Topsham St James 2nds battle well against table toppers.

PUBLISHED: 12:59 25 July 2013 | UPDATED: 12:59 25 July 2013

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Archant

With the temperature touching 30 degrees, Topsham St James 2nds were not looking forward to pitting their much-weakened bowling attack against the might Halberton & Sampford Peverell II, the leaders of the division.

In the event, Halberton scored quickly, but obligingly got themselves out at regular intervals, to give Topsham their best haul of bowling points so far this season. The innings ended with a declaration, at 227-9, after only 35.3 overs, the main contributors being Dan Tolley with a hard-hit 52, and young Josh Curtis (32). Six other batsmen got into double figures, but failed to reach 20.

The most successful Topsham bowlers were Rudi Ellis (3-37) and Giles Darch (3-60). Giles also held two good catches, one of which was the highest steepler seen this season. Other wicket-takers were John Elms (2-62) and Neil Argyle (1-17), whilst Dom Collins and 15 year-old Tom McShane bowled well without reward. Another youngster, 14 year-old Aiden Pring, did well behind the stumps in difficult conditions for keeping. Anne Le Brocq, making her debut for the 2nd XI, was the pick of the Topsham outfielders.

When Topsham batted they found it difficult to score quickly against good, accurate bowling. Mike Davison (22) and skipper Mike Tracey got the innings off to a steady start, but rather too slowly for the home team’s peace of mind. Tracey anchored the innings with a solid 71 and, whilst he and Rudi Ellis (43) were together, there was some hope that the rate could be accelerated sufficiently.

When they were both out within a short time of each other the demands on the remaining batsmen were just too great, despite the best efforts of Saad Choudhary, with a well hit 23. Topsham St James closed on 197-5, agonisingly short of the final batting point, but having given a good account of themselves against very strong opposition.

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