On a warm and sunny afternoon, the 3's headed South for the first time this season, making the trip down to Ivybridge in what was a second v third encounter. A good win would see the 3rd Xl cement their position in the top two and conclude a very successful first half of the season.
A rare appearance from Reddick Snr meant that we were short! Not really - a strong team with some forced changes. With Chris T, Naj and Joel (the Heat) all away, there was a great chance for the returning Tor Ziegler-Evans to show what he could do with the new ball.
First things first, the 'Old Man' had to win the toss - a green wicket with some juice in it looked to offer the bowlers something. Having called it correctly, Ivybridge were invited to bat. Noah and Tor opened the bowling and both started well. Despite some streaky early boundaries, Ivybridge were struggling with the accuracy of our bowling, and the variable bounce of the wicket.
Both bowlers completed an excellent seven overs each, and both finished with identical figures - 2 for 24 with 2 maidens! With the pitch offering assistance, Steve Milne and Jake Reddick were employed to spin us to a win. Jake's first over was a bit varied, but Milney's first ball claimed a wicket, with the dangerous Greenhouse being caught at slip by Sam Reddick (one of four catches he claimed).
Jake settled down, and Milney bowled cleverly and accurately, claiming 3 for 16, whilst at the other end, Jake finished with 3 for 19. Ivybridge all out for 85 and another early finish was on the cards. Sean Langford (who took a stunning catch behind the stumps off of Tor's bowling) opening with John (form God) Hurrell, and the pair went about the run chase sensibly, given the fact that the pitch still had the propensity to offer a shooter or unexpected bounce.
John moved through the gears nicely, upping the scoring rate as Sean was content to play the support role and gain some valuable 'middle time'. With a fair few extras thrown in for good measure (21), John and Sean reached the required 86 in 21 overs, John adding another 41 not out to his considerable tally for the season, and Sean finishing unbeaten on 24.
86 without loss, our second consecutive 10 wicket win, 20 points and also the second week on the trot when we didn't concede a point! This win, coupled with Barnstaple's defeat meant that we had opened up a 41 point gap between second and third place. We are now 17 points behind Thorverton who we play on 13th July - One foot in B Division, but still a long way to go.
All the same though, 8 wins from the first 9 games is a fantastic return from the first half of the season.