Bideford take the top flight title

Joseph Bulmer

JUST one of the 13 scheduled matches on a weather hit week of the North Devon Cricket League was played to a finish, but it still proved a significant week, with Bideford crowned the 2012 Division One champions.

Will Barrett struck a superb 91 as Bideford made their way to 184-8 in their home meeting with Newton Tracey, when the heavens opened and washed out any hope of further play.

But it was a similar tale at Creedy Park, where North Devon were racing towards a victory target which would have kept them in the hunt for the title – only for the heavens open.

They were on 152-3 after 21 overs, chasing a Sandford total of 243-9. Brian Glass (56), Sean Hawkins (40) and Gary Abdul (35) all chipped in for the Mid Devon men as Matt Westaway claimed 6-28 in his nine covers. With Jamie Overton back in the pavilion with 41 to his name, Dan Bowser was putting bat to ball with great effect and was 58 not out when the game met a premature end.

That wash out means that with one to play, Bideford are champions, irrespective of what happens in their final game next Sunday at home to Braunton.

The only game to play to a finish was at Lynton and Lynmouth, where the home side made sure they would begin next season in Division Two with a 145 run win over Morebath.

Matt Faulkner (42) and Dave Proctor (38) combined to see the hosts to 235-9. Tim Hill and Robbie Venn both claimed three wicket hauls for Morebath, who were the bowled out for 90, only Ed Mack making much of an impression with 27. Tristan Jones and Nick Bowen both returned figures of 3-17.

There was something of a run-fest at Shobrooke Park, where Weare Giffard plundered a total of 296-4, led by James Walker with an unbeaten 106 and Ian Jury who was dismissed one short of a century, falling to Peter Steer who finished with 3-57. Steer then cracked an unbeaten 40 and Ben Stockton was 38 not out when the rain arrived with the hosts 83-0 after a dozen overs of the reply.

Ian Brown (66no), Steve Skinner (47) and Adam Oliver (37) led Victoria Park to 194-4 when rain arrived to wash out their game at home to Incorrigibles.

Division Three champions Halberton had their last game of the season ruined by the rain at Instow, where they had made their way to 189-6 with Adrian Hills (74) and Nick Dean (34) their principle scorers against North Devon II.

Newton Tracey II were 60-1 and well on their way to passing visiting Bideford II offering of 118 all out when the rain hit that game.

The same applied at Filleigh II, where the home side had Bratton Fleming at 10-3 in answer to the home team’s 171 all out.

Three Division Four games all met premature watery ends.

Scott Tremain hit 60 for champions Belstone, who were 160-9 when the weather arrived to ruin any hopes of a finish against visiting Kelseymen.

James Tythcott hit 34 and Jack Morgan took 6-29 as Westleigh were bowled out for 126 at Petrockstowe. The hosts were then a troubled 48-6 when the weather forced the players off.

James Rowe (48) and Dave Orb (38) combined to lead Barnstaple and Pilton II to 207-6 and visiting Victoria Park II were in some bother at 35-5, with Andrew Barton having claimed 4-18, when the rain brought proceedings to an end.

The two Division Five games were both washed out.

The battle between the top two at Heathcoat II, where table toppers Filleigh III were the visitors, was well poised when Knightshayes was hit by rain.

Chris Gregson (54) and Alec Thompson (48) provided the bulk of the home offering of 226 as Harvey James took 5-25. The visitors were 47 without loss when the Umpires called a halt to the game.

Jim Cutler struck a wonderful 115 not out in the final Cheriton Fitzpaine game of the season. The Cutler knock took the Cherries to 254-5 and hosts Nomansland were 99-2, with John Gibson’s 37 the highest contribution, when the rains arrived.