A fourth defeat of the season generally means an end to any title hopes and that is what reigning champions North Devon are facing after being beaten by two wickets at Hatherleigh.

Dan Bowser (88) and Alex Smith (56), together with Neil Bettis (33), led the reigning champions to 240-7, Ross Cherrington claiming 3-35 for the hosts.

Hatherleigh then got home with two wickets and as many overs to spare. Gareth Tidball was the star of the run chase, opening the batting and carrying his bat for an unbeaten 73. Ryan Davies (64) and Rob Mutch (57) also played key innings, while Bowser and Max Curtis both bagged braces of wickets for the vanquished visitors.

The other top flight game was at Knightshayes, where Bideford were put to the sword by 70 runs at the hands of Heathcoat.

The home side batted first and slipped to 26-2 before Liam Lewis was joined by Chris Small. No further wickets were lost as Small trooped off with an unbeaten 107 and Lewis with an unbeaten 126, the pair adding 236 runs for the unbroken third wicket.

James Ford (52) and Matt Allin (39) were the principle run getters for the visitors in a reply of 198. Sam Smith (3-32), Martyn Williams (3-34), Pete Randerson (2-4) and Joe Wadham (2-25) were the wicket takers for the Mid Devon side.

Division Two was scheduled to have four weekend matches, but only one saw action. Victoria Park had both their Saturday and Sunday games cancelled by the weather, first their fixture with Lynton & Lynmouth and then Incorrigibles.

Morebath, not for the first time this season, were unable to raise a team for the trip to table topping Barnstaple and Pilton and so forfeited the match and slip to the foot of the table.

The one venue that saw play was Shebbear, where Beaford maintained their title challenge with a 63 run victory.

Daniel Lane top scored for the visitors with 81 in a total of 268-8. Ollie Wicket (79) and Charlie Neilsen (61) then led the reply, which saw the final wicket fall with the score on 205.

There were a couple of surprise defeats in Division 3, with morning leaders Halberton slipping to a six wicket loss at Sandford II and Newton Tracey going down by four runs in a thriller at home to Bude.

Those second defeats of the season for Halberton and Newton Tracey allowed Bratton Fleming to go top of the table after they won by three wickets at Bideford II.

Bideford batted first and were led to 128 by 14-year-old Reece Stanbury (39) and John Weeks (27). Paddy Dartnoll (3-11) and Murray Sharpe (2-8) claimed wickets for the visitors, who were then led to victory by Pat Crane with 54no, despite Paul Shepherd doing his best for the Bideford cause with 6-13 in nine overs.

Warren Rumble (73), Ben Purcell (66) And Matt Mansbridge (45no) guided Bude to 233-3 at Newton Tracey.

It proved just about enough to win, with the home side closing a single blow from victory on 229 in the penultimate over of a real thriller. John Whormsley (65) and Connor Nash (51no) were the principle run getters for Newton Tracey, while Rumble completed a fine all-round display with 4-60.

Tom Sambrook stroked his way to a superb 96, leading Halberton to 250-8 at Sandford II. Richard Durrant chipped in with an unbeaten 27 and the visitors’ cause was aided by a whopping 69 extras! Charlie Hancock took 3-46 for the Creedy Park side. Bradley Discombe then plundered a magnificent 98 as he and Sean Hawkins (55) led the successful run chase that ended on 251-4.

There was an unusal family ‘fivefer’ in the Division Four game at Petrockstowe, where Barnstaple & Pilton II were beaten by 85 runs.

The Cockwill family went home with five wickets as dad Nigel (2-16) and sons Ian (2-11) and Lee (1-9 in nine overs) managed the collective bowling honour to help bowl Barum out for 70. Earlier Steve Cox opened the innings for the hosts and carried his bat to the close, finishing unbeaten on 74 in a total of 155-9.

Tim Lane (51), Josh Johnston (43) and Andy Jeffrey (32) scored the bulk of the Victoria Park II total of 178-8 against Braunton Kelseymen, Andy Paddison claiming 4-12 and Brice Peterson 2-21. The Kelseymen then sailed to a nine wicket win, thanks to the efforts of Tom Rowbotham (79no) and Martin Seward (73no). Mike Harris bowled superbly for Victoria Park, taking the only wicket in a 1-10, nine-over spell.

William Browne led a successful Heathcoat II run chase in Division 5, with 57 of his side’s 132-3 in reply to the Filleigh III 130 all out.

Joel Quinn top scored for the home side with 52, while Nick Lineham (4-10) and Nick Goulty (4-38) combined for the visitors with great effect. Carl Shaw took 2-8 for the beaten hosts.

Ryan Bowden (111) and Jamie Capper (110) took Nomansland to 320-5 at Bishops Nympton, who were then bowled out for 183.

Skipper Kelvyn Warren top scored for his side with an unbeaten 42 and Richard Simmons chipped in with 36. Dave Gooding claimed 3-32 for the Witheridge side.