North Devon tighten their grip

Joseph Bulmer

NORTH Devon crushed Heathcoat by 184 runs to tighten their grip on top spot in the Premier Division.

Neil Bettis struck a top score of 85 as North Devon negotiated their 50 overs to make 234-7. He was the anchorman North Devon batted around and he soldiered on until the score reached 220-6, when Small had him caught at cover. Dan Bowser (24), Jamie Overton (20) and Querl (24) were all involved in sizeable stands with Bettis. The best was one of 80 for the fifth wicket with Querl.

Heathcoat nosedived to 50 all out. No batter made a double-figure score, three made nothing at all and opener Peter Randerson’s seven wasn’t bettered by anyone coming after him. Somerset prospect Jamie Overton took 5-11 while Glen Querl took 4-12.

Victory puts North Devon 27 points clear at the top of the table from Budleigh Salterton. The campaign continues this Saturday with a home game against third-placed Plymouth.

BRAUNTON got back to winning ways in the A Division after a couple of defeats with a seven-wicket win over visiting Brixham.

It was always going to be an uphill task for Brixham after they lost their first three wickets without scoring a run and when skipper Chris Lanyon went they were 2-4!

Braunton bowlers Stuart Rhodes (4-43) and Jon Baglow (3-53) had something to get their teeth into and wouldn’t be shaken off. Brixham lost wickets regularly until Joe Hyde joined Mark Orchard out in the middle at seven wickets down. Hyde made 49 and Orchard 38 as Brixham finally scraped together 158-9.

Braunton lost wickets at eight, 37 and 146 in reaching the target. Rhodes led the chase with 72 not out and put on 109 with Ian Roberts (36).

Braunton are now fifth in the table, a position they will hope to improve on when they visit lowly Shobrooke Park this Saturday.

BARNSTAPLE found Axminster uninterested in chasing 175 to win at Taw Meadow in a game that ended in a draw.

At 83-2, with 70 needed off 15 overs and eight wickets to play with, Axminster should have gone close. The middle order fell away as Steve Moore (3-24) tied them down and the Axminster reply closed on 138-7 with Gary Larcombe (49) top scoring and Paul Miller chipping in with 28.

Earlier Ed Yeo (53), Andy Barton (25) and George McEndoo (24) were all among the runs for Barnstaple, who visit Tavistock this Saturday.

HATHERLEIGH moved ahead of Seaton and out of the bottom three in the C Division thanks to a three-wicket win over Ashburton.

Rain meant it was only 34 overs a side, in which Ashburton made 158-8. Tom Durman (62) and Kevin Nicholls (19) posted 64 for the first wicket with Chris Pascoe (18). Simon Gillespie (4-47) was the pick of the Hatherleigh bowlers.

Tom Rogers (39) and Rob Chapman got Hatherleigh off to a 57 run start, then Mark Lake (37no) and Hugh Romans (24) got it down to the last few with an over to go. Kris Connabeer (3-28) bowled tidily for Ashes, as did Ashley Harvey..

Hatherleigh visit Ivybridge this Saturday.

BIDEFORD, as expected, defeated bottom side Cockington by 70 runs, but only after a struggle to get them out.

Bideford set a total of 220 all out for Cockington to chase, Matt Allin making a century, and they were less than three overs from holding on for a draw when their wickets ran out.

Matt Allin (102), Sam Allin (25) and Andy Webbe (28) were Bideford’s leading scorers.

Rob Cassidy took 4-53 and James Howrihane 3-58.

Skipper Andy Hele made 75 and Will Wyatt 44 for Cockington before Bideford’s bowlers got on top. James Ford took 4-32 and there were two each for Pete Waterman and Jack King as Cockington were all out for 150.

Bideford make the long trip to Seaton this Saturday.

FILLEIGH were one-wicket winners in a close encounter with Kenn.

Dave Murfin top scored with 33 for Kenn, who lost their final wicket with the total on 123. Gary Henry (4-30) and Ryan Bowden (4-36) did the damage with the ball for Filleigh, who were sliding towards defeat on 124-9 when the two bowlers joined forces at the wicket and took their side to a nail-biting success!

Nick Dartnoll scored 29, but five ducks had the hosts in all sorts of trouble before Henry (20no) and Bowden (13no) took their side to an unlikely victory with an unbroken 44 run final wicket partnership. Harry Gayden (3-21) and Rob Fowler (3-18) claimed the lion’s share of the Filleigh wickets for a Kenn side that remain without an E Division win. Filleigh are away to Kentisbeare this Saturday.