The seconds stumbled at the last, losing away at both Paignton and Dartington.
With the promotion decider against Torquay rained off, they missed out just 2 points.
H v Ipplepen
Whitchurch’s excellent run of form continued with a comfortable win over Ipplepen.
The match started in soggy conditions which would favour the team winning the toss. Needless to say Webber lost the toss so Whitchurch batted first and were soon in trouble at 11 for 2.
Wallace and Marais (18) steadied the Whitchurch ship adding 69 for the 3rd wicket, until Marais was bowled by Stanley (2 for 25).
Wallace marched on passing 50, now supported by Powell (20).
At 130 for 5 with 15 overs to go, Whitchurch needed to re-group before a final push.
Wallace continued to find the boundary as he made his maiden league century.
Together with Tamblin, Wallace added 109 unbeaten for the 6th wicket, as the fight was ripped out of Pens. Wallace carrying his bat for 116, whilst Tamblin made 42no.
Whitchurch 245 for 5 at the close.
With the pitch now dry and the sun out, Whitchurch’s bowlers came to the fore. Hall (2 for 31) and Prout with 2 wickets reducing the visitors to 41 for 4.
Pens’ skipper Borlase counter attacked despite being injured. He and Cowdry (34) frustrated the Whitchurch attack adding 92 for the 5th wicket.
Prout then returned for his second spell and clean bowled Borlase for 63. Prout would also remove Cowdry to finish with 4 for 52.
Tamblin (2 for 19) and Webber cleaned up the tail, to give Whitchurch their 8th win in a row and keep them top of the table. With 3 games to go, 33 points will see them up.
H v Chelston & Kingskerswell
Whitchurch seconds made in 7 wins in a row to sit atop the table for at least another week.
An understrength Chelston side were invited to bat first and soon in trouble. Poole bowling the dangerous ibbotsen for a duck in the second over.
Hall (2 for 11) then bowled Walters for 6 to leave Chelston reeling at 7 for 2.
From there on, Chelston showed very little intent. Whitchurch raced through the overs but created few chances. After 26 overs, Chelston were 31 for 3.
Skipper Webber rung the changes looking for breakthrough. Most of the bowlers were accurate but not threatening. Indeed, Whitchurch bowled 19 maidens.
Tamblin (2 for 44) bowled a selection of balls encouraging shots to be played and dismissed Louis thanks to a diving, one-handed catch from Simon Curson.
Webber chipped in with a couple of late wickets, but Whitchurch were unable to dismiss Chelston who limped to 93 for 8.
Whitchurch lost Wallace early in the reply, but Credicott set about finishing the game in quick time. He raced to 47 but was then bowled by Hunt.
The runs dried up a bit and Whitchurch limped over the line, although there were 23 overs to go. Webber unbeaten on 19 as his side won by 7 wickets.
A v Shaldon 3rds
Whitchurch made it 6 wins a row as their promotion push continued.
Skipper Webber lost the toss again so Whitchurch batted first.
Shaldon’s young attack bowled well, but the bad balls were picked off by Wallace and Credicott (22).
69 had been added for the first wicket when Credicott edged behind.
Wallace continued to find the boundary, benefitting from some poor fielding. He completed his first half century of the season before eventually being caught on the boundary for 66.
Mansfield made a quickfire 23 and Marais 32. Both dismissed by Couch (2 for 41).
Alford, who had dropped down the order and Powell guided Whitchurch to an impressive total of 284 for 4. Powell ending not out on 66 and Alford on 41.
The Shaldon reply was dented by debutant Ian Prout – a late injury replacement for his son. Prout took 2 for 30 as Shaldon struggled to get going.
Aitchison made 27 before chipping the ball back to Marais.
Couch and Winston frustrated the Whitchurch attack adding 50 for the 4th wicket. The ball often in the air, but not quite to hand.
Webber chopped and changed his bowlers and found the magic ingredient in Tamblin. He struck in his first over to remove Winston for 27 and then 2 overs later Couch for 39.
With the overs running out, Marais and Tamblin mopped up the tail. Marais finishing with 4 for 19 and Tamblin 4 for 34.
Whitchurch’s fielding was very good with only the odd lapse. Huggins with 2 catches and Marais with 3.
H v Cornwood 4ths
This was a top of the table clash, although Corns were missing a few key players.
Whitchurch lost the toss again and batted first. The top order which has been so reliable in recent weeks failed to fire, as Whitchurch slumped to 28 for 3.
Alford (28) and Macrae (32) steadied the ship adding 64 for 4th wicket. The running between the wickets was ambitious and eventually brought the demise of Macrae.
Another good partnership was to come, as Powell (38) and Downham took advantage of the change bowling. From 188 for 2 they added 88 for the 6th wicket. Whitchurch’s strong batting line up paying dividends.
Downham completed a deserved half century until being deceived by R Griffiths for 52.
As Whitchurch pushed for more runs, the tail folded. Sam Griffiths with 4 for 13, as Whitchurch closed on 223 for 9. Top scorer was extras with 56.
Whitchurch’s bowlers were soon on top limiting the Cornwood reply. Hall and Downham both bowling inspired spells taking 3 wickets apiece.
