Bideford beaten again; Braunton setback; Barnstaple lifted

North Devon Gazette

Bideford's losing run in the Devon League B Division continued when they went down by four wickets to promotion-chasing Ipplepen.

Bideford scraped together 90 all out in 36.3 overs thanks to 35 from James Hayter and 20 from Tom Brend.

Once Hayter was dismissed by Marcus Green (2-21) Bideford lost their last five wickets for just four run with skipper Ashley Harvey (4-19) doing most of the damage.

Chasing low totals can be a tricky business at times, which must have crossed Harvey’s mind after Pens’ reply stumbled from 12 for four to 36 for six. Alex Hannam (3-21) and Martin Stewart (2-36).

Sam Wakeham was Pens’ saviour with a typically rumbustious 71 not out from 46 balls – eight fours and four sixes – that had the game won early in the 20th over.

While Ipplepen ponder on the possibility of promotion, Bideford have been dragged into the relegation picture. Five defeats in July have left them one place and 0.89 of a point clear of Heathcoat in the second relegation place.

*Braunton's promotion hopes suffered a setback when they lost by 45 runs to Upottery.

Braunton have been there or thereabouts at the top of the C East table for most of the season as they chase the only promotion spot out of it.

With four games to go second-placed Braunton (15.33pts) now trail leaders Sidmouth (17.71) and only have four games left to do something about it. A defeat this Saturday by promotion rivals Clyst St George could be terminal to Braunton’s hopes.

Upottery’s frontline batters almost all made a contribution to their total of 179 for eight. Among the bits-and-pieces scores were knocks of 23 from Rob Tasker, 45 from Lee Jefferson and 32 from skipper Mark Joyce.

Veteran spinner Steve Moore (four for 17 off nine) had Braunton’s best bowling figures.

The chase was looking good at 58 for two, with Jack Whittaker (35) and Callum Mitchell (25) both contributing.

But it was a different story at 77 for six and despite Jon Baglow’s 28 and 13 from Moore it was downhill all the way to 134 all out.

*Barnstaple & Pilton defeated Clyst Hydon by 59 runs to move out of the D East bottom two for the first time this season.

Andy Fewings (55) top scored for B&P and added 63 for the third wicket with James Poole (39) towards a total of 161 all out.

Tom Pettit (4-17) and Jeff Sanders (3-28) had the best bowling returns for Hydon, who got to 76 for two in reply without any real issues – Ian Sutton making 35 – then went into freefall.

Joe Hastie did most of the damage with a six-over spell of five for 15 that had Hydon all out for 102.

Victory has taken B&P (9.25pts) ahead of Sidmouth 3rd XI  (8.27) in the fight for survival. The two teams meet on the last day of the season in what could be a must-win game for both of them.