Big opening-day wins for Bideford and Braunton

Bideford hosted Braunton in a warm-up game at Westward Ho! in July 2020

Bideford hosted Braunton in a warm-up game at Westward Ho! in July 2020 - Credit: Matt Smart

Bideford routed Plymstock by nine wickets after rolling them over for 124 in the B Division curtain raiser at Westward Ho!

Plymstock’s front five only managed exactly 29 between them – and opener Josh Sumner made 22 of those. Alex Hannam (2-45) and Steve Bond (3-22) were the bowlers who did the damage.

Adam Stevenson (38) started a Plymstock fightback and with Tom Mitch took the score from 36 for five to 69 for six.

Bideford’s dad-and-lad bowling combination of James Ford (3-36) and Jack Ford (1-19 off six) inspired a second slump, which ended when tail-enders Billy Gibson (20no) and Max Thomas (15) put on 25 for the last wicket.

Bideford were always in the driving seat after openers James Hayter (42no) and Tom Brend (40) wiped off 67 of the runs needed.

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Jack Ford (35no) was in at the end with Hayter when the winning post was passed.

Winning captain Hannam said it was a high-quality start to the season.

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“We bowled and fielded really tightly on what was a very good track,” said Hannam.

“Steve Bond was class with the new ball and the spinners backed him up well.

“Our young lads at the top of the order were really composed chasing what could've been a tricky total.”

Bideford take a trip to Knightshayes this Saturday where Heathcoat 2nd XI will be waiting for them.

*Braunton dodged the showers at Shobrooke Park to register an emphatic 10-wicket win in their first game of the C Division East season.

Veterans Chris Ford (22) and Jon James (20) were the principle run scorers for Shobrooke, who were all out for 123 in the last of their 45 overs.

The wickets were shared around with two each for Braunton’s former county bowlers Jon Baglow (2-12) and Steve Moore (2-16) and two more for Alfie Huxtable (2-16).

A rain break brought Braunton’s target down from 124 to 77 in 28 overs and they cruised home by 10 wickets with more than nine overs to go. The not-out batsmen were Rob Collier (36) and Jack Whittaker (29).

Although no wickets were taken, Chris Simpson (6-2-9-0) gave nothing away.

Steve Moore, Braunton’s senior player and a former captain, dismissed suggestions that the rain break did his side a big favour.

“Weather-reduced targets do help, but we played well and I don’t think we would have had too many problems chasing 124 to win,” said Moore.

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