Topsham St James are crowned champions of the Francis Clark, Devon League, F Division.

PUBLISHED: 10:10 08 September 2011

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Topsham St James travelled to Culmstock for the final game of their Francis Clark, Devon season knowing that a 17 point victory and they would be crowned F Division champions.

A flawless display from Topsham away to Culmstock earned them the F Division Championship, writes Ross Treleaven.

Adrian Miller attempted winning the toss for the Saints, but continued the standard run of form and Topsham were asked to bat on a lush green wicket. Tom and John Richardson opened the batting and were keen to get the score moving along immediately, Tom hooking a ball over fine leg for a big six and John taking five consecutive fours off one over. The father and son combination took Topsham past the 100 mark and both looked well set and untroubled. Tom was out to a quicker ball for an excellent 78 off only 73 balls including 12 effortless boundaries. John soon followed, looking to race Topsham past the 200 mark, being well caught in the deep.

Joe Thomlinson and Lee Solway now had the job of getting themselves set on a wicket which occasionally popped off a length. Solway was out with the Saints on 143 – 3. Charlie Penn hit a sumptuous straight six but was out attempting another ambitious swipe. The Saints were now 50 runs short of the minimum 200 they were aiming for. Thomlinson, however, batted smartly, taking quick singles and flaying the bad balls away to the rope. Ross Treleaven joined in with this and the rapid partnership took Topsham past 200. Thomlinson was then out when a ball popped and left him short of his ground, stumped down the leg-side for a mature 43.

Adrian Miller and Treleaven then added 9 until Callum Treleaven, on the field as a substitute fielder for the injured Baker, made good ground to catch his elder brother (something he probably enjoyed a little too much!), leaving Topsham about 20 short of their target. Dan Williams, missing a straight on,e meant Brian Jeary and Miller were left to get the runs. Miller, using good footwork, headed on to 18 before the Saints declared on 234 – 7.

The Saints now knew 9 wickets were between them and the title, but Culmstock were not to be underestimated. Some good timing and loose bowling meant Culmstock raced to 30 before everything happened at once. Popham, having played and missed during a Treleaven over, inside edged one behind and a scrambling Rhys Beauchamp dived forward to take the Culmstock danger man. The next ball Treleaven had another, rearranging Shepherd’s furniture leaving Treleaven on for a hat-trick his next over. Dan Williams completed the team hat-trick when Geach drove on the up to find Miller. Treleaven bowled Martin at the beginning of his next over to complete his hatrick. Williams not to be outdone then had Stickland caught by Jeary. Culmstock had now lost 5 wickets for 1 run to be left on 31 – 5.

Miller (the hero last time at Culmstock) took a wicket with his very first ball, Pyle shovelling a loosener to Brian ‘safe hands’ Jeary. Miller had another when Treleaven dived forward when a ball off a length was fended away. At the other end Joe Thomlinson, trying out body line bowling, hit Jordan in the unmentionables. He was out next ball, looking resigned to his fate, when Jeary held another. This left one more wicket to get and, after trying both Richardsons at the experienced John Gush, it was Callum Treleaven who finished off the innings with his first ball finding the hands of the skipper to ensure Topsham would be going up as the worthy Champions.

“This was a great all round display from Topsham. We were missing a few of our normal first team, but everyone stuck at the task at hand and finished off an excellent season in style. The Richardsons’ opening partnership was excellent as was Thomlinson’s innings at 3. Our bowling was top notch and fielding flawless with every chance being taken well.

We are the Champions and fully deserve to be. We will enjoy bringing back the first Silverware for Topsham St James 1st XI as well as our new challenge next season in the E Division.”

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