise themselves, but they did so to good effect.

Katy Baylis was the pick of them, ending with 3-16, and posing the batsmen quite a few problems.

The two openers, Maddy Ross and Reece Miles, deservedly had two apiece, for 15 and 14 respectively.

Jasper Rockey took 1-10, and the other was a run-out, neatly executed by Reece Miles. Morgan Maynard and Simon Curran both bowled well without reward, and there was a very promising debut performance by Sam Luddington.

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