Captain Morgan leads Seaton to Tolchards Devon League opening day victory

PUBLISHED: 08:41 07 May 2018 | UPDATED: 08:41 07 May 2018

Seaton Cricket Club's ground before the first game of the 2018 Tolchards Devon League season

Seaton Cricket Club's ground before the first game of the 2018 Tolchards Devon League season

Archant

Seaton made a superb start to the new Tolchards Devon League B Division season as they claimed a three wicket win at home to Filleigh.

After winning the toss, Seaton skipper Ben Morgan invited the visitors to bat first and took the new ball himself with teenager Kersley Sutton at the opposite end. Fittingly it was the skipper who claimed the first league wicket of the new term when he sent one of the openers back for one and catches from Brian Cann and Joel Seward off the bowling of Morgan and Sutton reduced Filleigh to 45-3.

The visitors then laboured their way to three figures for the loss of five wickets, but, from 127-6 they slipped to an all out total of 130 from 33.4 overs.

In terms of the bowling figures, star billing went to Robbie Prior with his return of 3-16 while Joel Seward’s return was3 -27 from 7.4 overs. There were single wickets for Kersley Sutton and Ben Libby.

The Seaton reply was hit by the loss of early wickets and, with half the side back in the Court Lane pavilion and just 35 runs on the score board, the fifth wicket being that of the Brian Cann, run out with his skipper at the opposite end, hopes of an opening day win looked slim.

However, skipper Morgan, batting at five was, crucially, still at the crease and he and Robbie Prior steadied things, taking the chase to 90 before Prior fell for 19. Teenager Kersley Sutton joined his captain and stuck around long enough to help him take the total to 126 and just five runs from victory when Sutton departed for a gritty six.

Captain Morgan then saw his side over the line to seal a three wicket win with five overs and one ball to spare.

Morgan was delighted with his charges opening day efforts. He said: “It’s always highly pleasing to start a campaign with a win. I was particularly delighted with the all-round performance given the lack of cricket during a soggy pre-season which left almost everybody seriously ‘under cooked’ in terms of outdoor practise.”

He continued: “

“What’s more, we went into the opening game without the holidaying Josh Cann and Tim Mitchell, one of last season’s top performers, who is currently away at University.

“There’s work to do with the bowling as I feel we can do better than that. Having said that, I cannot be too critical of the blowers as they simply have not been able to do any significant pre-season outside work on grass wickets! I must also add that both Joel [Seward] and Robbie [Prior] bowled superbly in the middle section of the Filleigh innings.”

In terms of the run chase, Morgan said: “I have every confidence in our batting line up, but no run chase is ever won mid-innings, no matter what the target might be. A target of 131 was a tough one in the circumstances for the outfield was slow and, when we had first bowled, the ball was swinging for fun and I suspected we’d face the same issues that they [Filleigh] did.

“I certainly wasn’t confident going when we reached the tea interval and were three wickets down for just 17. However, post tea I felt in good nick and knuckled down to ‘do a job’. The Filleigh openers bowled really well and utilised the conditions better than we did, so it was a case of trying to see them off and see what happened from there.

“Robbie [Prior] and Kersley [Sutton], played key roles in sticking around to get us over the line.”

Seward did have special praise for a pair of club people who had not actually played in the game when he added: “A big thank you, and well done, is necessary for Derek and Panda, our groundsmen, who have worked so incredibly hard in the last few weeks. The ground on the opening day looked an absolute picture and that is down to the two afore mentioned folk – true club champions.”

On Saturday (May 12), Seaton travel to Babbacombe, who went down by two wickets in their opening match at South Devon rivals Barton.

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