Bideford’s troubled season took a turn for the worse when they lost by 26 runs to visiting Chudleigh and dropped into the A Division relegation places.

Chudleigh, who started the day below Bideford, were struggling at 46 for four, Steve Bond (3-26) doing the damage, which Matt Heather (44) and Dan Britcliffe (43) resolved by putting on 67.

Britcliffe nursed the bottom half of the order up to 156 for eight when he was dismissed by Cameron Atkinson (3-3).

Bideford, faced with making 165 to win, fell behind the clock and couldn’t catch up.

Ollie Hannam made 32 and Jack Ford was unbeaten on 51 in a 50-over total of 138 for nine.

Rob Clarke (4-32) dominated the bowling stats for Chudleigh. The Heather brothers – Matt and Will – had a couple of wickets each.

For Bideford the only way now is up – and in a hurry.

“Half way must be seen as a new chapter for us and our focus must be on finding any way to win,” said skipper Paul Heard.

On the defeat by Chudleigh, Heard said: “It was a tough one to take because of the same lack of responsibility with the bat.

“Jack Ford needs a special mention for his maiden 50 not out, made in tough circumstances. It was sublime.”

Bideford face the trek to Plympton this Saturday. Their hosts haven’t won for four rounds so Bideford will be targeting the game for a win.