Topsham St James 2nd XI well beaten by Woodbury & Newton St Cyres


- Credit: Archant

The geographically-challenged merger of Woodbury and Newton St. Cyres is apparently proving very successful, writes Mike Tracey.

It certainly triumphed on Saturday, bringing table-topping Topsham St James 2nds crashing to the ground in no uncertain fashion.

Woodbury batted first, and veteran John Quicke exemplified their approach.

He did not score a run, but he faced 22 balls and sold his wicket dearly.

At the other end Simon Vicary rattled up 21 in 26 balls and was beginning to look very dangerous when he was brilliantly caught by Jasper Rockey off the bowling of skipper Jack Telford.

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That served to bring in George Jarman, who must have thought it was his birthday. After an unsteady start, he feasted on a glut of half-volleys and half-trackers, using his considerable strength to lever three massive sixes, two of them to the longest boundary on the ground. He added no fewer than 26 fours, and, hardly ever playing a shot for a purist to purr over, reached his century in 58 balls, and ended on 162 not out.

Whatever it looked like, it was a match-winning innings par excellence. The only other person to get a look-in was skipper Andy Cork, who contributed a gritty 39 to a fifth-wicket partnership of 173. The innings closed on 252-6.

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The Topsham bowlers will be happy to forget all about it, although the two Jacks, Telford and Purchall, did come out of the carnage with three wickets apiece.

In Purchall’s case, two of them were due to neat catches behind the stumps by brother Will, pushed into a capable debutant stint as keeper when there was nobody else prepared to do the job.

When Topsham St James batted, it was as if the bad old days of last season had never gone away. Adrian Ferraro was again looking good when he feathered a catch to the keeper for 21, and Usman Sheikh contributed his usual quota of hits and misses to register 33.

The only other score in double figures was 28 by Jasper Rockey, who showed his elders how it should be done, although he will score a lot more when he learns to judge a run. For the rest it was a pretty dismal display – under-14 Dan Thornhill must have wondered what on earth he had let himself in for. It was the maturity and skill of the team’s under-15 contingent that was most missed.

No fewer than four of them were unavailable, and Topsham badly need them back again if they are to recapture the heady performances of earlier in the season.

For Woodbury, George Jarman took 2-19, Jack Withers 2-46 and Ivan Brown, 1-20.

The star, however, was very young off-spinner Ollie Brealy, who kept a good length, turned the ball, and thoroughly deserved his figures of 3-9, ensuring that the home side subsided for 110.

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