NORTH Devon remain on course for the Premier Division title despite a hiccup along the way against defending champions Sidmouth.
Sidmouth clocked up 166-9 in their 50 overs â€“ Neil Hancock making 52 and Anthony Griffiths 42 â€“ then had North Devon hanging on at 143-9 when the overs ran out. Glenn Querl was pick of the North Devon bowlers with 4-42.
Rob Gear went cheaply, so did Craig Overton, and with Murray (3-38) and Will Gater (3-32) turning the screw, North Devon subsided to 66-7. Dan Bowser ground out 49 and while he was there North Devon had a chance. But when he was dispatched it left Matt Westaway and Paul Heard to sink or swim as the last pair. Between them Westaway (31no) and Heard (2no) survived the final nine overs and put on 24 in the process to earn a bonus point.
North Devon suffered a four-point cut in their lead at the top, but as they were 36 points clear that is largely academic.
Skipper Mike Hedden said during the course of North Devon innings, he went from confident to grateful.
â€œI felt having kept them to 166 we could be confident of knocking off the runs,â€ said Hedden. â€œI hadnâ€™t bargained on a calamitous run out in the first over, losing Rob Gear in the second and another run out to a direct hit from a player almost lying on the ground. In the end I was grateful to Westers and Paul Heard for saving the game.â€
North Devon are away to Bovey Tracey this Saturday.
BRAUNTON had the best of a draw at Sandford to keep their promotion prospects bubbling away in the A Division.
Jas Kalsi hit 101 and Tom Mitcham 43 in Brauntonâ€™s 209-5. Stewart Rhodes made 41.
The big stands were worth 106 between Kalsi and Mitcham and 77 between Kalsi and Rhodes. Kalsi helped himself to 13 fours during a 152-ball stay.
Sandford had a go on the chase, with Darryn Mortimer (54), Adrian Small (41) and Matt Theedom (34) all chipping in. But the game slipped away when four wickets fell for 12 runs to Harry Booker (3-66) and Andy Paddison (2-53). Fifty-four to win off the last five overs was too many, so the draw was taken at 192-8.
Braunton entertain Cornwood on Saturday afternoon.
BARNSTAPLE & Pilton got over the jitters to take a winning draw off promotion chasing South Devon at Newton Abbot.
B&P recovered from 102-6 to make 199 all out â€“ and South Devon finished three runs short on the chase.
Pete Vorster took 6-49 to send B&P slithering, but knocks from Danny Donovan (39), Steve Moore (29) and Jack Popham (28) got them off the hook.
South Devon opener Tom Carter batted through for an unbeaten 99 and Nick Hulse made 41, but there were no other double-figure scores in South Devonâ€™s 196-6 in reply.
Moore (2-29) and George McEndoo (2-59) had the best of the bowling figures.
B&P are back at Taw Meadow this Saturday to receive Thorverton.
HATHERLEIGH found out why Lewdown are running away with the C Division this season when the two sides met at Holsworthy Road.
Ryan Davies (26) and Nicholas Scott-Rogers (27) were Hatherleighâ€™s best run scorers in a total of 110 all out. Having been 37-5 at one stage, 110 wasnâ€™t a bad effort.
Lewdownâ€™ Rob Mutch showed the form that has had Lancashire sniffing round him by taking 4-22. They will find out more when he spends part of the week after next at Old Trafford.
Harry Geering then struck an unbeaten 57 and Mutch cracked 17 not out from seven balls, as Lewdown raced to an eight-wicket win.
BIDEFORD lost to Clyst Hydon by six wickets, allowing Clyst to snatch second place off Hatherleigh.
Will Barrett (62no) and Josh King (42) had the only scores of note in Bidefordâ€™s modest tally of 151-6.
Having been 47-5 when Barrett went in to join King, Bideford did well to get as many as they did. Dhanuja Haturusingha (2-27) and Peter Milner (3-29) took the wickets while Kev Sercombe (13-7-18-0) tied down an end effectively.
A second wicket stand of 97 between Chris Jelley (55) and Andy Feather (42) pointed Clyst towards victory.
Lewdown are now 51 points clear of second placed Clyst Hydon and 57 up on Hatherleigh with 100 to play for.
Bideford run into Hatherleigh this Saturday while Hatherleigh make the long trip to Kingsbridge.
FILLEIGH march on at the top of the E Division after a six-wicket win at home to Babbacombe.
The visitors batted first and laboured their way to 147-9.
Nick Dartnoll (3-35), Tom Marsh (2-18) and John Hickman (2-21) were the wicket takers for Filleigh, who were then led to a six wicket win at 148-4 by Mark Prideaux (45) and Simon Prideaux (29).
The Filleigh lead at the top is 21 points and they are 24 points clear of the latest side to sit third, Honiton.
Filleigh are away to Honiton this Saturday.
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