Exmouth were involved in a ‘real thriller’ when they began their Tolchards Devon League Premier Division campaign with victory, albeit a narrow one, over Plymouth.
In a low-scoring affair, the Maer men chased down a victory target of 118, and did so, with their last pair at the wicket!
Having won the toss, Plymouth opted to bat first and made reasonable progress through the early overs, reaching 31 without loss after seven overs.
However, George Greenway struck with the first ball of the eighth over with Dan Pyle taking a catch. Four balls later Greenway struck again and, at the end of the eighth over, both openers had departed and Plymouth were 44-2. Pete Turnbull then struck in the very next over and Plymouth were soon a troubled 45-5 with four wickets to Greenway and one to Turnbull.
The lower order did manage to stuck around long enough to see their side into three figures before they were all out for 117 in 32.3 overs.
Greenway returned figures of 4-28 from seven overs while the ‘next best’ in terms of bowling returns was 3-28 from nine Billy Rudolph overs while Andrew Buzza (2-19 from eight) and Pete Turnbull (1-31 from nine), were the other bowlers used.
The Maer men’s reply got off to a horrible start with Louis Morison dismissed for one to the second ball of the fourth over, at the end of which, Exmouth were 17-1. Skipper Tim Piper joined James Horler and they stayed together until then fourth ball of the 14th over when Horler was run out having scored 36 from 48 deliveries.
Dan Pyle joined his skipper and the pair took the side to within shouting distance of the finishing line before Pyle was caught for a patient 14 and, at that stage, 94-3 after 23 overs.
However, wickets then fell in the 23rd, 24th, 25th and 26th overs to leave the Maer men on 99-6, still requiring 19 runs to claim victory.
With Billy Rudolph out to the penultimate delivery of the 31st over and Andrew Buzza was sent back to the very next ball without troubling the scorers, and Exmouth were suddenly wobbling on 103-8 – losing five wickets in the space of eight overs for the addition of just nine runs!
Pete Turnbull was joined by Ryan Schaufler, but the former fell to leave Exmouth on 107-9 after 32 overs, still needing 11 runs.
Last pair Ryan Schaufler and George Greenway stood firm and got through 31 deliveries before, to the final ball of the 35th over, Schaufler scored the winning run!
Exmouth II were hit by the weather on their visit across to Sidmouth II where just 36 overs of play was possible.
Batting first, the home side had reached 179-7 when the rain ended the meeting.
Sean Day and Tom Bath took the new ball and it was Bath, who has made the switch to the Maer men from Alphington, who struck in his first over to send back Ollie Pugsley, who was caught by Hugo Hammond with the home batsmen failing to trouble the scorers.
For the next 14 overs it was the home batsmen who enjoyed the better of things. Indeed they took the score to 87 before Nick Mansfield was bowled by another player making his first league start for the Maer men, Rikki Kelly. The bowlers then hit back to reduce the home side to 104-5 with wickets for Matt Coult (2), Greg Marks and a second for Kelly. Robbie Powell fell next, caught by Rikki Kelly off Marks and the final wicket to fall before the early finish was that of Matt Cooke, who scored 26 before he fell to a Richard Baggs catch off the bowling of Marks.
Sidmouth closed on 179-7 with Exmouth using seven different bowlers, three of whom each bagged a brace; Rikki Kelly (2-20 off five) Matt Coult (2-34 from eight) and Greg Marks (2-21 from five overs).
Exmouth III were only able to face 8.4 overs before their opening league game at Alphington & Countess Wear II was washed out. Batting first, Exmouth III were 21-1 with the one wicket to fall being that of Roger Wensley, trapped leg before when on seven and the not out batsmen were skipper Stuart Rintoul (6) and Matt Edworthy (7).
On matchday two (May 8), Exmouth 1st XI travel to Sandford who had their opening day game washed out at Exeter.
Exmouth II are in Maer ground action entertaining Sandford II who also had their opening day game, at home to Whimple II, abandoned through rain.
Exmouth III entertain Kilmington II who won their opening day game, beating visiting Woodbury & Newton St Cyres by nine wickets.