Tom Russell makes promising start for Topsham St James 2nd XI
PUBLISHED: 10:31 31 May 2018
The lack of acclimatisation which affects those unused to rarefied heights brought table-topping Topsham crashing to earth against a much more experienced Feniton outfit, writes Mike Tracey.
The home side contained only three adults, although the eight youngsters who made up the numbers all tried hard and produced some very promising performances.
Topsham batted first, and Mark Ross, in the unaccustomed position of opener, scored a useful 11. Neither of the other two adults contributed much, but there were some encouraging contributions from the youngsters.
Number three, and making his adult debut, 13-year-old Tom Russell played an innings of considerable merit, striking the ball well and not afraid to play his shots.
Indeed, the only poor shot he played led to his downfall, by which time he had notched up the second-highest score of the innings, 16.
Alan Peter, now 15, who has been playing adult cricket for a year or so, produced the best batting performance of the day, showing considerable maturity, patience and shot-playing ability to end up 23 not out.
There were brief cameos from Maddy Ross, Zack Chandler-Thorn, Dan Thornhill and Jasper Rockey, but the innings ended all too soon for a meagre total of 87.
For Feniton, the evergreen Stuart Bright opened the bowling and returned figures of 2-14 and there were good spells from Brandon Knight (1-13), young off-spinner Dan Mortimer (1-14) and Kev Brandon (2-2).
However, the star Feniton bowling performance came from Richard Kingdon, who fully deserved his excellent return of 4-19 from eight overs.
In the past, Topsham St James would have folded ignominiously after such a poor total, but this side is made of sterner stuff.
Stuart Bright opened for Feniton, and carried his bat for a steady 36, but he was the only one who batted with any confidence against a determined home attack. John Buckland smashed 13 off 11 balls, but nobody else reached double figures.
For Topsham, Jasper Rockey was unlucky, but Abhijit Bhaskaran bowled a searching spell that asked many questions of the batsmen, and deserved a better return than his 1-23.
Dan Thornhill bowled a couple of very promising overs to take 1-5, and Maddy Ross overcame a shaky start to bag 1-21.
The other wickets fell to Usman Sheikh, who took 2-13 and should, perhaps, have given himself a longer spell.
Feniton’s five-wicket win gave them 19 points to Topsham St James’ four points. Topsham still head the fledgling league table, but only by virtue of having played a game more than their nearest challengers. Feniton lie third.