Hatherleigh pick up crucial points at Plymouth ahead of crunch Cornwood clash

North Devon Gazette

Hatherleigh set up a crunch clash with Cornwood this Saturday in the Premier Division survival stakes by beating Plymouth by four wickets at Mount Wise.

Four clubs are in the relegation fame – Exeter (10.73pts), Cornwood (9.70), Hatherleigh (9.42) and Exmouth (9.31) – with two games left to stay out of the bottom two.

Cornwood’s win over Plymouth last time out lifted them out of the bottom two for the first time since May, but only by fractions of a point. If Hatherleigh win on Saturday they should climb out of the bottom two. But if Exeter beat Paignton it’s anyone’s guess who will be where on Saturday night.

There was a sombre moment of reflection before the game at Mount Wise as a mark of respect for the victims of Thursday’s shooting in nearby Keyham.

Both teams and match officials observed a minute’s silence before the match started.

Plymouth were all out for 201 in the 48th of 50 overs. Hal Kerton top scored with 68, Faizan Riaz made 46 in a hurry off 24 balls and opener James Degg scored 35.

Sean Letheren (4-42) had four wickets on his return to the Hatherleigh 1st XI and there were four wickets for Jasper Presswell (4-14).

Opener Rob Fishleigh was the anchorman who took Hatherleigh in sight of victory with a rock-solid 59 off 152 balls.

Tino Mutombodzi made 26, Ryan Davies added 48 during a stand of 97 with Fishleigh and Garth Tidball scored 20 in boundaries on the way to 22 not out at the end of the chase.

Mark Lake, the Hatherleigh captain, is clearly taking one game at a time and was happier reflecting on this game than the ones coming up.

"It was a fantastic result against a good team and a win that was a massive team effort,” said Lake.

“With the ball we did well to bowl them out for 200 on a good wicket after they got off to a flyer.

“Batsmen took responsibility up the top and broke the back of the chase.”

*North Devon’s trip to Tavistock in the A Division was cancelled due to Covid-19 alerts.

Their 2nd XI stay on Uplyme’s tails in the race for the runners-up spot in the D Division East after beating Sampford Peverell & Tiverton by two wickets.

Lee Hooper (41), Tom Lock (58) and Harry Southgate (34) got SP&T up to 159 for three, then Lewis Hough (43no) took the 45-over total of 231 for seven.

James Starkey bowled nine overs for 35 runs in a limiting role for North Devon. Spinner Jack Hockin took four wickets for 44 runs.

North Devon were made to work for their win with Jack Bradbury (2-27) and Joe Parkinson (1-33) particularly tough to get away. With 15 overs to go North Devon were in 10-an-over-plus territory.

Starkey (33) and Rob Ayre (47) had chipped away at the total and 38 extras – 28 of them wides – helped too!

North Devon’s match-winner was Harry Nicholl, who hit the winning boundary four balls into the final over to finish on 57 not out.

Champions elect Alphington & Countess Wear (18.00pts) lead the way from Uplyme (16.77) and North Devon (15.15).

To have any chance of finished second North Devon must beat bottom side Sidmouth 3rd XI this Saturday and hope SP&T to do them a favour by beating Uplyme & Lyme Regis.