Honiton II roar back into title hunt
PUBLISHED: 17:33 31 July 2011
As July drew to a close, third placed Honiton II hosted Countess Wear at Ottery Moor Lane, still with the league title in their sights and with the gap between them and soar away leaders Whimple a mere 21 points.
With the sun glinting off Honiton’s resident violet ground beetles, skipper Andrew Lapping elected to lose the toss and bat on a pitch expected to offer just enough to keep the bowlers interested.
Beighton and Dixon had assessed the bowling circumspectly when, in the fourth over, the umpire adjudged a crestfallen Beighton to be LBW for five. Ill judged comments from square leg did little to improve the situation and the waiting batsmen scattered as the incandescent stalwart stomped off the field. Strawbridge, fresh from a fabulous ton the previous week, found the fickle finger of fate poking him in the eye as he was yorked for a duck and a peaky looking Honiton were 19-2.
Captain Lapping got going early on and with Dixon playing fluently the, pair undid some of the damage to ease past 50 in the 12th over.
Dixon looked his usual cool, calm and collected self while Lapping, dropped off a tricky edge on 20, looked otherwise imposing and perhaps just a little bit scary as the bowlers began to run out of ideas.
Dixon used the Derek Randall square and late cut to good effect while the skipper generally aimed, though not necessarily executed, straighter and both players eased past their half centuries.
Having put on 124 for the third wicket, Dixon played across a straight one and left the field with a refined 62 to his name. In his knock young Dixon struck five 4s.
With the score on 161, Lapping propped forward and put just enough pace on the ball for Aggett to take a return catch and he was on his way for 80, a knock that included a brace of 6s and eleven 4s.
Sluman (21) looked in good nick and, joined by Craig Lapping, managed to maintain momentum with some rasping cover drives. Lapping, whose new kit could frankly use at least an occasional sponge down with soapy water, scored at will pushing the total past 200 for maximum batting points.
The skipper kiboshed proceedings by announcing that a score in excess of 260 was there for the taking and the wheels promptly came off, with Lapping edging behind for a crafty 35.
Opening bowler Spragg returned to bowl Brinsford (5) and Wright (4), while Kelly missed his first and only ball, playing with enough footwork to qualify as an honorary traffic bollard.
Honiton had lost four wickets for 11 runs, as the innings enervated more than somewhat, however Alcock (1*) and Hill (3*) saw the innings to its close of 225-9.
After a scrummy tea featuring melon kebabs, Brinsford picked up where he left off the week before by having Shepherd leg before to the second ball of the innings. Wright found some early lift, possibly evicting a family of ground beetles from their home in the process, and Brinsford was again asking the question of the umpire in his second over, this time getting the nod and the batsman was on his way without troubling the scorers.
Downes looked set to “do a Lapping” with some meaty blows, but Wright’s extra bounce did for him as he tried to hook and gloved behind to Strawbridge for eight. Brinsford was on fire, having Spragg edging to the keeper for four to make it 22-4.
Another leg before followed and the visitor were five down with just 24 on the board.
Millington and Carpanini then gave the reply a semblance of respectability, but were unable to get away thanks to some athletic ground fielding from Honiton. Alcock was unfortunate not to pick up a wicket with his banana ball as keeper and slips flapped haplessly, but the visitors crept past 50 with no further loss.
Lapping finally snuck an in-ducker through to bowl Millington for 30 but Sapiecha picked up the baton to help Wear to their first batting point. After a lull in proceedings and several half chances, at 103, Dixon held on to a running catch at backward point to dismiss Sapiecha and give Lapping his second wicket.
Hill was too quick for Broom and Dixon hit the top of top-scorer Carpanini’s off stump with a peach to put Honiton on the verge of victory. Hill’s rabbit hunt was completed when he shattered Smith’s stumps to round things off at 120 all out. Brinsford 4-20, Hill 2-12, C Lapping 2-35, Dixon 1-0, Wright 1-28.
Honiton took 20 points, winning by 105 runs with ten overs to spare and hoping that other results in the league would fall in their favour.
Skipper Andrew Lapping is happy with his sides recent performances “ After a few very average games we have put in a good effort the last two weeks and have been rewarded a couple well deserved wins, Results have gone our way also so we are back in the mix, But we won’t worry about that it’s just about one game at a time for us and if we keep putting in the same effort as the last two weeks more often than not we will get something out of our remaining four matches then we will see where we are after that “
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