Topsham suffer promotion damaging defeat at Ottery St Mary
PUBLISHED: 13:00 01 August 2019 | UPDATED: 13:01 01 August 2019
Topsham St James suffered a promotion damaging defeat when they went down by just 18 runs on their E Division East visit to an Ottery St Mary 2nd XI battling to stay in the division.
It was very much a case of 'snatching victory from the jaws of defeat' for Topsham who looked dead and buried at 181-9 chasing an unlikely 243 for victory.
However, their last pair had other ideas and took them to within 18 runs of success when the final ball had been bowled.
Topsham skipper Ed Kirby lost the toss and saw his opposite number waste little time in opting top bat first on a baking hot afternoon.
It was Ross Treleaven who made the initial breakthrough with the score on 19, but the Ottery second wicket pairing took them to 78 before the first of three catches by wicketkeeper Matt Garner gave Mark Philips a wicket.
From the on progress was steady by the home side to a close of 242-8 after 45 overs. There were two wickets each for Ross Treleaven and Mark Phillips (both returning identical figures of (2-48 from nine) and also two for Peter Hill (2-45 from nine).
Jonathan Sapwell and Aiden Pring launched the reply and they had taken the chase to 39 when Pring fell to a catch for a 22-ball 19. Sapwell was next to go, bowled for 23 and both Edd Kirby (23) and Ross Treleaven (0) were also back in the dressing room before the total had reached 100.
The fifth wicket saw 53 runs added by Peter Hill and Mark Phillips with Hill falling for 26, but a flurry of wickets then seemed to end any hopes of a visiting success as they slipped to 147-8. Matt Garner and Charlie Penn took the total to 181, but when Garner fell for 11, Topsham were still 63 runs shy of the finishing line. Charlie Penn was joined by last man Brian Jeary and they began to chip away at the required total, seeing their side first beyond 200 and then into the 220's, but the overs were running out and, when the final ball had been delivered , the Topsham reply was 19 runs shy of what would have been a remarkable victory.
So disappointment for Topsham who stay fourth and sit 20 points behind third placed Uplyme & Lyme Regis.
With just five points separating Topsham from eight placed Bideford 2nds, there are sure to be many more twists and turn s over the last five matchdays of the season.
in what is now a congested battle for the third promotion slot.
On Saturday (August 3), Topsham host a Bradninch side that sits one place and two points below them in the table.