Bluebirds give bottom side six of the best

Joseph Bulmer

Mark Gilfillan scores a hat-trick as Ilfracombe cruise to a win against struggling Combe Martin

MARK Gilfillan scored a hat-trick for leaders Ilfracombe Town Reserves in a 6-0 win against struggling Combe Martin on Saturday.

The tale of top versus bottom produced few surprises as the Bluebirds flexed their muscles in the Premier Division Marlborough Park derby.

Colin Woodcock found the net twice and there was a single for Pete Gammon as ‘Combe won for the fourth game in a row.

Second-placed North Molton had to work hard to keep touch with their title rivals. The Stags beat Appledore Reserves 2-1 at Marshford, Greg Holland scoring the first after the break with a deft chip over a crowded goalmouth from just six yards out.

Alex Lane doubled the lead with a far post header as Molton enjoyed their best spell of the match against a Fishermen side that had given as good as it got in the opening 45.

Tom Barton struck a shot into the bottom corner from the edge of the box to give Kevin Fishwick’s team hope with 18 minutes to go but despite beginning to dominate the possession, the hosts were unable to snatch a point.

Boca Seniors followed up last week’s 7-0 win against Georgeham & Croyde with a similarly authoritative display against Shamwickshire Rovers on Saturday.

The champions needed no waking up to get go-going, Tom Marsh swivelling at the front post for the first.

Marsh made it two after a spill by the Shammy goalkeeper and it was 3-0 at the break after a well-taken Giles Daniel header.

Scott Sharp, James Davey and Mark Barrow were on target in the second half to give Boca an easy win against the 2009/10 champions.

Assistant manager Lee Ackland, deputising for the absent Darren Todd, said his side put in “thoroughly dominant and hard working display”.

Elliot Whitecross scored two mirror-image goals as Braunton left it late to beat Georgeham & Croyde 2-0.

Whitecross rifled shots from opposite angles into the far corner of the net to keep Mark Harris’ third-placed side well in touch with the leaders.

“Elliot doesn’t score tap-ins; he took both chances really well, coming onto them and hitting them on the angle,” said manager Harris.

On Sunday, Whitecross was on target again as Braunton beat High Bickington 6-0 in the Torridge Cup. Simon Townsend scored a hat-trick and Matt Hunnibell scored two.

Bratton Fleming travelled to Putford with a scratch 11 but still managed to overturn their opponents 4-1.

With a growing injury list and no regular goalkeeper available, Jamie Cameron donned the gloves and almost kept a clean sheet despite carrying an ankle injury himself.

Martin Edwards scored a goal in each half before Andy Roper replied for Putford. Two goals by Marcus Mahoney ended the hosts’ chances of a comeback as Bratton battled for everything.

Shaun Winfield and Hallum Cook put Torrington 2-0 up at half-time in the game against Bradworthy.

But the visitors hit back in the second half and took all three points with goals by Gary Clarke, Danny Bryant and Michael Sampson.

A Craig Horrell thunderbolt gave Barnstaple AAC their second win of the season in the 1-0 win at home to Dolton.

In the day’s other game, Shebbear United could have been 3-0 up at the break against a disorganised Torridgeside Reserves side.

They were denied well by stand-in goalkeeper Lee Cockwill and went on to take the lead after the break through Martin Boundy’s looping header.

Torrie went two-up thanks to a moment of brilliance by Nathan Walter, who cut inside and beat two players before dispatching a sweetly-struck shot from the edge of the box.

Shebbear pulled one back with five minutes to go to set up a nervy finish.