Topsham St James beaten by a powerful Sidbury side that held some superb catches

PUBLISHED: 07:48 28 July 2020

Picture: Thinkstock

Picture: Thinkstock


A strong Sidbury XI was far too good for a young and inexperienced Topsham St James outfit, writes Mike Tracey.

The Topsham batting was led by stand-in skipper Adrian Ferraro, who looked completely in control before he fractionally misjudged an on-drive and was brilliantly caught by Ben Pollard - no fewer than four of the Topsham batsmen were out to catches of a quality very rarely seen at this level.

Dan Rees hit three fours in a somewhat unconventional 20, and the rest was down to the youngsters.

Topsham included five 14- and 15-year-olds, all of whom acquitted themselves well, even eliciting favourable comments from the opposition.

Reece Miles was perhaps the pick, calmly dealing with 35 balls and scoring 10 good-looking runs before becoming the victim of a wonderful catch by Dave O’Connor.

His only blemish was to unfortunately run out Billy Knightley, who was also batting calmly and competently, while Jeremy Tojy, Charlie Ferraro and Vedang Mandalia all looked the part and will undoubtedly score lots of runs in due course.

Unfortunately, this was not Topsham’s day, and the innings subsided to an all-out total of just 74.

The Sidbury bowling was impressively steady, captain Alex Paget leading the way with a fine 2-12 in his six overs. Josh Reed took 2-4 in three overs, and Chris Fitzhenry 2-16. The other wicket-takers were Barney Stone (1-20), and Dave O’Connor (1-7).

When Sidbury batted, Ben Pollard and Mark Bishop were rarely in trouble and were cruising towards a 10-wicket victory, reaching 74 without loss.

However, with one run needed for victory, Vedang Mandalia, who was bowling really well, got a superb off-spinner through Pollard’s defence to remove his bails.

Ed Chester then essayed a tame pull and Billy Knightley took the catch before Will Foster played two dot balls, and then smashed a boundary to settle the issue.

Vedang ended with a well-deserved 2-16. The other bowlers, Billy Knightley, Maddy Ross and Reece Miles all tried hard – Billy was the most economical, and Reece displayed good control, but the batsmen had given them too little to bowl at, and it was difficult to exert any real pressure.

Jeremy Tojy kept wicket capably, and could well be the answer to a perennial Topsham problem.

Sidbury took a full 20 points to Topsham St James’ three.

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