WALKHAM Valley Cricket Club entertained Grasshoppers from Wembury on a gloomy moorland afternoon. Grasshoppers batted first and got off to a steady start with the Coulton father and son combination.

J Coulton executed some fine shots and retired undefeated on 30.

Coulton junior was joined by Maltby who used the long handle to some effect, but was dropped four times, retiring on 31 not out.

Coulton junior was well caught by J Berry off Alistair Peers, and Lakey then produced a busy innings before falling clean bowled to Paul Gibbings.

The late order found runs difficult to come by and two perished to catches from J Berry?s bowling, leaving Walkham Valley a gettable total of 146, thanks to a combination of steady bowling by Tim Baxter, James Hills, Richard Berry and Paul Gibbings and some sharp ground fielding.

Gettable suddenly seemed impossible as Walkham Valley were reduced to no runs for two wickets in the first over of their innings.

Richard Berry and Jim Knight set about repairing the wreckage in businesslike fashion, taking few risks, but accumulating steadily, before Knight fell to catch by Thomason off Ashford?s bowling.

David Wilson then hit out effectively, but perished trying to emulate a spectacular six he had hit off the previous ball, falling for a meaty 15.

James Vincent then joined R Berry, and the run rate began to climb, before Vincent was caught in the deep for 17.

Tim Baxter and R Berry kept the run rate healthy, before Berry retired for a game-saving 30 not out, to bring his senior to the crease.

J Berry hit a sprightly 26 including two sixes in a hectic parnership with Baxter, before Berry was bowled by Horrex, leaving Baxter, Ray Spreadbury and young Gibbings to find a run a ball off the last three overs.

Spreadbury departed with the last over to be bowled and six runs needed.

Some frantic activity from both teams left the scores all square with one ball to be bowled, and Gibbings facing.

As damp squibs go, and in appropriate gloom and drizzle, Lakey?s completely uncharacteristic wide sealed the game for Walkham Valley.

Wellington, whose boots would have come in handy in the rain, would have called it a close run thing!