Bideford avoid final day disaster, Barnstaple & Pilton survive too

North Devon Gazette

Bideford avoided a last-day disaster in the B Division by inflicting a crushing 92-run defeat on Bovey Tracey 2nd XI.

The final day scenario was that one of Bideford, Ivybridge, Dartington & Totnes or Heathcoat 2nd XI would be going down with doomed Plymstock.

Bideford were further way from danger than any of their rivals in the bottom half of the table, but made 100 per cent certain of staying up by thrashing Bovey.

“It was never in any doubt and nice to end with a win,” said skipper Alex Hannam.

Posting a total of 265 for six put Bideford in the driving seat. Openers James Ford (52) and Tom Brend (78) got away to a 134-run start then Oliver Hannam (20), Jack Ford (31) and veteran Ian Hayter (35no) kept the board ticking over.

Bovey skipper Jeremy Christophers tried seven bowlers in search of breakthroughs. Only Jack Ansley (2-32) had much to celebrate.

Bovey made a decent start – they were 88 for one – but lost their way in the time it took to slip from 148 for five to 155 for nine. Losing three wickets on 148 did not help.

Opener Freddie Ford (29) and Archie Christophers (41) put on 67 for the second wicket after Derek Perry came and went for 15: bowled by Martin Stewart by a ball he left alone!

Charlie Hill (26) chipped in before a series of comings and goings at the other end undermined Bovey’s chase.

Wickets were shared among Bideford’s bowlers with three for Steve Bond (3-29) and two each for Stewart and spinner Jack Ford.

*Barnstaple & Pilton made sure of dodging the relegation reaper with a bizarre nine-wicket win over fellow D East strugglers Sidmouth 3rd XI.

Sidmouth have not enjoyed a great season, but it hit a new low when they were bowled out for just 29.

Barnstaple & Pilton opening bowler Giles Bashford took out the Sidmouth top for on his way to match figures of six for 10 and there were two wickets and a run-out for new-ball colleague George Elnaugh.

The runs were knocked off inside six overs with B&P opener James Roe (20) scoring the bulk of them.

Victory kept B&P in the D East for another season. Sidmouth are on the way down with Kentisbeare.