Gutsy effort by Saints denies Honiton.

PUBLISHED: 10:36 10 June 2010 | UPDATED: 11:31 18 June 2010

TOPSHAM St James 1st XI, for the first time playing at home, this term, produced a gutsy performance to snatch a losing draw against Honiton.

TOPSHAM St James 1st XI, for the first time playing at home, this term, produced a gutsy performance to snatch a losing draw against Honiton.

Honiton won the toss and opted to bat first on what looked to be a good batting track.

It indeed proved to be one too as the visitors charged out of the blocks.

Kam Singh got the first breakthrough after persevering with a good line to the openers.

Matt Williams took a fine catch starting what was to be an excellent all-round safe-hands effort from the Saints.

Alex Sparkes also produced a piece of individual excellence with a sharp one handed return catch off his own bowling.

Honiton continued to bat well and, when they were on 193 for 3 it looked like it was going to be a long afternoon chasing leather.

However, Brian Jeary and Adrian Miller combined to give the two best bowling spells of the match reducing Honiton to 205-7.

There was another extraordinary catch, this time from John Richardson, who caught the visitors centurion, George Meadows, one-handed in the deep.

Sadly Saints were unable to finish off the visitors who managed to produce a half centurion before Kam Singh cleaned up the tail with the help of Ross Treleaven, whose wicket was indebted to a super leap from keeper Joe Thomlinson!

Facing a daunting 274, the Saints openers, Matt Williams and Tom Richardson, got them off to a great start reaching 46 before losing the first wicket.

However, wickets then fell quickly until Jonny Horne and John Richardson combined for an excellent partnership of 71 with Horne smashing a brutal 51 off 28 balls whilst Richardson continued to bat well for his 28.

In the end Topsham were left facing three overs with the last pair, Brian Jeary and Alex Sparkes, holding out brilliantly to earn the losing draw with Sparkes batting excellently for the second week running as the reply closed on 227-9.

On Saturday Saints visit bottom of the table side Culmstock.

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