Seaton went down by 88 runs in their Tolchards Devon League A Division opener up at North Devon, but they gave a good account of themselves against one of the sides many pundits consider to be a strong contender for divisional honours this season.
The home side won the toss and opted to bat first and got off to a fine start with the first 10 overs ending with the Instow men on 62 without loss. The run rate was slowed – slightly – and, by the end of the 20th over, the score was 118 without loss.
It was not until four balls into the 25th over that Seaton enjoyed their first league success of the new term when a Josh Cann stumping off the bowling of Raul East saw an end to a fine knock from Howe who had hit 55 from 69 deliveries.
There’s a well-oiled saying in cricket that runs: ‘one wicket brings two’… and so it happened for, the very ball of East’s next over saw him knock over the stumps of Dan Bowser, but not before the opener had taken his score to 90, scored off 87 deliveries.
Bat took charge once more following those two quick wickets and Seaton had to wait until the final ball of the 43rd over to claim wicket three. It came with the home score on 237 with Joel Seward holding a catch off the bowling of Robbie Prior to see an end to Jack Moore (40 off 60).
There was more pain for the Seaton fielders as the home side scored another 63 off the final seven overs before closing on 300-6.
A Joel Seward throw to bring about a run out and two wickets for skipper Ben Morgan completed things in terms of the Seaton effort with the ball.
The pick of the bowling returns was the 2-58 from Raul East from his 10 overs while skipper Ben Morgan returned figures of 2-68 from eight overs. The pick of the spells in terms of economy went to Joel Seward, who bowled his full complement of 10 overs and, while wicket less, only went for 34 runs.
Facing both a daunting run chase and a powerful home seam attack, Seaton openers Josh Cann and Matt Hewer started well – Cann was certainly the main run provider – he rifled the 10th delivery of the innings to the boundary ropes and, when the openers were parted four balls into the 13th over, Hewer was sent back having faced 33 deliveries for his five while Cann was unbeaten on 31 with the Seaton total then 48-1. Cann – who hit Jack Popham for successive boundaries, was joined by Joel Seward, but, two balls into the 22nd over Cann was caught having scored 43 from 63deliveries, hitting seven boundaries.
Damian Baxter took over and he and Seward were together for 11 overs at which point, with the score on 132, Baxter fell for 24, scored off 33 balls.
Seward was joined by Daley Holmes, but, with the score on 162, and shortly after reaching his half century, Seward was dismissed for 55, scored off 83 balls, hitting eight boundaries.
Just six runs later, Raul East became the fourth Seaton batsman to make the walk back towards the Instow pavilion, in his case having faced 10 balls for his two. Brian Cann was next man in, and out, dismissed without troubling the scorers.
The final wicket to fall was that of skipper Ben Morgan who scored nine from a 16 ball stay at the crease.
At the close, Seaton were on 212-7 with their not out batsmen being Daley Holmes, unbeaten on 45,scored off just 51 balls while, at the other end, his brother Wesley was unbeaten on nine.
No disgrace then, for a Seaton side who made the long trip home with seven points banked for their efforts.
Given that North Devon are certainly going to be one of the A Division ‘big four’ – the others being Torquay, Bradninch and Plympton, to bring seven points home from a tough away game is a ‘very respectable afternoon’s work’.
This Saturday (May 8), Seaton travel to a Cullompton side that suffered a mauling at the hands of Plympton on matchday one.