Match from the past
All out for five! Is it a record?
UNDEFEATED Torquay clinched the Devon Senior League title in unforgettable style, bowling out red-faced Exeter St Thomas in a spectacular match for just five runs, the debacle taking 11.1 overs and 45 minutes.
Skipper Michael Goodrich revelled in the situation, taking seven wickets for four runs in 5.1 overs with his spin bowing. He was presented with the match ball afterwards when Torquay celebrated their third Championship win in five years with champagne.
Alan Smith supported Goodrich with three wickets for one run in six overs.
Torquay (6pts) scored 189 for seven, Barrie Matthews (69) and Gary Wallen (60) being the main plunderers.
Exeter St Thomas were up against it from the start, losing their openers for one run. The fall of wickets was 1-0, 2-1, 3-4, 4-4, 5-4, 6-4, 7-4, 8-4, 9-4.
Only three batsmen were bowled, one was held in the covers and the remainder caught behind or off bat and pad.
Exeter St Thomas captain Paul Fricker said: “I expected to wake up the following morning and discover it was just a dream. Instead it turned out to be a nightmare.
“It was simply one of those incredible things that happen in cricket. We really do not know why we could not apply the breaks on the slide?
“It was not crazy batting. Although we have lost one or two players, we had our strongest line-up and every batsman down to No.10 in the order has scored a half-century this season. It was just a day when everything went wrong.”
Goodrich commented: “It was a turning wicket and batsmen had to work hard for runs. Even so you would have thought someone would have knuckled down, but they all went completely.
“It was the same when we bowled out Paignton for 25 last month.”
The Exeter St Thomas scorecard read 0, 0, 1, 3, 0, 0, 1, 0, 0, 0, 0 not out.
Goodrich believes Torquay’s teamwork is as good as any in the Devon game.
“Winning the title bears witness to our all-round strength. Batting has been our great point. We have put sides in and chased runs comfortably.
“But it has to be said that our bowlers did better than expected in containing our opponents – and we got away to a fine start by winning our first six games straight off.”
Footnote: Torquay won the title without losing a game in 1976. They finished 24 points clear of Exeter at the top of the table – huge margin as a win was only worth six points then.
Wallen (55.70) topped the batting averages. Torquay team-mates Dave Traylor (47.43), Barrie Matthews (39.25) and Ray Tolchard (36.67) all featured in the Divisional top 10.
Goodrich had 66 league wickets in a 24 game season at 11.1 runs each. Smith weighed in with 40.
August 28, 1976