Devon C West

Whitchurch Wayfarers firsts

WHITCHURCH travelled to Abbotskerswell last Saturday as the team enter their last five games sitting joint third from bottom. Abbotskerswell won the toss and decided to bat against Whitchurch, the team against whom they scored 405 in the previous meeting between the two sides.

Wayfarers’ openers bowled well up front with little reward. Charlie Barriball had Mitchell dropped behind off the first ball of the innings and there were several other half chances the opener gave but he managed to ride his luck early in his innings. After a few streaky shots though Mitchell began to score freely while fellow opener Harmer looked solid and did not give a chance.

Whitchurch eventually got the breakthrough when Harmer top edged Bone to Billy Barriball at mid off and the score was 80-1 from 13 overs. Towl and Bone began to get a grip on the home side though and when Towl bowled Mitchell for 67 with a ball that came back into the right-hander Whitchurch began to squeeze the home batsmen. Towl picked up his second wicket when Birt cut the ball straight to point and the score was now 119-3.

Williams and Hill’s partnership of 50 gave the lower order the chance to kick on at the back end of the innings. Billy Barriball came back on for his second spell and picked up three wickets, including Williams and Hill for 32 and 28 respectively.

Tobias hit a quick fire 23 not out towards the end of the innings and guided the home side to 236-9 from their 45 overs.

In reply, Whitchurch got off to a poor start. Billy Barriball and Towl opened the batting and looked assured at the crease but when Billy Barriball was bowled by Small-Boyce for nine Whitchurch’s batting was exposed.

Ben Powell, Charlie Barriball and Ben Hodge all fell without troubling the scorer and Whitchurch were looking down the barrel at 30-4.

Bone and Cotter steadied the flow of wickets but Cotter was superbly stumped off the bowling of Adams for 6. Bone and Alford tried to pick up as many batting points as they could with the bottom of the table becoming increasingly tight. Bone eventually fell for 29 with the score 98-8.

Whitchurch were dismissed for 118 but picked up six points from their defeat, which may prove to be important come the end of the season.