This week’s Tolchards Devon League round-up

A Division

Matt Thomas clattered his third A Division ton of the season as Hatherleigh closed the gap between them and safety with a 51-run win over bottom side Ipplepen.

Thomas has already taken tons off Budleigh Salterton and Paignton and completed his third in a total of 259 for seven at Moor Lane.

Opening partner Jack Cherrington missed out – he was dismissed in the second over – but Thomas and Chris Jelley more than made amends.

By the time Thomas was bowled for 105 the Hatherleigh score stood at 170 for two in the 38th over.

Jelley was next out for 66, also to Bowden (4-58) and with wickets in hand Hatherleigh thew the bat in the latter stages adding 62 in the final five overs.

Joe Abbott (1-34) was the most economical of the Ipplelen bowlers.

Pens made a decent effort to knock-off the runs, led by their top four.

Time wasn’t on Pens’ side though as Thomas (2-18) and Hatherleigh skipper Mark Lake (0-35) had put them behind the asking rate.

Jack Cherrington (4-67) and Tom Strawbridge (2-3) got among the wickets in the final 10 overs as Ipplepen meandered to 208 for nine.

“It was a win and to 19 points that we needed,” said Hatherleigh captain Lake.

“It was a good score on a tired wicket. Hopefully it’s the start of a positive run.”

B Division

Bideford captain Paul Heard offered a simple explanation for his side’s six-wicket defeat by relegation worriers Thorverton.

“We just weren’t good enough, as simple as that,” said Heard.

“Thorverton bowled extremely well first up and our top five were at the unfortunate end.

“Fred King was the only batsman to knuckle down and his run-out summed up our day.

“Josh Atkinson and Fred King took some wickets to save us from complete embarrassment but we really have to string some good performances together.”

Bideford are in danger of fading in the promotion race as they are now 12 points behind leaders Ivybridge.

The saving grace for Bideford is the teams above them – Plymstock and Ottery – are losing too. With Ottery to play this Saturday, Bideford can start climbing the table again if they win.

The form book would have hinted at a Bideford win, but that looked unlikely after they were hustled out for 105 in just 25 overs.

Thorverton had a mini-wobble on the chase as 48 for one became 54 for four as Josh Atkinson (3-30) got among them, but an unbroken stand of 55 between skipper Dave Baldock and Adriane Morrison banished any fears of a defeat.

Bideford’s early order was shot away by Thors left-armer Gill Crouch, who took four of the wickets to fall in a running total of 38 for five.

Fred King (15), Jamie Lathwell (14) and overseas Ji Eccles (14) hung around for a while, but Jamie Stirling (2-18) got into the bottom half of the order before Crouch (5-36) came back to finish Bideford off.

Paul Fielder (28) was the man in form at the top of the order for Thorverton and third out at 48.

Morrison (31no) and Baldock (22no) needed just seven overs to complete the run chase.

Thorverton’s win over Bideford lifted them ahead of Braunton, who are now in the bottom two following a 90 run defeat to Ivybridge.

Braunton are at home to Shobrooke Park this Saturday, a side hovering over the drop zone, followed by Thorverton the week after.

“The next two weeks are really big games for us,” said Braunton skipper Jon Baglow.

Ivybridge cracked along to 262 for six in their 45 overs, led by Josh Zimmerman with 78.

Andy Johnson (27) and Abraham Kopparambil gave the Bridge a 45-run start, then Zimmerman and Kopparambil hoisted 145 for the second wicket.

Although Zimmerman fell to Martin Smith after a 62-ball stay, Kopparambil kept going.

Joe Barnes (2-66) eventually had Kopparambil caught behind for 72, which came off 110 balls and included nine boundaries.

Jeewan De Silva (25) marshaled the later batsmen to put on 50 in the last five overs.

Braunton got to 72 for one and 124 for two with Alfie Huxtable (32), Rob Collier (59) and Rob Paterson (21) making steady if unspectacular progress.

Braunton were in ten an over territory with 15 to go – then lost four wickets for eight runs which ended the game as a contest.

The damage was done by Zimmerman, Kopparambil (2-12) and DeSilva, who polished off the stragglers on his way to four for 29.

Braunton kept Ivybridge waiting until the last ball of the game to take their final wicket.

“We played well in patches, like the start of each innings, but couldn’t sustain the levels,” said Baglow.

C Division East

Barnstaple and Pilton are off the bottom after cruising to a six-wicket win in the basement battle with Axminster.

Axminster, who are now bottom of the table, were bowled out for 153 in their 43rd over. They only had 10 men, which didn’t help.

Matt Pile got the early runs for Axminster with 42 off 69 balls after going in at two for one in the second over.

Max Felgate chipped in with 29 – he and Pile put on 37 – and skipper Paul Miller made 30. Other than opener Alan Ostler (13), no one else made more than eight.

Paul Schiller did most of the damage for Barnstaple, taking five wickets for 20 runs.

Opener Tom Popham carried his bat for 63 as B&P knocked off the runs with more than 11 overs to spare.

There was a minor hiccup when Shaun Cole and Brady Saunders went close together, but Popham and Jack Moore (29) wiped off 53 then George McEndoo (18) and Lee Cole (12no) kept Popham company.

Barnstaple’s third win of the season takes them off the bottom and within a point of Countess Wear, who are the side they have to overtake to leave the drop zone.

Filleigh are also on their way up the table, which Seaton found out the hard way.

Harley Ashdown (50) and Mark Prideaux (55) scored half-centuries for Filleigh in a total of 233 for seven.

Openers Ryan Bowden (42) and Justin Saker (21) gave Filleigh a start, the Ashdown and Prideaux put on 84 for the sixth wicket.

Seven bowlers took a wicket each for Seaton – Joel Seward (1-30 off 9) the most effective.

Seaton had a real go at getting the runs and at 115 for one with Seward (37) and Ed Hunt (58) going well were slight favourites.

A double strike by Bowden (2-39) meant Seaton had to start and that task was taken on by Ben Morgan (31).

Saker (4-31) put Seaton on the back foot and Jack Brazier (2-42) helped keep them there. Naill Waterhouse (22) had a go and only when he got out could Filleigh relax.