Conway hits unbeaten 96 as Axminster defeat Exeter III
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Axminster were 15 run winners in a thrilling Tolchards League F Division East meeting with Exeter III.
Indeed, the third successive win for the Axemen means they are one of just two teams to have won all three of their opening games in this season's league campaign!
After losing the toss and being put in, Axminster were given the perfect start as openers Karl Hurst and Bradley Conway put on 136 for the first wicket, finally parted with Hurst bowled for 65.
Skipper Paul Miller was next man in and he and Conway added 81 runs for the second wicket which was that of the skipper, caught having scored 46.
That was as good as it got for the visiting team in terms of taking wickets as the Axemen closed on a very tidy 249-2 after their 40 overs.
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Conway was not out at the close of the innings, having been there since the opening delivery and he was agonisingly just one single blow shy of a deserved century, unbeaten on 96. He faced 118 deliveries hitting a dozen fours and one six. The other not out batsmen at the close was Andrew Guppy (9).
Miller gave the new ball to Dave Hayball at one end and Domini Goodhew at the other and Hayball picked up the first three wickets to fall, one thanks to an Alex Wraight catch and the other two with the help of skipper Miller, who is also the teams wicketkeeper, making one stumping and holding a catch.
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When Miller held a second catch, this time of Wraight, Exeter were 73-4, but a fifth wicket partnership of 106 fired them back into contention and was only ended when Karl Hurst held a catch off the bowling off Wayne Jenkins.
The sixth wicket partnership took Exeter beyond 200 and a close finish looked on the cards!
Dominic Goodhew returned for a second spell and he claimed wickets six and seven to leave Exeter 230-7 and the tail failed to wag as the last three visiting wickets added just four more runs as the reply floundered on 234.
In terms of the bowling honours, they went to Dave Hayball (3-18) with two others bagging a brace of wickets; Dom Goodhew (2-35) and Wayne Jenkins (2-47).
Having banked 58 out of the possible 60 points at the start of the season, only Clyst St George 2nd XI can better that and they top the fledgling table with one point more than the Axemen.
On Saturday (May 25) Axminster travel to Thorverton, who sit third in the table having won two and lost one of their first three games.