North Devon confident they can avoid Premier drop on final day of season

PUBLISHED: 14:27 29 August 2017

North Devon captain Ed Yeo in action. Picture: Matt Smart

North Devon captain Ed Yeo in action. Picture: Matt Smart

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North Devon play Torquay on Saturday in their final game of the Tolchards Devon Premier season

North Devon skipper Ed Yeo is confident his side will do enough against Torquay to stave off relegation from the Premier Division.

It’s job done the top of the table where Bovey Tracey were confirmed as champions after beating Heathcoat and Bradninch can’t finish lower than second after they won at Exeter.

At the other end of the table there are six clubs going into the final round of fixtures in danger of being relegated – North Devon and Torquay being just two of them.

Plymouth, 11 points away from safety at the bottom, have the most to do as beating Sidmouth in their final game may not be enough to save them.

Paignton and Exeter – two of the other teams under threat - face each other in another high-pressure encounter.

Heathcoat, the other side with relegation worries, play Bradninch.

North Devon are safe if they win – and losing might not send them down either. The outcome of the Paignton-Exeter game is the one Ed Yeo’s men will be watching out for.

If North Devon lose heavily at home to Torquay they could get dragged into the bottom two in the event Exeter lose to Paignton but take all 10 batting and bowling bonus points.

North Devon are in trouble too if they lose badly and Exeter win but take maximum bonus points of Paignton.

Yeo has done his sums and worked out what’s required for safety.

“Exeter and Paignton can’t both win, so only one of them can got past us if they win,” said Yeo.

“The maximum either losing side can get is 10 points, which would put Paignton on 180 and Exeter on 181.

“We are on 178 now, so four points will mean we can’t finish in the bottom two.

“And if we don’t get that we don’t deserve to stay up.”

There will be plenty of well-chewed fingernails around the Premier Division basement clubs by Saturday night.

North Devon lost by three wickets at Sidmouth last time out where their total of 207 all out looked below par.

Skipper Yeo hit 43 after Dan Bower and Tom Ansell went cheaply to Josh Bess (4-41) and Jamie Overton clubbed nine fours and four sixes on his way to 80 off 57 balls.

Matt Cooke (4-31) spun through the North Devon lower order.

Josh King (2-39) and James Thomas reduced Sidmouth to 21 for three in reply but North Devon couldn’t press home their advantage though as Luke Bess and Liam Lewis put on 106 for the fourth wicket.

Lewis fell for 38 to Stef James, but Bess kept going for an unbeaten 102 to get Sidmouth over the line with more than four overs to go.

Yeo felt North Devon didn’t play to their potential and paid for it;.

“We could have been better,” he said.

“At 140 for four with 20 overs left we should have got 250.

“Bess was dropped twice but he batted superbly, yet again everyone dug deep in the field and bowled well.”

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