Hall struck first removing the prolific Goodliffe for just 4, before Downham’s 3 for 15 which included the removal of Fitzpatrick for 15.
Hall was assisted by fine catches from Wallace and Webber. Indeed the Whitchurch fielding throughout was excellent.
Cornwood were 38 for 6 and seemingly out of it. Skipper Knight batted sensibly accumulating batting points. His 76 the only score of any resistance.
Knight and Tracey had frustrated Whitchurch adding 72 for the 8th wicket, until Prout struck.
Tamblin (2 for 16) then dismissed Knight and wrapped the match up.
Whitchurch winning by 76 runs.
Plymouth 4ths A
Whitchurch 2nds v Plymouth 4ths
Summer finally came to the cricket season, as Whitchurch made the short journey into Plymouth.
Skipper Webber lost another toss but was not displeased when the hosts opted to bat.
Watson and Khan (21) made a steady start but both were dismissed by Hall (2 for 31).
Hancock and Hart batted sensibly, largely in the knowledge that their team’s hopes rested with them.
Whitchurch’s standards slipped a bit in the middle of the innings, though runs were hard to come by.
With 10 ivers to go, Plymouth could have accelerated, but Whitchurch made the breakthrough. Hodge holding a ball back, which Hart walked past and was stumped for 47.
Hancock tried to press on and did complete his half century until he was well caught by Hall for 52.
The rest of the Plymouth batting was thin. Poole returning to take 3 for 4 in his second spell.
Plymouth made 188 for 8 in their 45 overs.
The Whitchurch reply carried on from where they had left off last week. Ben Hodge continuing his fine form with 8 fours in his 38. He was supported by Wallace with 30.
All the Whitchurch batsmen made solid contributions. Marais (19), Tilsley (20 and Macrae (37).
Only Hart (3 for 34) was able to contain the strokeplay as Whitchurch closed on their target.
The victory was never really in doubt, though 5 wickets were lost in the chase. The reliable pair of Powell (27) and Tamblin seeing the game to a conclusion.
Yelverton thirds H
This match was played in atrocious conditions, but credit to both sides for getting a game played in this most dreary of summers.
Whitchurch won the toss and elected to field. Hall and Webber (2 for 28) kept things tight early on and were well supported in the field. Excellent catches taken by Sambells, Macrae and Marais saw Yelverton struggling at 42 for 3.
Beauchamp and Chetwynd used their experience to work the ball around and frustrate the home side’s bowlers. They added 70 for the 4th wicket until Beachamp was well caught in the deep by Webber off Marais (2 for 30).
Only Chetwynd showed much resistance for Yelverton and then he holed out to Macrae for 33. Sambells (2 for 19) and Hodge (2 for 25) mopped up the tail, dismissing the visitors for 148 with 2 balls of the innings to go.
In reply, Whitchurch got off to a steady start. Dawe tying up one end. However, Hodge and Alford were getting themselves set, whilst keeping an eye on the run rate in case the weather worsened. At the halfway point and a “game” completed, Whitchurch were 74 for 0 and ahead.
From there, they pushed on. Hodge batting superbly throughout completed his second half century. Alford providing support before also completing his third 50 of the season.
Whitchurch coasted home to a 10 wicket victory with more than 16 overs to spare. Hodge finishing unbeaten on 82.
Whitchurch take 20 points from the game and remain firmly in the promotion race.
Paignton 3rds H
Whitchurch’s stop start season is beginning to count against them as they slipped to a second defeat.
Paignton won the toss and invited their hosts to bat first. Wallace (18) and Credicott (28) saw off the new ball, but were out softly. Both had got starts and failed to push on, which would prove to be the template for most of the Whitchurch innings. Terry Farkins leading the way for Paignton conceding just 10 runs from his 9 overs.
Alford made 16, Mansfield 24 and Marais 43 as Whitchurch set a platform but did not capitalise. Maximum batting points were secured with 6 overs to go, but a fine spell from Archie Farkins (4 for 11) meant Whitchurch were all out for 215. Probably 40 runs short of a good score.
After a very big and tasty tea, Whitchurch needed to hit their straps from the start. And missed.
Medlock hit the first ball on the innings out of the ground and in partnership with Archie Farkins continued to make hay from some wayward bowling. Medlock completed his half century as 102 was added for the first wicket.
Ben Hodge (3 for 29) produced the spark for the breakthrough, assisted by Bob Powell behind the stumps – Medlock out for 62. Farkins followed in the next Hodge over for 23 and Whitchurch could have got back in the game.
However, 3 dropped chances and a missed stumping proved crucial. Talbot and Terry Farkins re-established Paignton’s dominance building a match winning partnership. None of the other 7 Whitchurch bowlers able to influence the game or provide any control.
Talbot finished 56no and Farkins 38no as Paignton cruised home by 7 wickets with more than 5 overs to spare.
Whitchurch v Chelston & Kingskerswell 2nds
Whitchurch won the toss and elected to field, but suffered an early blow as opening bowler Phil Mackenzie dislocated his knee and the end of the first over, making a futile LBW appeal.
