IAN Bransdon returned to his old Torquay haunt with Dartington & Totnes to play a pivotal role in the eight-wicket win over Babbacombe 2ndXI in the final of the Brockman Cup.
Wind the clock back a decade or so and Bransdon was a member of the Torquay side that won back-to-back Devon League Premier Division titles.
These days Bransdon plays more for fun than he did then – and he certainly enjoyed himself as D&T put their names on then famous old trophy for the first time in its 77-year history.
Babbacombe were limited to 123 for seven in their 20 overs. Bransdon’s one for 18 off four helped keep the Walls Hill side in check.
Then Bransdon smacked an unbeaten 46 to see D&T to victory with the more-than comfortable margin of two overs to go.
Although Bransdon was crucial for D&T, this was by no means a one-man show.
Club chairman Mick Rusling was even more miserly with the ball, taking two for 10 in his four overs in an opening spell that stopped Babbacombe getting the flying start they wanted.
Rusling bowled captain Dave Stubbs and next man in Tom Ince three balls later to leave Babbacombe three for two at the end of the second over. Three catches – one off Bransdon to remove Rob Redding for 35 – added up to a fine evening on all fronts for the D&T supreme.
D&T didn’t have it all their own way though as Babbacombe’s young left-hander Tom Drake came in when Stubbs got out and batted through to make a fine 55 not out.
Drake impressed all those watching - he took one of the two D&T wickets to fall as well – and appears destined for better things than Babbacombe 2ndXI in future. As he plays in the colts at Barton – Babbacombe don’t have a youth section – that future isn’t too hard to guess at.
Man-of-the-match adjudicator Geoff Coish, the secretary of the Devon Cricket League, was clearly impressed with the Babbacombe youngster and awarded him the Bill Stanbury Cup despite Bransdon’s competing claim.
Drake and Redding put on 75 in 11 overs for Babbacombe, but the pace slowed dramatically once Redding got out.
Change bowlers Bransdon and Harry Baxendale (2-27) ensured Babbacombe couldn’t get away.
Mark Andrews, the former South Devon captain in his previous incarnation, and Peter Taylor got D&T away to a modest start with stand of 16.
Andrews went caught at cover for nine – Drake the catcher, Richard Backholer the bowler – which was as good as it got for Babbacombe.
Taylor (35) and Bransdon took the score up to 88 and by the time Drake bowled Taylor it was almost all over.
Tom Petherick – another young player who looks the part – hit 25 not out as he and Bransdon wrapped up victory.
Babbacombe 123-7 (T Drake 55no, R Redding 35; M Rusling 2-10, H Baxendale 2-27), Dartington & Totnes 128-2 (I Bransdon 46no, P Taylor 35, T Petherick 25no). Dartington & Totnes bt Babbacombe by 8 wkts.