SIDMOUTH 2ndXI snatched an unlikely one-run win over Alphington in a gripping Ivor Dewdney’s-sponsored Corinthian Cup final at Bovey Tracey.
Sidmouth’s total of 121 for six looked pretty modest by the standards of modern T20 cricket – and Alphington knew it.
Tom Clay, Anthony Griffiths and Ed Hurley (29) all got into the 20s, but no one went on.
Alphington opener and captain Matt Taylor went along at close to run-a-ball rate for his 63, which got Alphington down to the last three overs needing 16 to win with seven wickets in hand.
Taylor had put on 50 with Ian MacDonald (27) and 37 with Nick Halse, who made eight at the other end.
The turning point was the penultimate over from Sidmouth’s Isaac Thomas, which only cost three runs and included the big wicket of Taylor, who jabbed a catch to Miles Dalton and short mid-off.
Youngster Jordan Fowler had the pressure of bowling the final over defending a lead of six and he did not disappoint.
Tom Bath and Al Davey could not get the big hits in they needed and got down to the last ball needing three to win, which effectively meant hitting a four.
Davey and Bath scampered a single to Sidmouth skipper Anthony Griffiths, who got everything behind it to avoid a potentially costly fumble in the field.
Alphington could not understand how they lost from the position they were in – and winning skipper Griffiths was close to agreeing with them.
“They needed 16 to win off 18 balls with all those wicket in hand and Matt Taylor batting really well,” said Griffiths.
“The second to last over was the big one and when Isaac bowled a wide first ball I feared it was not going to be our day.
“Three balls later Isaac got Matt out, but it still looked a stiff ask for us as they needed no more than a run a ball.
“Seven to win off the last over and Jordan Fowler bowls the over of his life.
“When they did not hit a boundary in the first five balls, they had to do it from the last one as it is almost impossible to run a three.
“Luckily, the ball came straight at me and I made sure it did not go through my legs!”
Griffiths said the bowlers deserved huge praise for defending such a low total, but he also had a batting pat on the back to hand out.
“It was not easy scoring runs on that pitch as there was not much pace and very little bounce,” said Griffiths.
“Ed Hurley’s 29 was immense for us in the context of a low-scoring game and he also got runs in our semi-final win over Plymstock.”
Hurley top scored with 32 in the semi-final and shared in a stand of 56 for the third wicket with Griffiths (30). Plymstock gave away 35 extras, which included chucking down 26 wides, in Sidmouth’s total of 149 for five.
Jason Williams top scored for Plymstock with 43 in an all-out total of 96. Dalton, the senior player in the Sidmouth team, took four wickets for nine runs from four overs.
“Those are impressive figures in any type of cricket, never mind T20 when batsman are trying to smash bowlers all over the place,” said an admiring Griffiths.
Taylor had been among the runs for Alphington in the morning semi-final against Sampford Peverell & Tiverton.
Alphington made 162 for two in the first semi-final, Taylor was second out for 77.
Sampford Peverell & Tiverton were in with a shout 10 overs into their reply as they were 69 for two with Lee Hooper and James Mayes well set.
Hooper (43) went on 88 and by the time Mays fell for 52 with three overs to go the game had got away.
Sampford Peverell & Tiverton were 128 for six when the overs ran out and lost by 34 runs.
Sidmouth 149-5 (E Hurley 32, A Griffiths 30, I Thomas 22; R Cunningham 3-26), Plymstock 96 (J Williams 43; M Dalton 4-9, T Seldon 2-9, I Thomas 2-15). Sidmouth bt Plymstock by 53 runs
Alphington 162-2 (M Taylor 77, M Halse 28, I MacDonald 23no; S Read 2-26), Sampford Peverell & Tiverton 128-6 (J Mayes 52; L Hooper 43; M Halse 2-20, W Pring 2-26). Alphington bt Sampford Peverell & Tiverton by 34 runs.
Sidmouth 121-6 (T Clay 20, A Griffiths 21, E Hurley 29; J Heaver 3-20, W Pring 2-28), Alphington 120-4 (M Taylor 63, I MacDonald 27; I Thomas 2-26). Sidmouth bt Alphington by one run.