NORTH Devon skipper Matt Dart said Plymouth had his sympathies after they lost at Instow by seven hundredths of a run!

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Rain affected games are now decided on run rate after the Premier Division ditched win-lose-draw cricket as an experiment this summer.

Defending champions North Devon made 229 for nine in the full 50 overs – Rob Gear making a top score of 76.

After Tom Ansell (24) and Gear gave North Devon an 87-run start, Chris Barr struck twice to sent back Ansell and Dan Bowser, who was caught at long leg sweeping.

Gear went next – Andy Birkett (3-26) accounted for Ansell as 87 without loss became 119 for three. Birkett then picked off Rob Ayre lbw and Matt Westaway to a catch at mid-off as North Devon slumped to 136 for five.

The rot stopped with Glen Querl and Warren Miller, whose stand of 71 took North Devon safety past 200. Rob Bennett finally snaffled Querl for 68 then bowled Miller for 24.

Plymouth lost wickets regularly once Paul Heard removed James Toms with a catch behind.

Ben Stein (18), James Bryant (20) and Chris Barr (34no) all got set, but only Barr hung around while the teams were taken on and off a couple of times before the rain set in for good.

“We were very lucky,” said Dart. “Although Plymouth missed a trick by not taking the power play before we came off for rain, our bowlers did a great job containing them. Rob Gear again showed his class with bat and ball and Glen Querl came good with bat, even though he had a quiet day with the ball.”

l BRAUNTON raced to victory over South Devon in the only A Division game to beat the weather.

The bad news for South Devon was that was always the probable outcome after Jon Baglow (4-17) and Harry Booker (4-40) had bowled them out for just 116. After Ali Wright (49) and Hammad Usman (11) got South Devon up to 79 for three, it went downhill to 87 for six then 116 all out.

Braunton had 67 overs to knock off the runs and did it in just 22.2.

Jas Kalsi made 24 and new boy Lawrence May, ex of Barnstaple & Pilton, had an unbeaten 47 on his debut. Pat Duke (2-17) was South Devon’s most successful bowler.

After the defeat sustained against Shobrooke seven days earlier, Braunton skipper Baglow got the response he wanted.

“Our bowling and fielding was 110 per cent better and we only bowled one wide in the first 30 overs and four all game,” said Baglow. “Having Harry Booker back made a difference, although we still missed Andy Paddison who can’t bowl due to an injury.

Lawrence May hit the first ball he faced for four and smashed it all round on his debut.”

It is Cornwood away for Braunton this Saturday.

l BARNSTAPLE and Pilton took the best of the points from a game which was slipping away from them when it started to rain.

B&P made a respectable 226 for eight with Steve Moore (38), Danny Donovan (33) and George McEndoo (30) all contributing.

Alex Wraight (4-44) pipped Matt Pyle for the bowling laurels.

Axminster were handily placed at 99 for two – Paul Miller 37 not out – with 19 overs to come, when the match was abandoned.

Barnstaple, who took 12 points to Axminster’s ten, will be away to Alphington this Saturday.

l HATHERLEIGH’S game against Thorverton ground to a halt shortly after tea.

After Ali Fury and Paul Fielder fell early in a running total of 12 for two, Andrew Codling (49) and James Hope (34) pushed the score up to 96 for three. Although Rob Cockwill bowled well to take five Thors’ wickets for 33 runs, the home side got to 175 for nine before time expired. Nick Barton made 23.

Hatherleigh batted eight over to reach 29 for none when rain stopped play

Bideford, but didn’t get the chance to get stuck into C Division promotion rivals Ipplepen.

After Maritz Hartmann (51) and Dave Harris (44) had put on 80 for the second Pens wicket, Jack Lewis (61no) and Joe Abbot (39) weighed in with 75 for more for the fifth.

With Bideford chucking in 58 extras, Pens got to 257 for six.

Bowling wise there were three wickets for Josh King and two for Jack Hockin. Bideford only got as far as 25 for none when it rained.

l FILLEIGH banked a dozen points from an abandoned home meeting with Whimple.

Simon Prideaux (84) and Rob Collier (51) led the North Devon side to 295-8 and Whimple were 60-2 when the rain struck.

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