Phillips knock guides Topsham St James to victory in North Devon

PUBLISHED: 09:38 30 August 2018

The Topsham St James 1st XI Back row (left to right) Sheila Harding (Scorer), Alex Collins, Sam Warren, Matt Williams, Brian Jeary, Matt Garner, Mark Phillips. Front row (left to right) Tom Russell, Ed Baxter, Edd Kirby (Capt), Aiden Pring, Joe McShane.  Picture CONTRIBUTED

The Topsham St James 1st XI Back row (left to right) Sheila Harding (Scorer), Alex Collins, Sam Warren, Matt Williams, Brian Jeary, Matt Garner, Mark Phillips. Front row (left to right) Tom Russell, Ed Baxter, Edd Kirby (Capt), Aiden Pring, Joe McShane. Picture CONTRIBUTED

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Topsham St James 1st XI's final home game of the season was against Bideford 2nd XI, and, on winning the toss, the home skipper elected to bat first, writes Matthew Williams.

Jon Sapwell and Aiden Pring opened the batting in assured fashion, chalking up their second successive 50 partnership and seeing off the opening bowlers.

The Saints then lost four wickets for the addition of just 18 runs to slip to 87-4 with the impressive Martin Stanbury taking 3-27 from a full spell of nine overs.

Ian Powell and Matt Garner helped rebuild the innings, the latter hitting a typically pugnacious 31 off 28 balls.

Mark Phillips then took up the mantle with a fine 50 off 36 balls, including some excellent running between the wickets. At 163-7 things weren’t looking great, but Phillips batted with the tail, and particularly with skipper Kirby, to leave the Saints on 223-9 off the allocated 45 overs. Keith Berry was the pick of the Bideford bowlers, claiming 5-59.

This felt like a good score, and so it proved as Ross Treleaven and Brian Jeary kept things tight with the new ball.

Treleaven beat the bat regularly, but it was the wily Jeary who claimed the first three wickets to fall. When his spell was cut short by injury, Joe McShane entered the attack and claimed the next two wickets, with Bideford slumping to 46-5. Stanbury, Darren Willocks and away skipper John Weeks batted time in the middle, but Kirby turned to Phillips to clean up the tail. Bideford were bowled out for 114, Topsham St James winning by 109 runs and claiming the full 20 points. Phillips (3-3 off 1.4 overs), Jeary (3-16 off 5.2) and McShane (3-32 off 8.4), were the pick of the Topsham bowlers.

The Saints finish off their 2018 campaign by making the short trip to play Woodbury and Newton St Cyres on Saturday (September 1)

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