Bideford defeated Ottery St Mary to stay top of the Tolchard’s Devon B Division

Bideford remain unbeaten at the top of the B Division table after beating Ottery St Mary, but it was a close-run thing.

Fred King hit a match-turning 61 and Mike Lemmings scored 56 going in at number nine as Bideford made 245 for nine in their 45 overs.

When Bideford were 32 for five after an early going over from Will Harrison (3-31) the odds on them reaching 245 seemed remote.

Ottery were up for the chase and didn’t let distractions like losing wickets in clumps get in the way.

While Matt Reed (43) and Joe Birch (36) were in residence, the chase was on.

Spinner James Ford turned the game Bideford’s way with three wickets for nothing at all in nine balls to win the game by five runs.

“It was a great game of cricket to be a part of,” said Bideford skipper Paul Heard.

“The top five failed with the bat, but the lower order showed that they too could bat in the top five if needed.

“Fred King was superb with 60 and Michael Lemmings, and Jamie Lathwell (37) both played excellently.

“In the second innings we kept ourselves in the game but showed inexperience in the field under pressure.

“Dropped catches almost cost us.

“A lot of the credit for the win must go to James Ford and Chris Luxton (2-26), who held their nerve and guided the team through.”

Other than Ji Eccles (32) none of the Bideford top six made a double-figure score.

The key stands for Bideford were 48 between Eccles and King for the sixth wicket, 51 by Kings and Luxton (18) for the seventh and the 83 Lemming put on with Lathwell.