Devon D West

Whitchurch Wayfarers v Chelston and Kingskerswell

THE return fixture against Chelston and Kingskerswell was always going to be a tight affair for the Wayfarers and so it proved. Having lost a game they should have won the previous week Whitchurch were keen to ensure that they made amends.

At stake was third place in the league. With a tougher run-in over the last two weeks of the season the home side had even more reason to gain points.

Winning the toss was vital and Whitchurch’s Ben Powell was more than happy to put the visitors in to bat on a damp track.

Bowling and fielding as well as they have done all season Whitchurch tried to make as much as they could of the conditions. The early wicket of Guest (4) helped but Waters (40) and Gregersen (48) dug in. Scoring at barely two an over the pair saw Chelston to drinks with 62 on the board.

Darren Sambells (1 for 13) tying up one end conceding a scant nine runs by this stage. Bowling equally well from the other end Towl (2-33) and Poole (2-21) gave nothing away and posed difficult questions for the batsmen. Their overs running out Chelston needed to press on and, inevitably, wickets started to fall. Waters was run out after a mixup.  Brenton (22) helped with the acceleration until he was well caught by Hall. Powell had to manage his bowling resources carefully swapping and changing while Chelston put the pressure on the fielders. Hodge (0-46) and Potts (1-38) felt that pressure and with Gregersen still there Chelston were going well. Poole pinned Gregersen lbw and the home side felt some relief. The remaining batsmen hunkered down to minimise the number of batting points they gave away. A daunting total of 151 was set for Whitchurch to chase.

The second innings showed no real improvement in the pitch. Towl (12) and Credicott (24) faced accurate bowling from youngsters Leighton (0-31) and Karssons (0-40). As with the first innings scoring runs was not easy. Drinks arrived with the home side on 50-2, both openers having departed.

When Hall (13) went with the score on 74-4 the omens were not good for Whitchurch. How would the fragile Whitchurch middle order cope under the pressure?

Captain Ben Powell decided to put himself in at number five and, in so doing, brought some steel to the spine of the innings. Playing with confidence and punishing the tiring attack his 61 not out was the innings of the day. Bob Powell (13 not out) joined his son at 101-6 and the pair put on a match winning partnership of 52 after an early run out scare.

Whitchurch took both 18 points and third place in the league and will be looking to maintain the same quality in their remaining two fixtures.

Whitchurch win.

n On Saturday Whitchurch first team are home to St Marychurch Old Boys; the seconds are away to Ipplepen thirds; on Sunday, a friendly against Tavistock Rugby Club; Monday, friendly Cornwall O50s.