Topsham St James so nearly defend low total in Bonfire Field ‘thriller’

The Topsham St James wicket keeper and slip cordon during the game at Bradninch. Picture STEVE BIRLE

The Topsham St James wicket keeper and slip cordon during the game at Bradninch. Picture STEVE BIRLEY - Credit: Archant

Topsham St James were edged out in a low-scoring affair at their Bonfire Field home with visiting Bideford, Littleham and Westward Ho! Departing with a two wicket win.

After losing the toss and being put in, Topsham St James lost opener Matt Williams - bowled by the third delivery he received.

The score was soon 41-3 as Aiden Pring (7), Nick Crew (2) and Mark Phillips (13) were all returned to the pavilion.

Just five runs were added as three more wickets; Ed Baxter (1), Ross Treleaven (6) and

Bobby East (0) all fell.

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The eighth wicket partnership almost doubled the score with Ryan Miszka (22) and Tom Russell (9), but the tail was unable to 'wag' for long as the home side were bundled out for 91 in 34 overs.

It was Connor Nash who did the damage for the North Devon men, finishing with figures of 6-22 from nine overs.

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That low home score was so nearly sufficient to win the game as Topsham St James showed once again what a tidy all-round bowling attack they have. Just a week after they combined to bowl Bradninch out for 59, the Bonfire Field bowlers so nearly defended a sub 100 score - with Bideford, Littleham and Westward Ho edging over the winning line with two wickets to spare!

Ross Treleaven set the tone for an exciting end to the game as he claimed a wicket with the very ball of the innings.

A Mark Phillips inspired run out was followed by a Bobby East catch off Treleaven and suddenly the visitors were 21-3.

They doubled their tally before Treleaven struck again. However, the fifth wicket partnership tipped the balance back in favour of the visitors, but, when wicketkeeper Aiden Pring held a catch off Mark Phillips, the reply was 72-5.

It was soon 72-6 with Phillips again the wicket taker, but then an 18 run partnership for the seventh wicket saw the visitors to within two runs of victory. However, there was to be another twist as catches by Ed Baxter and Ryan Miszka gave wickets to Tom Russell and Phillips to leave the reply 90-8, but they edged home to take the victory leaving the home side beaten by the narrowest of margins. The bowling honours were shared by Mark Phillips (3-20) and Ross Treleaven (3-32).

On Saturday (June 15), Topsham St James, who sit third bottom, make the short trip to Woodbury who will start the game sitting one place and one point above them in the table.

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