North Devon beat Barton to keep pressure on Bradninch

North Devon Gazette

North Devon kept the pressure on A Division leaders Bradninch with a five-wicket win at Barton.

Barton were always up against it after folding to 91 all out with 16 of their 50 overs unbowled.

It started to go wrong when James Tyson bowled former Devon player Andy Hele, who was the first of three Barton wickets to fall as they slipped from 53 for two to 54 for five.

Adam Parker with a careful 29 off 70 balls shored up one end for Barton, who got to 79 for five before it all went wrong again.

A combination of Ben Howe (2-14), Josh Atkinson (4-6) and Matt Dart with one at the end took Barton’s last five wickets for 12 runs.

Howe opened the batting for North Devon and was still there on 59 not out when the runs were knocked off in the 28th over. Skipper Tom Popham was Howe’s running mate in a stand of 48 that as good as won the match.

Victory leaves North Devon six points behind unbeaten Bradninch at the top of the table. Torquay are level on points with Popham’s men, but have won game fewer.

Barton are stalled in mid-table, but are mathematically closer to the bottom two (+12pts) than the top two (-34).

Popham said Howe performed well with bat and ball, but it was Atkinson’s spell with the ball that proved decisive.

“Once we got the spinners on we started getting wickets and controlling the run rate until josh Atkinson came on, bowled straight on a length that suited the wicket perfectly and ended Barton’s innings pretty swiftly,” said Popham.

“Ben Howe also bowled with great skill to grab a couple of wickets.

“Ben then batted intelligently, picking off any bad balls to bat through on a pitch which was difficult to score on.

“Barton is a very difficult place to get a victory and we managed that on a tricky wicket.”

*Reuben Windley and Joe Kelly both scored centuries in North Devon 2nd XI’s hefty 201-run win over Uplyme & Lyme Regis in D Division East.

After Ed Yeo (40) and Jay Rothery (26) got North Devon up to 99 for two, Windley and Kelly took over.

Windley made 122 off 101 balls and Kelly 115 not out from 73 deliveries as North Devon advanced to 358 for four.

The third-wicket partnership between Windley and Kelly was worth 177 runs.

Uplyme’s top order failed to fire in the way skipper Sam Farrow would have wanted against Will Popham (3-29) and David Hartley (4-58).

Joe Elsworth (56) put up some resistance, but the spin of Jack Hockin (2-3 in nine balls) had Uplyme all out for 157.