This week’s Tolchards Devon Cricket League round-up.
Hatherleigh are out of the bottom two after cruising to a four-wicket win at Sandford.
Sandford were all out for 163 in the 49th of their 50 overs – opener Richard Foan making 55.
Hatherleigh chased the runs down with more than three overs to spare, motivated by their need for a win to get out of relegation danger. It worked as they moved ahead of Barton by nine points.
Hatherleigh (163pts) have a toughie against champs in waiting Bradninch this Saturday. They will want to preserve as much of their nine-point lead over Barton as they can.
On their survival prospects, Hatherleigh skipper Mark Lake said: “We’ve given ourselves a chance - there are still a few teams who are involved in trying to stay up.
“I think if we can get to 195 points that would stand a real chance of staying up.”
Sandford started brightly with former Devon batters Foan and Adrian Small putting on 105.
Losing five wickets for 20 runs put a different hue on the game as Matt Thomas (3-13) and Mark Lake (2-26) cut through the middle order.
Matt Hopkins, who went in when Small was caught and bowled by Lake, batted through to the end for an unbeaten 30.
Tom Gidney with 10 had the only other double-figure score.
Hatherleigh took time getting into their stride and at 65 for four with Thomas just out for 41 the game was in the balance.
Matt Theedom had picked up a couple of wickets.
The key stand for Hatherleigh was one of 71 between Gareth Tidball (45) and Jack Cherrington (32no) which got the target down to 26.
Pete Steer had Tidball lbw in his second spell, but Cherrington took his time and Sandford ran out of ideas before the end.
Bideford kept the pressure on top two Ivybridge and Plymstock with a crushing eight-wicket win over Braunton.
Rob Collier made a top score of 40 and Mark Mitchell had 28 as Braunton were bowled out for 164.
James Ford and Matt Shepherd shared a stand of 125 to put Bideford safely on course for victory.
Victory leaves Bideford 12 points behind second-placed Plymstock with three games to go, starting with Shobrooke Park away this Saturday.
Skipper Paul Heard is determined to keep the chase going.
“If we perform well in the last three games there is no reason why we won’t be very close to promotion,” said Heard.
“A solid win on Saturday put us right back in the mix.”
Braunton are in danger of going in the opposite direction as they are stuck fast in the bottom three, 24 points adrift of safety.
“Three wins are a must, but even that might not be enough to catch Thorverton looking at the fixtures they have remaining,” said Braunton captain Jon Baglow.
Braunton play Plymstock, Tavistock and relegated Dartington and Totnes in their season run-in.
Meanwhile Thorverton face Dartington, fellow strugglers South Devon and Tavistock too.
Braunton’s innings was a bits-and-pieces affair – no stand being greater than the ninth wicket pairing of 35 between Mick Cashmore (17no) and Mark Johnson (18).
Steve Bond (3-40) took the bowling honours ahead of skipper Heard (2-26).
Shepherd (84) was first man out for Bideford, closely followed by Ollie Hannam,
Ford batted on for an unbeaten 65 and had Heard (14no) there for company when the winning post was passed.
C Division East
Barnstaple and Pilton pulled off a surprise win over promotion-chasing Cullompton, which may just keep them up.
Things looked bleak for Barnstaple captain Steve Moore when Cullompton were 10 runs from victory with four wickets in hand and three overs to go.
To win by eight runs lifted Barnstaple ahead of Axminster and Countess Wear and out of the bottom two.
The game changed in an over from Henry McEndoo, who took two wickets and was still bowling when Tom Popham ran out Todd Scrace to take a third.
When Lee Cole bowled Kalann Nessling, Cullompton were all out for 183. Their last four wickets had fallen for just one run.
Jack Grandfield (43) and Jason Parr (47) had been the leading scores for Cully when the going was good. Indeed, they were 163 for four before Grandfield got out.
McEndoo was the hero of the moment, but James Thomas (2-33) and Moore (3-24) both played big roles too.
Earlier, Popham top scored with 68 for Barnstaple, batting on until the sixth wicket went.
McEndoo (30) and Cole (23) chipped in towards the final total of 191 for eight.
Barnstaple take on league leaders Seaton on Saturday.
Filleigh made it six on the trot on their way to second place in the division when they beat lowly Countess Wear by 80 runs.
Justin Saker’s run of form continued with 56 in Filleigh’s total of 180 all out.
Saker and Ryan Bowden (26) opened up with 85. The only other score of note was James Campbell with 34, which helped add 45 for the last two wickets.
John Bendall (5-26) was the pick of the bowlers for Countess Wear.
Countess Wear lost the game in the time it took to slide from 43 for none to 65 for six.
Manraj Johal (24) was the top scorer for the Wear, who were bowled out for 100 in the 29th over.
Campbell (2-13) and Ryan Bowden (3-22) did the early damage, laving John Hickman (4-37) to tidy up.
Simon Prideaux takes Filleigh to Kilmington this Saturday.