Harry Everett reports on the Tolchards Devon Women's Cricket League feature match between Bradninch and Kentisbeare CC and Topsham St James CC.

With rain washing out many of the Saturday fixtures, women's hardball across the two divisions on Sunday saw perfect cricketing conditions.

On a sunny afternoon in Bradninch, Clare Pym and Lucy Humphreys both hit half-centuries to guide Topsham St James to victory over Bradninch and Kentisbeare.

After losing the toss, TSJ were given the ball. Opening bowlers, Liv Woollam and Lily Harlond, initially struggled to adjust to the slope on the B&K pitch. In the third over, opening batter Sarah Stanbury had to retire after being hit in the wrist; leading to captain Meg Acton joining Yvonne Jackson at the crease.

Together, they quickly began putting runs on the scoreboard before Lily Harlond managed to claim the wicket of Jackson (13), thanks to a superb one-handed catch from Lucy Humphreys. Emma Farley then joined her captain in the middle and they were able to move the score onto 57 before she was caught behind by Hannah Clark off Sophie Brandom’s bowling for 16 runs.

Faye Ross was next into bat but was soon bowled by Clare Pym. The next partnership of Acton and Paula Rovira was key to Bradninch’s total as they took the score from 61-3 to 138-4 by the time skipper Acton lifted a ball from Humphreys high into the air and down into the gloves of Clark, but not before she herself claimed a half-century, finishing on 57 runs from 55 balls.

Rosie Miller and Lily Harlond were then brought back into the attack and claimed another 2 wickets each, both catching one of their own deliveries and another caught by Charlotte Austen-Rigby. Harlond then also claimed a run-out with the final ball of the final over to leave TSJ chasing 176 to win.

It was clear that there were runs in the pitch and TSJ openers, Clare Pym and Sally Hammond, began with strong intent of chasing the B&K score down quickly. They were able to reach a score of 79 before Hammond (16) was run out thanks to a superb piece of fielding by Emma Farley.

Lucy Humphreys then joined Pym at the crease and together added another 95 runs to the scoreboard, leaving TSJ just 2 runs from victory. Along the way, Pym reached 73* off 90 balls (including 6 fours) - a personal high score - and Humphreys reached her own 50 from 45 balls, with 7 fours before being bowled by Carrian Jones. Rosie Miller was next into bat, knowing the win was close, and after a single to keep the strike at the end of the over, she dispatched the second ball of the 29th over for 4 to claim an 8-wicket victory for Topsham St James.