Breathing space for North Devon after Tolchards Devon Premier win over Exeter

PUBLISHED: 14:55 08 August 2017

Picture: Matt Smart

Picture: Matt Smart

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The Instow side picked up a 47-run win on Saturday

North Devon picked up a win that keeps them out of the Premier Division relegation scrap when they defeated visiting Exeter by 47 runs.

Exeter, who have dropped into the bottom two behind Heathcoat, could have dragged North Devon down into the mire had they won.

Instead, North Devon have a 16 points between them and the second relegation place and four games to go to stay clear of trouble.

Bottom side Plymouth are the opposition this Saturday and if North Devon win at Mount Wise their survival prospects will be enhanced further.

North Devon totalled 228 for seven after openers Tom Ansell (55) and Tom Popham (42) put on 103.

After a mid-innings slow-down – 135 for two became 157 for six as Rob Holman (2-34) and Harry Conway 1-33) got the brake on – Josh King (19) and Jack Popham (37no) picked up the tempo at the end.

King (2-29) had Exeter reeling with two wickets in the first over, but Alex Barrow (30) and Harvey Sargent (50) fought back by adding 62.

At 104 for three it looked promising for Exeter, then Sean Morris (23) was run out by Alfie Huxtable and the slide started.

Huxtable (3-23) and Jack Hockin (2-38) reduced Exeter to 117 for eight in barely seven overs.

Tail-ender Pete Hensor (30) and Tom Pedal (27) resisted, putting on 63 to help Exeter reach 181 for nine.

Winning captain Ed Yeo said it was important not to get carried away as the bottom half of the table is so tight the situation changes all the time.

“This weekend will sort the men from the boys as we have a few players out so it will be a tough game,” said Yeo.

“It’s surprising what one win will do in a tight bottom half.

Ansell, King and Jack Popham are all part of the Devon set up at the moment, but Yeo thinks the county should have a looked at Huxtable too.

“Alf bowled and fielded tremendously and should probably be on Tim Western’s list of young players for the Lions development programme,” said Yeo.

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