Home Scorecard Photographs
From the Jaws of Defeat

It was fortunate, despite the late end the previous night, that a 7.30am call was made for breakfast as the Little Chef adjoining the Travelodge was under staffed much to the scorer’s annoyance. She had to do with a bacon bap as the ferry was reached on time. Not the clear crossing that has been so evocative in the past but it was evident that the 100 over contest would be competed for in more high temperatures. Ferry times were foolishly discussed, much to the annoyance of Tim Piper and Ventnor gave the side their normal typical warm welcome. With the advent of a new purpose built ground at Newport this might be one of the last trips up the  very attractive coastal route from Yarmouth for the twenty-ones.


An easy warm up with some stiff limbs, it was uncertain whether Alex Trevarthen would be able to take part. It is a huge advantage to have your own qualified physiotherapist in your team but not so good when he makes his own diagnosis. For the second day he watched Devon in the field and to then make a telling contribution with the bat. As always Piper was right, Porter read correctly and on winning the toss the Island side batted. The progress made by the Isle of Wight Cricket Board over the thirteen years that we have been visiting. Their new centre has been the catalyst in this development, let us hope that the Devon Centre at Exeter University will have the similar effect of pushing forward Devon cricket.


A par score at this ground is around 240 so the home side were two below par despite a short boundary on the Botanical garden side. The first wicket put on 15 in seven when Orchard had Peak caught by Smith. The second wicket pairing of Hatt and skipper Morris put on 153 off 181, it was again the Torquay Yau / Thompson combination that sent Hatt up the steep climb to the pavilion. For a 130 ball 66. After 38 overs the home side were exceptionally well placed at 172-2. It had not been all plain sailing with a miss at slip and a stumping chance went begging. The first was not too expensive the second slightly more. The Island was on target for total around 260 unless something was to happen. It did. The ever alert keeper’s direct hit ran out the home side captain for a personal Nelson 63 off 111. Thompson bowled West of England and Hampshire Under 17 prospect Danny Briggs and  Friend was run out when he was out of the ground at the non strikers hand when a hard drive ricocheted off Porter. Chin up sparked a personal feud for the rest of the game. With forty-four overs gone the Island was past two hundred with six wickets in hand. Porter trapped Miller in front and Piper caught Turpin in front of the Pavilion rails off the captain as the visitors got themselves back into the game. Thompson, who bowled through his ten overs, and Porter picked up a brace, Orchard one. Once again the second half was approached with optimism needing 4.78 on a notoriously high scoring ground with a fast, if steep outfield.


Hardy and Burke put on a seasons best opening stand of 69 when Nelson struck again as on their one hundredth and eleventh ball Hardy failed to make his ground to be run out for 61 ball 34. It was a past and present Plymouth College pairing that advanced the score by 52 when after thirty-eight minutes at the crease Trebarthen took on leg spinner Gordon again but this time was bowled. The Isle of Wight was now exerting their breaks with highly rated left arm spinner Danny Briggs and leggies Miller and Gordon bowling well. Smith decided to sweep the leg spin and was caught at backward, Kingdon tried to lift the tempo with two fours but was caught behind and Burke after 140 minutes at the crease was Millers third victim caught and bowled for an innings top score of 53. After 42 overs Devon were 164-5 looking at 9.25, the pressure was building! For the second day Acton fell on his weapon, 183-6 with 56 needed off 36 with the notoriously miserly Briggs back for the last three from the road end and opener Friend from the sea. From certain defeat came an amazing victory carved out by Chris Metters and captain Jack Porter. Briggs first over went for 10 plus a leg bye, doubling his runs against, Metters swotted him into the Pavilion plate glass. The forty-sixth went for five as the pair was demonstrating how to bat in a tight situation to perfection. Incredible eighteen were scored of Briggs next over including a full toss no ball put in the gardens by Metters for a net 8. It took just another ten balls to seal the second remarkable win, this time with eight balls to spare. ten off the 48th, on the fortynighth and Briggs last Porter took one off the first to take his tally up to 142 without being dismissed for his long week end efforts, Metters stroked Briggs for a classical four and then a straight six to end six better off than the previous day but two short of his first 50 at this level.


Another remarkable finale and the completion of two strenuous days with two excellent outcomes. The 8.00pm ferry was missed by minutes, resulting in a post midnight arrival at Exeter so in future all ferry talk will be banned, which will be part of Pipers legacy. The singing was exceptional with Metters  Worzels selection a popular addition to all the old favourites, this could be the last group to enjoy, Westlife, Robbie and Take That. At nine thirty, Andy Murray made it three miraculous recoveries in twenty-four hours.

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