Topsham St James power to victory against Woodbury & Newton St Cyres

PUBLISHED: 19:48 17 June 2019 | UPDATED: 19:48 17 June 2019

Topsham St James bowler Brian Jeary in action at Bradninch. Picture STEVE BIRLEY

Topsham St James bowler Brian Jeary in action at Bradninch. Picture STEVE BIRLEY

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Topsham St James 1st XI returned to winning ways with a comprehensive and comfortable 148 run victory over Woodbury & Newton St Cyres.

Topsham St James bowler Ross Treleaven who took three wickets iin the win at Bradninch. Picture STEVE BIRLEYTopsham St James bowler Ross Treleaven who took three wickets iin the win at Bradninch. Picture STEVE BIRLEY

Topsham skipper Edd Kirby lost another toss, making it four from four when calling this season, and the Saints were put in to bat on a soft green wicket.

Openers Sapwell and Aiden Pring got off to a positive start, with Sapwell in particular looking to take the initiative away from the bowlers, and 50 was reached without mishap against the new ball.

However, the momentum changed once Sapwell was stumped off young spinner Daniel Alford, and the impressive spin duo of Alford and Becca Silk continued to keep the runs down and pick up wickets.

With Mark Phillips and Bobby East having followed Sapwell back to the pavilion, opener Pring took it upon himself to see off the spinners and allow the lower order to attack in the last 10 overs.

By the time Pring was run out, he and Ross Treleaven had put on a vital 60 runs and the momentum was back with Topsham. Despite some questionable scoops and reverse sweeps, Treleaven then continued his fine form at Woodbury with the bat, as for the second season in a row he saw the innings through with a half century, ending on 60 not out from 81 balls. The Saints had posted an impressive 184-6 on a pitch that was playing fairly slow and low and was not the easiest to accelerate the score on.

Buoyed by seeing the batsmen do the business, skipper Kirby took it upon himself to open the bowling and it paid off first ball as Woodbury & NSC opener Shenan Grossberg nicked the first ball straight into the safe hands of second slip Charlie Penn.

Boosted by the early wicket, the saints bowlers stayed on the front foot.

Brian Jeary bowled another economical opening spell, whilst also picking up the wicket of the other opener in the second over. The next three batsmen were all bowled by Phillips, Treleaven and East, as the rotation of the quicks worked a treat for the Saints as the opposition were left languishing on 26-5 after 20 overs and with no hope of a comeback.

It was then the turn of the spin attack to take centre stage, with the leg-spin duo of Nick Crew and Jon Sapwell, supported by the off-spin of Matt Williams. Crew was the first to strike, as he rattled through the lower middle order, taking three wickets in one over. The last of these was a 'pearler' of a leg break that beat the batsman all ends up and came two balls after East had taken a one-handed catch at short cover.

The tail was cleaned up by Sapwell, who used his guile and flight to tempt the batsmen into playing at his leg-spin, leaving both ruing their decision as they nicked to slip in the thirtieth and final over.

The win takes Topsham St James to within striking distance of third spot in the division and they will look to take the confidence from this win into the game against bottom side Upottery 2nd XI this Saturday (June 22).

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