North Devon's Jack Whittaker, who top scored in the win over Heathcoat Photo: Fiona Tyson

Complete performance from North Devon in defeating champions

North Devon Gazette

North Devon beat defending champions Heathcoat by seven wickets to end the Premier table-toppers’ unbeaten start to the season.

Heathcoat were all out for 189 in the 49th of their 50 overs. No one made more than Jamie Drew, who went in first wicket down at 24 for one and was sixth out on 131 for 37.

North Devon opener Jack Whittaker got his head down to make 71 as North Devon cantered over the finishing line with five overs to spare.

Heathcoat (94pts) remain top of the table, but have company now, as North Devon are just one point behind them.

Drew had some support from Harry Southgate (20) and there were a handful of scores on the 10-20 range. Only Simon Sobczak failed to reach double figures between one and nine.

Tom Hatton made 25 down the order before being picked off by North Devon seamer Jack Moore (3-44) in his second spell.

Jack Popham (2-18), and Darren Butler (0-25) were North Devon’s most frugal bowlers.

Whittaker, newly arrived at North Devon from C East side Braunton, put on 84 with in-form Ben Howe (48) and another 50 with Moore to take the running total to 164 for three.

Moore was still there on 33 not out alongside skipper Tom Popham when the winning runs were made.

Tom Popham, the North Devon captain, felt it was a near-complete performance by his side from start to finish.

“We bowled well as a unit and there wasn’t much let-off from any of the bowlers,” said Popham.

“When we batted, it was with great maturity and composure to confidently chase what could have a been a tricky total on a difficult deck to score fluently on.

“Jack Whitaker and Ben Howe got us off to a great start that broke the back of the chase – Jack Moore finished the game with some fine stroke play.

“A lot of young players on show on both sides, which was great to see; hopefully these guys get proper chances for higher honours in the future.

“I was the oldest player on our side…”