NORTH Devon showed they won’t surrender the Premier title without a fight by inflicting a 62-run defeat on Exmouth, joint leaders before the game, who were hit to all parts by ton-up pair Dan Bowser and Glenn Querl.
North Devon’s dynamic duo got together at 28 for two after a double strike from Trevor Anning, who went on to take five for 29.
Bowser made 101 and Querl exactly 100 in a stand of 211 for the third wicket.
Exmouth had a go – they were 160 for one courtesy of Barney Huxtable (67) and Max Curtis (65) – but slipped behind the asking rate in the second half.
Bowser capped a fine game with three wickets for 43 runs, among them dangerman David Lye (34), as Exmouth closed on 233 for seven.
Defeat knocks North Devon down to second and brings North Devon within 30 points of outright leaders Bovey Tracey.
North Devon skipper Matt Dart felt it was his side’s best performance since he took the job at the start of the season.
“We played a perfect game to, get the runs on the board then bowl tightly after tea,” said Dart.
Heathcoat are the opposition this Saturday.
l BRAUNTON’S A Division promotion hopes are fading fast after they lost by 27 runs to visiting Brixham.
Matt Stringfellow (75) and Mark Orchard (27) were the main run scorers for Brixham in a total of 170 for nine.
Andy Paddison led the Braunton bowling effort with four for 37.
Braunton were 40 for none in reply when Orchard took the first of four wickets which sent them sliding to 58 for five.
Paddison (29) and Harry Boooker (19) put on 53 for the sixth wicket as Braunton fought back
Wickets started falling again to Stringfellow (3-28) and Craig Eaves (2-44) and this time there was no fightback as Braunton were all out for 143 with three overs to go.
l HATHERLEIGH are in good shape for the top-of-the-table B Division clash with Axminster this Saturday following a seven-wicket win over bottom side Axminster.
Ryan Waker (87) and Marc Jenkins (37) got Axminster to a hopeful 145 for three before the wheels fell off!
The next six wickets fell for nine runs – mostly to Nick Rogers (6-33) – with five baters making nothing at all.
Hugh Romans (46) gave Hatherleigh a start, them Gareth Tidball (46) and Simon Gillespie (29no) finished things off.
l BARNSTAPLE clambered into the mid-table area thanks to a five-wicket win over promotion hopeful Chudleigh.
Steve Moore (4-13) and Jack Popham (4-34) did most of the damage as Chudleigh went from 119 for five to 146 all out. Moore’s figures of 13-8-13-4 strangled Chudleigh.
Take out 41 extras and Mark Solway’s 24 didn’t leave a lot from the rest of the batting.
Danny Donovan (20) and Lee Cole (27) laid the foundations for the chase, which Brady Saunders (33no) topped off.
Martin took three for 34 as Barum won with four overs to go.
l ASHBURTON came a long way short at Bideford, where they didn’t score enough runs to force a losing draw in their C Division match
Mike Young blazed away to make 105 and Alan Withycombe 79 in Bideford’s 227 for three. Tom Durman (2-51) was the most successful of the Ashburton bowlers. Durman then top scored with 68 as Ashburton reached a disappointing 143 for eight in reply. There were two wickets each for Chris Luxton (2-39), Alex Crisp (2-18) and Martin Stewart (2-20) as Bideford turned the screw.
l FILLEIGH’S John Davey claimed all but one of the Honiton wickets as his team stormed to an eight wicket D Division win to climb into the promotion picture.
After John Hickman had claimed the first Honiton wicket Davey then took centre stage to return figures of 9-52 from a dozen overs as only George Meadows (34) made any headway.
Simon Prideaux wasted no time in leading the North Devon side to an eight wicket win as he stroked his way to an unbeaten 85 with 13 fours and three 6s.
Rob Collier (28) was the other not out batsmen when the victory was confirmed.