North Devon slip, but stay top

Joseph Bulmer

BUDLEIGH Salterton stripped North Devon of their unbeaten Devon League record when they chased down 217 to win at Instow, beating the league leaders with three overs to spare.

Neil Bettis made 46 at the top of the order for North Devon, who were carried along to 216-6 by Dan Bowser with 84 not out. Bowser, who hit eight fours and two sixes, went in at 32-2 and shared in stands of 64 with Bettis and 67 with Alex Smith.

The wickets were shared around with two each for Scott Barlow (2-69) and Matt Sutcliffe (2-26) and one apiece for Charlie Morris and James Hudson.

Budleigh suffered a double blow early on when Jamie Overton (2-41) whipped out Bob Dawson and James Burke in the same over.

Skipper Sandy Allen (43) and James Hudson (37) put Budleigh back on the straight and narrow for a while with a stand of 37. Allen’s demise was followed by Morris going cheaply as 57-2 became 63-4. Lloyd White (29) supported Hudson in getting the score up to 121-5. Two wickets went in a hurry and at 126-6 North Devon appeared on top. But

Scott Barlow (39no) and Jack Dart (41no) got their heads down and put on 91 unbroken to win the match.

The good news for North Devon was that second-placed Sidmouth also lost at Bovey Tracey, so they remain top and have a 27-point lead over Sidmouth and Exmouth, who are joint second.

North Devon go into the second half of the season, which starts this Saturday, with a game against Plympton, unsure how much they are going to see of the influential Overton twins.

Jamie was called up for England U19 duty 10 days ago and is due to hook up with the squad at a training camp this weekend.

Now Craig has been invited to join the training camp as well, with a view to next year’s U19 World Cup in Australia.

“There is a one-day series coming up against South Africa, for which Jamie is in the sqad, but Craig isn’t,” said twins’ dad Mark.

“Craig is going along for what is best described as an extended England trial with a view to the World Cup. By the time the World Cup comes round some of the players in the squad will be too old to play, which is why they are having a look at Craig. Before the series against South Africa there are some warm-up games - bizarrely they are against South Africa as well - and if Craig does well in the training camp he may be playing in some of those.”