By CONRAD SUTCLIFFE
CHUDLEIGH skipper Will Heather has no regrets about the sporting gesture that contributed to his side’s derby defeat by Bovey Tracey 2nd XI.
The B Division tussle was finely balanced with Bovey six wickets down chasing 208 to win at Kate Brook.
Matt Heather had top scored for Chudleigh on 47, Will was next best of 35 and Ed Foreman had chipped in 24.
Chudleigh’s 207 all out was a respectable total against a Bovey side that included three players – Ryan Bougourd, Ashley Causey and Asantha Singapulli – who had been due to feature in the cancelled 1st XI game against Hatherleigh.
Bovey were 140 for six on the chase with 12 overs to go with Singapulli (32) and Causey (32) long gone.
Bovey big hitter Dan Green was unbeaten on 34 at the time and as long as he and Bradley Causey remained it was game on.
Green did what he does – play his shots – and one of them found Chudleigh Adam Sercombe fielder out in the deep who claimed the catch.
Green was given out, but on the way off it became apparent Bovey had too many fielders outside the fielding ring. Chudleigh skipper Heather, an old football team-mate of Green’s at Bovey Tracey FC, did what he felt was the right thing and called the batsman back to resume his innings.
Green went on to make 59, Causey had 28 and the game was won by two wickets with nine balls to spare.
The Chudleigh captain agreed the decision to recall Green ultimately proved costly, but there was more to winning and losing than one incident.
“I decided to recall Dan in the spirit of the game, despite the umpires maintaining the wicket,” said Heather.
“It got a little heated about the decision on all sides, with the game very much in the balance.
“We made a mountain out of a molehill though by dropping Dan the over after.
“I standby the decision for withdrawing the appeal, even though it ultimately led them to winning the game as Dan batted brilliantly and took the game away from us with 10 overs to go.
“It was a matter of margins and if a couple of bits of cricket and catches went our way, we would have won convincingly in my opinion.
“Bovey were really on the ropes and the game was there for taking for us. But that's cricket for you.
“I am proud of our players’ performance and attitude against a number of Premier players. We are enjoying our cricket at the moment and seeing what each week brings for us.”
Green was quick to praise Heather for his gesture and said: “Will showed great sportsmanship.”
Jeremy Christophers, the Bovey Tracey 2nd XI captain, also heaped praise on his opposite number.
“If there is a spirit of cricket award we would like to nominate Will Heather for one,” said Christophers, who was a spectator at the game.
It did not escape the Chudleigh captain’s attention that Bovey fielded three players originally selected for the first team.
Said Heather: “We are happy to play whatever team is put in front of us – and we should have won to be honest.
“If it's in the spirit of the game, that's for someone else to decide.”