Tuesday, September 3, 2013
Devon Cricket League comes to a close
NORTH Devon broke the Premier Division batting record by four runs in their final game of the Devon League season.
Craig Overton flogged 154 off 114 balls with 16 fours and five sixes as North Devon made 373 all out with two balls remaining of their 50 overs.
Dan Bowser also made a century – his 105 coming from a pedestrian 84 balls – and Glenn Querl hit 74 off 67 balls at the start.
There were stands off 115 between Querl and Overton and another of 196 for the fourth wicket.
North Devon became the third side to break the Premier batting record this season, slipping past Budleigh Salterton (367-3) and Plymouth (369-8) in the process.
Also broken – only just - was the Premier Division record for the fourth wicket of 196 which was posted in 1994 by Seaton batsmen Brad Donelan and Richard Newton against Exmouth.
Jack Richardson (0-46) was the only Torquay bowler to go for less than five an over.
Dan Wightman was the most expensive, but did take six wickets while conceding 95 runs.
Torquay had nothing to lose by playing positively having secured their Premier survival seven days earlier by beating Bradninch.
Justin Yau top scored with 70 in a Torquay reply of 293 all out – and for a while it looked like the visitors might even win!
Des Kruger cracked 42 of 29 balls, Yau had 70 off 62 and there were chip ins from Tim Western (21) and Joe Thompson (28).
Matt Dart (3-23) and skipper Rob Ayre (3-41) bowled North Devon back into control, although there remained a sting in the tail.
Wightman went out at the end and swung 52 off 42 balls in an entertaining last-wicket stand of 69 with Richardson (26).
Skipper Ayre admitted afterwards the batting order had been drawn out of a hat – Craig Overton’s baseball cap in fact – as had the list of bowlers.
“That’s how Matt Dart ended up opening the batting, Dan Pickard opened the bowling and Jas Kalsi kept wicket instead of me,” said Ayre.
“It was a fun day after a long season and when we saw Torquay turn up in fancy dress we realised they would be up for a bit of fun too.”
North Devon finished fourth in the final standings on the back of a storming second half to the season, which saw them win five times in seven completed games.
Had they not lost their first four games and been bottom of the table after five, North Devon could have been title contenders.
The side strengthened seriously during the second half of the season as Querl (Hants II), Tom Allin (ex-Warwickshire) and Craig Overton (Somerset) became regularly available.
Ayre took over as skipper for the last third of the season after Dart stood down for reasons not associated with cricket.
Ayre was captain in 2007 when North Devon won the Premier Division and said he would carry on next year if asked.
BIDEFORD are already plotting their assault on the next division up after winning the C Division title.
James Ford’s side topped the table virtually from first to last and only lost twice during the current campaign, which closed with a 32-run win at Chagford yesterday.
Ipplepen beat Bideford by 39 runs and Kingsbridge turned them over by six wickets. Otherwise it was untrammelled success.
Aussie Jordy Gilmore (936) and Ford (707) led the way with the bat.
Gilmore won’t be back from Australia next season, but Ford is close to finalising a replacement.
Having won the division by a sizeable margin, Ford sees nothing to fear in the next one up.
“It is going to be a stronger division, I don’t doubt that, but I think we are well equipped for it,” said Ford.
“Even some of the stronger sides in the C Division don’t have a lot or bowling once you see off the first two.
“If you look through our bowling this season, lots of players are taking wickets, not just a couple.
“Jordy has been the best overseas player we have had for four of five years and we are already looking for his replacement.
“Even without him we have runs coming elsewhere in the team.
“I have 700 and Matt Allin has nearly 300 despite missing five weeks of the season due to illness.
“Next season will be a lot tougher, but I am confident we can push to go up again.”
BARNSTAPLE’S B Division season ended on a low note with an 88-run defeat at the hands of promoted Chudleigh.
Ed Foreman (76) and Matt Heather (50) both made half-centuries in Chudleigh’s total of 250 for eight.
Derek Perry (31) and Foreman opened up with 87 for the first wicket, then Foreman and Heather notched 93 for the second. George McEndoo took four for 53.
Barnstaple were all out in reply for 162 – Martin, Sean Day and Jack Vittles taking three wickets each. The odd one out went to Rob Clarke.
Barnstaple were reeling at 96 for six before Lee Cole (36) dug in. Tail-enders James Russell (24) and Mark Metters (20) kept Chudleigh out in the field longer than they had hoped.
HATHERLEIGH defeated Braunton by 101 runs to ensure their survival in the A Division for another year.
Had Hatherleigh lost there was a danger of being sucked down with Braunton, who were already doomed.
Victory lifted Hatherleigh out of the bottom two at the expense of Plymstock, who tied with Sandford and went down instead.
Gareth Tidball biffed 132 and Ryan Davies 32 as Hatherleigh made 235 for nine despite the best efforts of Jon Baglow (3-39) and Taylor Latham (2-23) to slow them down/
Nick Rogers and Rob Fishleigh then took three wickets each as Braunton were dismissed for 134 in reply, Mark Mitchell top scoring on 27.