Bideford and Barnstaple collapse, as Braunton miss out again

North Devon Gazette

Bideford's batting collapsed like a pack of cards as Thorverton defeated them by 93 runs in the B Division.

Bideford had Thorverton on the rack at one stage, but paid the price for failing to finish them off when they had the chance.

Defeat leaves Bideford mid-table and definitely out of the promotion picture. Too many more defeats like this one in the last six games could even put the in relegation danger.

Average points from completed games only are now being used to calculate league standings in the Tolchards Devon League due to Covid cancellations. Bideford (11.83) are barely two points a game better off than Dartington & Totnes (9.71) who occupy the second drop spot.

Paul Fielder (28) and Dan Robbins (32) were the only top-six batters to make much headway for Thorverton against miserly bowling from Alex Hannam (1-36), Steve Bond (2-31), James Hayter (1-32) and Jack Ford (1-30).

Ben Slaviero went in a 127 for seven and hit an unbeaten 42 to help Thors reach 197 all out.

Bideford lost opener James Hayter cheaply, but Tom Brend (29) and James Ford (34) made slow but steady progress to reach 67 for one. Ford’s demise to Jacob Broom (2-21) precipitated a decline in Bideford’s fortunes.

Brend went soon after then wickets tumbled regularly to Slaviero, Choules (3-18) and Jopling (2-23) to give Thorverton victory.

Kilmington visit the Westward Ho! ground this Saturday.

*Braunton's game against Exmouth was a Covid-casualty due to track-and-trace alerts in the Seasiders’ camp.

Braunton have now gone three weeks without a game in the C Division East due to such alerts and will hope for better luck when Whimple visit Kelsey this Saturday.

Thanks to the average points system now in force in the Devon League, Braunton (16.14pts) remain third in C East behind Exmouth (16.43) and Sidmouth (18.17).

*Barnstaple & Pilton came up short against Feniton in D Division East.

Jonny Pyle top scored on 54 for Feniton in a total of 187 all out. The best stand of the innings was 49 between Pyle and Jack Tucker (24). Matt Davies (27) and Mark Salter (22) made earlier runs.

Joe Hastie (3-21) and George Elnaugh (3-64) were B&P’s main wicket takers. Skipper Lee Cole (2-33) and Giles Bashford (1-25) bowled a tidy nine overs each.

James Poole (28) and Rob Holm got B&P up to 78 for one and at that stage everything looked rosy. It was a different story after a collapse to 83 for five as Davies (4-45) got to work.

Cole (27) and Hastie (27no) staged a rescue act, but once Davies dismissed the captain it was downhill all the way to 158 all out.

Defeat leaves B&P one of the bottom of the table going into this Saturday’s home game against promotion-chasing Uplyme.

*Bideford 2nd XI ran out of steam chasing 253 to win against Honiton and lost a close encounter by 15 runs.

Man of the match was Honiton’s Adam Holmes who belted 102 off just 58 balls as his side accelerated from 109 for five to 252 all out. Best of the bowlers for Bideford with three wickets each were Dan Smith (3-43) and Keith Berry (3-21).

Opener John Weeks anchored the Bideford pursuit with 86 and his stand with Julian Hayter (64) got the home side up to 200 for three with 11 overs to go. Then it all went wrong.

Hayter and Weeks went in the space of three runs to man of the match Holmes (3-51) and after that a procession of batters came and went again in a hurry as Bideford stumbled to 237 all out.

*Braunton 2nd XI are starting to look unstoppable at the top of the F Division West after mowing down Whimple 2nd XI by 261 runs.

Batter Julian Lambert helped himself to 121 in Braunton’s 40-over total of 327 for five. He put on 212 for the second wicket with Ed Holmes (55).

The runs kept coming from Steve Hunt (36) and Dan Brierley (60no) whose time together produced 95 runs.

Whimple were all out for just 66 in exactly 20 overs. Mark Johnson (5-29) did most of the damage and there were two wickets each for Andy Jones and Gary Osborne.

Braunton (19.1pts) are way ahead of North Devon 3rd XI (14.3) in the race for the divisional title.