Upottery become first team to defeat table-topping Kentisbeare

Picture: Matt Smart

Picture: Matt Smart - Credit: Archant

Upottery 1st XI, missing five regulars, gave debuts to two players who both made an instant impression as the villagers upset the odds to become the first team to defeat Tolchards League D Division East table-toppers Kentisbeare, beating the Mid Devon men by 18 runs.

Upottery skipper Mark Joyce opted to bat first and he opened with Simon Durrant and the pair gave their side a decent start, putting on 31 for the first wicket before Durrant fell for 22. With the total on 50, Joyce fell for 19 and Rob Tasker was then out for a duck to leave Upottery 50-3. The loss of Matt Broom for 12 left the total 68-4. When James Mitchum (31) and Jack Larcombe (20) were both back in the pavilion, Upottery were a troubled 117-6.

However, the innings was taken towards a respectable total by debutants Ian Tasker and Ollie Fuller. The pair put on 61 runs for the seventh wicket with Tasker scoring 45 and Fuller 15. Last man Paul Wakefield chipped in with 10 and Upottery were able to close on 197 after 41.4 overs.

Kentisbeare had won all five of their previous games and, at team, will have fancied a sub 200 run chase on their small ground.

A Graham Pidgeon catch off Shane Kennard sent back one of the Kents openers without troubling the scorer, but the second wicket took them smoothly to 70 before a Matt broom off Paul Wakefield was followed by a second Pidgeon catch – this time off James Mitchum, to leave the chase on 75-3. Wickets then began to fall at regular intervals as Rob Tasker picked up three and Wakefield bagged two more to reduce Kentisbeare to 125-9.

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With the last pair at the crease, skipper Joyce would have been in confident mood, but the Kents’ tail end charlies began to build a partnership. Indeed they had put on 42 when it came to the start of the final over, but needing 30, it clearly required something extraordinary – five sixes from the over – to be bowled by Rob Tasker!

The first two balls were duly rifled over the boundary rope, but the third was caught by Ollie Fuller and Upottery were left to celebrate a terrific success.

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In terms of the Upottery bowling honours, top billing went to Tasker who finished with 4-40 from 6.3 overs. Wakefield’s return was an impressive 3-21 from nine and James Mitchum bagged a brace of wickets with his figures being 2-19 from nine. Shane Kennard was the other wicket taker, his figures were 1-29 from seven.

Skipper Mark Joyce said: “It was a brilliant result for us. I must confess I was a tad nervous after the first two deliveries had been hit for six, but we struck with it and Ollie [Fuller] claimed the catch that sealed the win.”

This Saturday (June 17), Upottery entertain Honiton in an East Devon derby.

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