Topsham St James 2nds end the Cherries' unbeaten start
PUBLISHED: 13:28 20 June 2018 | UPDATED: 13:28 20 June 2018
Topsham St James 2nd XI travelled with some trepidation to the remote ground of the previously unbeaten Cheriton Fitzpaine, but ended the day replacing their opponents at the top of Division H East, albeit by only a single point and having played a game more.
It was, nevertheless, a victory to cherish, after a competitive game of cricket played in a good spirit.
Topsham’s young team got off to an excellent start, spearheaded by Louie Ferraro, who generated both pace and bounce taking 3-32 as the home side slipped to 39-4.
That only served, however, to bring together Jim Cutler and Jeremy Tricks, who wrested back the initiative in a fifth-wicket stand of 102, before Tricks was well caught to the ball after he reached exactly 50.
Nick Guscott added a few lusty blows, but the rest of the innings was dominated by Cutler, who increasingly took control and played some powerful shots on his way to a fully-deserved 77 not out. The innings closed on 215-8.
Topsham used eight bowlers in all, although nobody could match Louie Ferraro. Abhijit Bhaskharan and Jack Purchall were unlucky, but all the others – Jack Telford, Alan Peter, Maddy Ross, Jerin Tojy and Neil Shillabeer – took a wicket apiece. Alex Collins was again very impressive behind the stumps, until he injured a finger and was replaced very competently by Mark Ross.
The all-round team effort continued when it was Topsham’s turn to bat. Ferraro again led the way, but this time it was father Adrian who compiled a silky 53 in only 48 balls, before following the example of Jeremy Tricks and being out to the very next ball he received having reached his half-century.
He now has over 200 runs in three innings since starting the season with a golden duck! By the time of his dismissal, he and partner Alex Collins – thankfully able to bat despite his injury – had put together an opening partnership of 105.
Collins went on to record 55 runs of his own – after coming within an ace of being caught first ball he displayed an admirable temperament and an impressive range of shots.
Neil Shillabeer (19), Mark Ross (21) and Alan Peter, with another mature knock for 27 not out, all helped to keep the ship steady, leaving the Ferraros to top and tail the innings as young Louie came in to smash a huge winning six over long-on.
The most successful of the Cheriton bowlers was Jim Cutler, completing a fine all-round performance with 2-24, and there was a wicket apiece for Colin White, and Will Carr. Topsham St James took 19 points from the match, and already have 27 more than they managed in the whole of last season.