North Devon share in Paignton’s sorrow

Joseph Bulmer

NORTH Devon captain Mike Hedden said it was difficult not to feel sorry for Paignton after his table-topping side thrashed them by nine wickets.

Paignton clearly didn’t have their heart in playing cricket after arriving at Instow under the cloud of learning club chairman Alan Higgs had been rushed into hospital and was on life support with his family at his bedside. He died on Sunday morning.

A subdued Paignton were bowled out for just 66 – Tom Field (26) and Seb Benton (14) the only players to reach double figures – with Craig Overton taking 5-25 and Matt Westaway 2-7.

North Devon only needed 9.5 overs to knock off the runs. Neil Bettis (26no) and Overton (28no) saw it through after the early demise of Rob Gear.

“I don’t think they really wanted to be out there,” said Hedden.

“We knew next to nothing about their problems until after the match and you can only feel sorry for them in that situation. It wasn’t much of a game, but in a situation like that all we could do was get on with it.”

Paignton lost opener Marc Smith to Glenn Querl in the first over - caught behind by stand-in wicketkeeper Bettis – then a five-wicket burst from Overton sent them sliding to 38 for six.

Bettis showed Paignton no mercy when North Devon batted, flogging Benton for 16 in one over, to hasten the end.

North Devon are away to Bradninch this Saturday.

BRAUNTON blocked out the last three overs at the Recreation Ground to deny runaway A Division leaders Torquay a win in their top-of-the-table clash.

Skipper Justin Yau led from the front with 64 and Matt Thompson made 45 as Torquay clocked up 201-7.

Yau and Thompson put on 78 for the second wicket, with Yau hanging around until the fourth wicket went, having put on another 45 with Scott Baldry (23).

Braunton were a bowler down in the absence of former Torquay left-armer Jon Baglow, so ex-Somerset and England player Mark Lathwell was coaxed out of retirement to help.

Lathwell and Andy Paddison had two wickets each while Stewart Rhodes bagged 3-55.

All-rounder Rhodes then held it all together for Braunton with an unbeaten 81.

Wickets fell steadily to seamer Ian Baker (3-42) and spinner (3-50) as Braunton slipped behind the clock. Three overs out Braunton shut up shop and patted back for the draw at 187-8.

They will be looking for a better result when lowly Barton visit Kelsey this Saturday.

BARNSTAPLE & Pilton thrashed B Division stragglers Clyst by 150 runs, with Lawrence May scoring a century.

May clattered along to 120 as B&P made it to 278 all out. May and Jack Popham (52) put on 110 for the fourth wicket.

Steve Bourke (4-69) and Pete Andrews (2-31) were the pick of the bowlers.

There were three wickets each for Ross Burbidge (3-30) and Henry McEndoo (3-47) as Clyst were bowled out for 128. Chris Ferro (36) and Dan Takle (27) offered the only real resistance.

Chagford are B&P’s guests this Saturday.

HATHERLEIGH overcame an attack of the jitters to beat C Division opponents Stoke Gabriel by five wickets and move within eight points of second-placed Clyst Hydon. Stoke cobbled together 155 all out, with Rob Baker (29), Andy Lockyer (28) and Matt Taylor (23) all chipping in. Mark Lake (3-36) was Hatherleigh’s leading wicket taker. Simon Gillespie (2-36) and Nick Rogers (2-42) had two wickets each and there were two run-outs.

Simon Phillips (2-43) and Nick Sandbrook (2-43) had Hatherleigh struggling at 43-4 – and 70-5 wasn’t much of an improvement.

But Gillespie (59no) was then joined by Jack Cherrington (31no) in a stand of 86 that won the match. Stoke didn’t help themselves by chucking down 25 wides.

Hatherleigh make the long trip to Seaton this Saturday.

BIDEFORD lost their way at Ivybridge, where a middle-order collapse proved costly.

Andy Johnson (49) and Gareth Andrews (29) put on 50 for the first Ivybridge wicket and with Kelvin Trent (55), Kevin Jacobs (30) and Jeewan deSilva (31no) all chipping in, the final total reached 229-6. Wickets were hard to come by, although James Ford and Matt Bettis took two each.

Bideford were 84 without loss at drinks, with Matt Allin (27) and Mike Young settled in nicely.Young kept going to reach 76, but the game got away from Bideford as they dipped from 126-2 to 143-6. It was safety first from then on, with Bideford plodding to the draw at 181-7.

Bideford head for Stoke Gabriel this Saturday afternoon.

E DIVISION leaders Filleigh were denied any action. The wicket at Chardstock, where Uplyme and Lyme Regis were due to stage the game, was left waterlogged by the Friday night rain.