Chelston sportingly loaned a fielder who subsequently took a superb low catch to dismiss Ibbotsen off the bowling of Webber.
Butt, so often the nemesis of Whitchurch in the past set off full of intent with some big sixes of Whitchurch’s weakened attack.
Meadows bowled a tidy spell but wickets were hard to come by. Butt completed his half century and upped the run rate after the drinks break.
Prout showed some promise with a few lively overs, but a further injury to Tamblin limited the bowling options further. Huggins showing promise on his debut.
Butt continued to find the boundary regularly and made a deserved and unbeaten century closing on 11 not out.
Webber, the pick of the Whitchurch bowlers, returned to dismiss Hurrel for 27 and return figures of 3 for 43. Chelston posting 228 for 6.
With a side stronger in the batting department, the target was very gettable. Andy Wallace and Ben Hodge made a solid start but both fell to left armer Gypes.
For once, Whitchurch’s solid middle order failed, with Gypes talking a further 2 wickets to finish with 4 for 28. Hunt also bowled a tidy spell with 2 for 14.
At 77 for 7, Whitchurch could only bat for points. Alford and Tamblin, hampered by his earlier injury, worked the ball around, setting small targets.
Alford was the chief run scorer with a well made 50, including a rare maximum. Tamblin chipped in with 31 as 80 was added for the 8th wicket and a 4th batting point all but secured.
Simon Wallace, last man in the absence of McKenzie struck 2 lovely boundaries to secure the 4th point. Alford finishing 63 not out.
Whitchurch took 7 points from the defeat but showed plenty of fighting spirit to secure points which could be vital later in the season.
Whitchurch v Shaldon 3rds
On a busy Bank Holiday weekend, it was to Shaldon’s credit that they arrived with 11 players. However, many were playing their first game for a many a year and were therefore understrength.
Shaldon won the toss and asked Whitchurch to bat. Much of the bowling was symptomatic of a lack of practice, with 43 wides being bowled. Mansfield and Gibbs found it difficult to get any rhythm. However, the scoreboard rattled along at 8 an over. Mansfield and Marais adding 141 for the second wicket in 16 overs.
Shaldon’s problems then got worse with a nasty injury sustained. Whitchurch lent a fielder who proceeded to take a fine catch to dismiss Mansfield for 80. Whitchurch then had a mini collapse as Marais followed for 68, bowled by Sherri Couch (2 for 31).
Powell (37no) and Tamblin took the score to 263 for 4, when skipper Webber declared with 10 overs to go. The weather forecast suggested that thundery showers were due at 6pm.
Whitchurch’s bowling also showed a lack of practice, often too short or too wide. Shaldon had scored 58 for the first wicket in just 9 overs, with Shilabear the main beneficiary. The introduction of man of the match Marais to the bowling had an instant impact; Hall assisting with a fine catch.
As the accuracy of the bowling improved, Shaldon found it harder to score runs. Webber took 2 wickets in 2 balls, including an excellent return catch and then Marais (3 for 10) dismissed Shilabear for 49.
With the thunder clouds gathering, Whitchurch upped the over rate chasing the full bonus points. Tamblin bowled “all sorts” to induce false shots and duly took 3 for 10. Northey wrapping things up as Shaldon were dismissed for 103.
21st May A v Cornwood 4ths
Off – Rain
14th May H v Plymouth 4ths
Following a cancellation in week 1, the Seconds got their season underway with a good win at home to Plymouth, although the extra week off showed in some rustiness.
New skipper Jason Webber lost the toss and was invited to bat. Alford and Wallace saw off the new ball mixing some fine shots with a few lucky edges. Wallace was looking well set when he hit a full toss to Hart and departed for 33. Alford soon followed and a familiar Whitchurch middle order collapse ensued as they slipped from 67 for 0 to 76 for 4.
Old hands Credicott and Powell soon turned things back in Whitchurch’s favour adding 58 in good time for the 5th wicket. Credicott was well caught for 33, as Powell continued to push on. 54 was added with Hodge as Whitchurch neared 200.
Powell had been given out LBW but was sportingly recalled by Plymouth due to an inside edge. However, he did hole out soon after for 43.
Whitchurch edged towards and passed 200 in the final over closing on 203. Two wickets apiece for Gray and Ahmad.
The Plymouth reply also made a solid start, until Wallace snared a drive off Stephenson. A smart piece of bowling and keeping from Hall and Powell then saw Hancock stumped for 24. Whitchurch continued to make inroads at regular intervals, with fine catches from Powell, Mansfield and Wallace.
At 86 for 7, Whitchurch were reasonably in command. Foukes responded for Plymouth with some lusty blows as the Whitchurch attack was put under pressure and lost its rhythm.
Tamblin (3 for 39) held one back to deceive the dangerous Hart, assisted by a juggled effort from Alford.
Foukes blasted his way to 43 not out, but ran out of partners as Mansfield (2 for 0) mopped up the tail. Plymouth dismissed for 132. Hall the pick of the bowlers with 2 for 26, with Hodge chipping in with 2 as well.
7th May – A v Yelverton
Match cancelled – Yelverton unable to raise a side