Devon C West

YELVERTON first XI took their first victory of the season, as they came out on top of a thrilling match away at Stoke Gabriel.

The Bohemians decided to bat first and made a steady start, as the home side bowlers tied down the openers.

The visitors went into drinks after 22 overs on just 64-2. James Casey (32) was then caught behind off Jack Tolley (4-35) in the first over back, and a few more cheap wickets left the Bohemians in a spot of bother at 79-5.

The game was turned on its head by the next partnership however, as Steve Colmer (42 off 39) and Geoff Brain (72 not out off 81) increased the run rate with some fluent stroke-playing.

The pair put on 86 for the sixth wicket, taking the score to 165-6. Brain continued on to the end in fine form, hitting two sixes and helping Yelverton reach 202-7 off their 45 overs.

Stoke Gabriel’s chase got off to the worst possible start when star batsman Jack Tolley teed up a catch for Tim Baxter off the bowling of Sam Crompton in the first over.

However, the home side were still in control early on thanks to a 50-run partnership for the second wicket. They managed to reach 109-3 and were looking good until Sam Crompton (3-38) and Rich Townsend (4-32) came back onto bowl after drinks.

The pair took three quick wickets and reduced Stoke Gabriel to 118-6, who were now massively on the back front and in need of a partnership.

Andrew Kingdon (77) and Neil Robinson (27) provided exactly that, as they played measured innings to take the home side all the way up to 189-6.

With just 14 runs required and four wickets in hand, the game looked over but Yelverton refused to give up the fight.

Crompton and Townsend were brought back on for one last spell, and Townsend soon picked up the crucial breakthrough, dismissing Robinson.

Another wicket for Townsend followed, and then Steve Colmer (2-26) picked up the big one, as Kingdon edged one through to keeper Frazer Reed.

Stoke Gabriel were now 191-9 and relying on their number 10 and 11 batsmen to score the final 12 runs.

Three wide balls in the penultimate over from Ben Grove sent Yelverton heart rates through the roof but then Andy Ball chipped one to point, where Townsend took the catch and gave Yelverton victory by four runs.

The finish was evidence of Yelverton’s never give-up attitude, which has kept them going through this incredibly tough season. A number of close games have gone against them, so this win was richly deserved.