There are just five games to go in the Tolchards Devon Cricket League season and the Premier Division title race has taken another intriguing twist.
North Devon looked to be pulling away at the top and a win at Cornwood could have cemented their status as title favourites but, after a solid 53 from Jack Whittaker, the league leaders stuttered down the order and were all out for 191.
Jay Bista then produced one of the great innings of the DCL season, smashing the North Devon attack all over the park in a thrilling 127 no from just 78 balls. Cornwood’s nine-wicket win moved them into third position.
Heathcoat are now just four points behind North Devon in second after they trounced Sidmouth by 107 runs. Jack Dart (63) and Sammy Broomhead (60) were the main scorers for Heathcoat, who were also gifted 59 runs in extras by a wayward Sidmouth attack.
Tom Hatton then took the plaudits with the ball, snaffling a superb 5/41 as Heathcoat skittled out Sidmouth for 188.
Sandford are another side with an outside chance of making a late run for the title but that hope was dented by a disappointing 25-run defeat in the local derby at home to Bradninch.
Captain Gary Chappell hit a patient 60 for Bradninch but their total of 176 all out initially looked below par. That was until Chad Classen and Joshua Farley ripped through the Sandford line-up with three wickets each. Adam Small (62) offered some resistance but the hosts were bowled out for 151.
The bottom of table looks equally tight. Paignton gave themselves some breathing space with a nine-wicket demolition of Plymouth and there was a crucial three-wicket victory for Hatherleigh at home to Bovey Tracey. Kagiso Rapulana grabbed three wickets for Hatherleigh and then struck a stunning unbeaten 114 with the bat.
North Devon travel to bottom club Plymouth on Saturday, Heathcoat host a dangerous Cornwood and Sandford are away to Hatherleigh. The other games will see Bradninch welcome Bovey Tracey and Sidmouth make the trip to Paignton.
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