Devon Cricket League: Braunton move closer to safety, Barnstaple set for title showdown
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There were wins for Braunton in the C Division East and Barnstaple and Pilton in the D Division East on Saturday
Braunton took a huge stride towards dodging the drop from the C Division East when they defeated table-topping Cullompton by three wickets,
The Kelsey men looked like basket cases halfway through the season when they were 44 points adrift at the bottom of the table after losing eight of their first nine games,
Six wins in the last eight matches have lifted Braunton out of the bottom three and in sight of safety.
If Braunton beat Clyst St George this Saturday they stay safe from relegation and Clyst go down. It’s quite a turnaround for Dan Brierley’s side, who looked favourites for a second successive demotion at half way.
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Cullompton made 221 for nine in their full allocation of 45 overs – Trevor Gwandu (49) top scoring.
Jon Baglow (3-14 off 9), shaded the bowling laurels from Martin Smith (2-24).
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A key element of the Braunton chase was a stand of 105 between Rob Paterson (60) and Callum Mitchell.
Brierley steered the team home with 11 balls to spare while compiling an unbeaten 31.
It’s going to be winner-takes-all when Barnstaple & Pilton visit Chardstock this Saturday with the D Division East title up for grabs.
With one game to go only three points separate leaders Barnstaple from chasers Chardstock.
There is no promotion this season from either D Division as part of the league reorganisation going on to create an all-through league.
The champions’ trophy will look nice in someone’s awards cabinet though and be as spur for next season, when promotion returns.
Barnstaple & Pilton feared the worst after they were bowled out for 127, Harry Wright (3-29) and Alan Ostler (3-18) doing most of the damage.
Jack Moore top scored on 39 and dad Steve made 25 not out coming in at 69 for six – crucial runs as it turned out.
Ten-man Honiton were 76 for two on the chase – Ben Kidson (48) and Tom Strawbridge (25) the main run getters – and the portents weren’t good for Barnstaple.
Brady Saunders (2-23) whipped out Kidson them Strawbridge, leaving Jack Moore (3-22) and Lee Cole (2-8) to polish off the rest.