Yeoford win community league final at Sandford Cricket Club

By Crediton Courier Contributor   |   Crediton Courier Contributor   |
Friday 30th July 2021 9:53 pm
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The 2021 final winners (Yeoford).

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SANDFORD Cricket Club’s Community League competition came to a head recently, when Yeoford beat the Three Little Pigs in the final, in front of a big crowd at Creedy Park.

Earlier in the day Yeoford beat Sandford Football Club in the first game of the day to clinch their place in the final, a game both teams had to win to reach the 2021 final.

Fielding a very strong team, Yeoford batted first and amassed 127 for four, with two retirements, in their 16 overs. Shaun Hawkins with 27 and Matt Leach 26 being the retirees, after they reached the compulsory retirement score of 25.

Chasing a total that big, the Football Club needed all their main batsmen to score runs, but unfortunately Dean "I’ll slog it to cow corner" Pidgeon, ran out his opening partner "Carps" in the first over, and to say the least, this didn’t help their cause.

Eventually only Stuart Moss with 27 scored any runs of significance. Football Club were subsequently restricted to 90 for eight from their 16 overs, and so Yeoford progressed to the final.

The second game acted as a "double-header" with two points up for grabs in this year’s competition, although that was immaterial as it turned out, but also with the 2019 title at stake.

This had been held over due to the 2019 final having been initially postponed due to poor weather, and then Covid restricting it to be played at the beginning of last season.

The two protagonists were Crediton Rugby Club and the Three Little Pigs. Up until this game the Pigs had been undefeated this year, but in the end it was the Rugby Club who triumphed by eight wickets.

The Pigs batted first, and the consistent Chris "I’m probably the most consistent batsman in the League" Eaton had to retire when scoring 25.

However, the remaining batsmen couldn’t get the Rugby Club bowling away to set a difficult target. In the end their total of 104 for three was not enough, but to be fair their opening bat Dejan Tomic was handicapped when the Ice Cream van turned up in the middle of his innings to cause him some major distraction.

The Rugby Club reached their target in only 11.1 overs, with Jay Harris retiring on 26 and "Big" Sam Fice retiring on 28.

There was one interesting aspect to the Rugby Club’s innings, when skipper John “I’ve been playing for years but don’t know the Laws” Leyman was given out "Hit Ball Twice".

A very unusual way of getting out in any form of the game, let alone in Community League.

Trying to defend his stumps, after defending a ball which was heading for the stumps, he smashed it further the second time than he’d hit anything else all innings.

The place fell apart, and "Lasher" returned to his teammates with deep embarrassment. That’s what Community League Cricket is all about. So funny!

The third game of the day was a potential "nail biter" to see which team would finish bottom of the league. Sandford Lads and Dads v Graphic. Graphic batted first and scored their biggest total of the year – 131 for four with two retirees. They were Phil Greenslade, and unbelievably Simon Cartledge, both with 25.

The Sandford team, mainly consisting of Youth team players, plus four older gentlemen, could only amass 114 in their 16 overs although youngster Jack James 25, and John "now I wear glasses I can see to hit the ball" Keast 26, and so they lost by 17 runs. So the Sandford Lads and Dads team finished bottom of the league, but with another year’s experience under their belt they will no doubt improve next year – and so will some of the lads!

So to the final. Having provided great entertainment off the field throughout the day, I think it is probably fair to say that the alcohol consumption levels of the Pigs team probably had a bit to play in the way the game went.

With Yeoford batting first, the Pigs found they were chasing 141 after the Yeoford overs ran out. This included 25s from Matt Leach again, Rob Stoyle, and Dan Uren.

Although the Pigs made a valiant effort with 25s coming from Josh Davey, and Alex Stevens, they fell well short finishing on 115 for five, against a very strong bowling attack. In the end the best team on the day won.

With the Rugby Club winning the 2019 final earlier in the day, they became the first winners to have won the Barrie Sparham OBE Memorial Trophy twice since the league’s inception back in 2012.

With Yeoford winning this year’s competition, they became the eighth different winner in the nine years the competition has actually been played. Quite remarkable.

For the Pigs, I have to be honest and say I felt so sorry for them not to win one of the two finals, as they are the only team never to have won the trophy in all the years they have played in it.

Even more galling for them as this year they had won their first four games so convincingly, only to fall at the final hurdle, not once, but twice. Better luck next year lads, but there is no doubt they won "The most entertaining team of the Year" and their contribution towards a superb Finals Day will be legendary.

On behalf of Sandford Cricket Club, I would like to thank all of the teams and players for taking part this year, as well as our three umpires on the day, Paul Smith, Nigel Ashplant and Jerome Davis, our 3 scorers on the day Alan Carbert, Nicky Radnor and Louise James, and a special mention to Denis Cavanagh and Mike Davis who did a sterling effort on the barbecue in the searing heat of the day, as well as Ashleigh Steer and Stacey Collins who were kept very busy on the bar.

Not forgetting all the Sandford players and members who had umpired during the season. Thank you one and all. Looking forward to next year already, and Finals Day looks like it will be here to stay – a resounding success.

Phil Matten

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