Topsham St James 2nds sunk by Axminster

PUBLISHED: 08:48 24 August 2017

Picture: Thinkstock

Picture: Thinkstock


Topsham St James’s second eleven signally failed to emulate the first team’s thrashing of Axminster and, indeed, managed to reverse the scenario, losing by a massive 128 runs, writes Mike Tracey.

This was, of course, nothing new for Topsham, who have yet to win a game this season, and they must have suspected the worst when the father-and-son Hurst pairing put on 78 for the first Axminster wicket, in spite of the tightest Topsham bowling of the season.

When 14-year-old Dylan Hurst was out for 29, the floodgates broke, as skipper Andy Layard smashed 58 off only 41 balls.

Karl Hurst could not match that rate of scoring, but he did reach an excellent 94 off 109 balls before being run out just as the innings closed on 237-5.

All the Topsham bowlers suffered to some extent. Skipper Usman Sheikh bowled his first five overs for just five runs, but then went for 37 off his remaining four.

He did at least have the consolation of a wicket, as did young leg-spinner Maddy Ross and even younger seamer Jasper Rockey, the steadiest of the lot, who had 1-33 in his nine overs.

Two other youngsters, Rahul Antony and Alan Peter bowled encouraging spells without reward.

When Topsham batted it was an all too familiar story. They did manage to break the hundred barrier, but not by much, closing on 109 all out. Clare Pym played some good-looking shots at the top of the order, and Paul Robins hit three beefy fours, but the only other batsmen in double figures were number 10 Jasper Rockey with 13 and number 9 Rahul Antony with 24 not out. Both batted with a maturity well beyond their tender years, and Rahul in particular looked capable of much greater things.

The other batsmen tried hard, but the Axminster attack was just too good.

Dylan Hurst opened the bowling as well as the batting, and proved his value with 2-8 in just under seven overs. All six bowlers took at least one wicket, the pick of them being the captain’s son, Ali Layard, with 3-26, and yet another youngster, Jenny Poole, with 2-16.

Full points then to Axminster and another week at the bottom of the league for Topsham St James.

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