AFTER losing just three games last season and finishing third in Division 1, Bideford were defeated by seven wickets in the opening game of this season's campaign by last year's Division 2 champions Bradninch. Batting first, only Matt Allin (37) could s

AFTER losing just three games last season and finishing third in Division 1, Bideford were defeated by seven wickets in the opening game of this season's campaign by last year's Division 2 champions Bradninch.Batting first, only Matt Allin (37) could stick around long enough to build a score as wickets fell at regular intervals and Bideford fell for just 91. That was not enough to trouble the Mid-Devon visitors, who lost just three wickets chasing down the total, Chris Luxton, Alex Hodges and Michael Warne taking a wicket each.There was also early defeat for last year's Division 1 champions Newton Tracey, who lost a thrilling game at Instow by just four runs. Newton went into the last three overs with their final pair at the wicket and six runs needed for victory, but the home side held their nerve to claim the points.Dave Tribe top-scored for the hosts with 67, his innings being ended with a run out. Warren Miller scored an unbeaten 20 and and Martin Gear hit 20, too.Phil Steward was the pick of the Newton attack with 2-21 and then led the run chase with a superb half century, but it was a hit wicket near the end that effectively ended the champions' bid for a winning start. Steward was out for 51, with Bill Sobey (23) and Richard Screech (20) giving good support, but the innings closed on 150, with two wickets falling to Matt Dark, Stuart Rhodes, Matt Westaway and Colin Payne.Division 2There was double success for Braunton, who have already played a third of their season's fixtures before many other sides have even got their campaigns under way! A Saturday win by four wickets in a low-scoring affair at Ilfracombe was followed by a Sunday success at home to Victoria Park, who were beaten by 22 runs. Young Harry Brooker top scored with 18 in the win at Ilfracombe after the Braunton bowlers had shared the wicket taking to dismiss their hosts for just 71.The following day wicket keeper Wayne Manning top scored with 71 and Johnny Higgs hit 23 as Braunton closed on 190.Steve Oliver claimed 5-25 in five splendid overs for Victoria Park, but they could only reply with 168, in which Colin Bettis top scored with 31, two more than son Neil. There were three wickets each for Andy Paddison and Mark Mitchell.Division 3Cheriton Fitzpaine took an instant liking to life at a higher level. Last year's Division 4 runners-up beat visiting North Devon II by 58 runs and it was very much a 'family affair' that led them to the win. Phil Cutler stuck around almost the full innings, finally out on 96, while Jeremy Tricks hit an unbeaten 46 as Cheriton reached 180-5. There were two wickets each for R Kelly and J Wainwright.When the visitors batted, 14-year-old Jim Cutler, son of Phil, took an impressive 3-9 while Dave Carr took 2-28 and there were also a couple of wickets for Robbie Keight. North Devon were all out for 122 with C Welch leading the way with 47.Shobrooke Park made a fine start to their Division 3 campaign with a 23 run win in a thrilling encounter at Bratton Fleming. Rob Newall cracked a magnificent century and Ben Trenaman chipped in with 39 to take the side to 241-7. Trenamen took 3-42 as Bratton's fine attempt at the run chase ended at 218-8. G Barrow led the Bratton reply with 70 and B Ayre, M Southcott and S Ayre all reached the 30s.A magnificent 120no from Dan Pickard led North Devon II to a four-wicket win over hosts Sandford II. The Creedy park side posted a competent 229-8 with Peter Steer (77) and Brian Leach (48) leading the run getting. After picking up two wickets, picking led the North Devon run chase with his super century, the next best score being 'extras' with 39. Division 4Only Division 4 at the weekend was at Bude where the home side scored 197 against Bideford 11, led by Aussie Joel Ambrey (60).It was enough for a 33-run win as Ashley Hockin claimed 3-6 to help limit Bideford to 164 all outDivision 5Barnstaple & Pilton were put to the sword by Filleigh III, who claimed a 10-wicket win. James Popplewell with four wickets and Simon Prosser with three helped knock the visitors over for just 56 and then Filleigh openers Josh Singh and John Bawden led their side home.Halberton began life in Division 5 with a healthy 60-run win at Bradninch II after scoring 253-8. After early runs from skipper Dan Coles (34) it was a 146- run third wicket stand between Dave Gollop (83) and Paul Tidborough (76) that steered Halberton to victory.ResultsSaturday: Division 1 - North Molton versus Lynton & Lynmouth - North Molton unable to raise a side.Division 2 - Ilfracombe 71, Braunton 72-6. Braunton (20pts) bt Ilfracombe (6) by 4 wkts. Division 3 - Sandford II 229-8 (P Steer 77, B Leach 48; D Pickard 2-33), North Devon II 230-6 (D Pickard 120no; S Morrish 3-38). North Devon II (20pts) bt Sandford II (6) by 4 wkts. Division 5 - Barnstaple & Pilton III 56, (J Popplewell 4-18, J Prosser 3-20), Filleigh III 57-0. Filleigh III (20pts) bt Barnstaple & Pilton III (0) by 10 wkts. Sunday: Division 1 - Bideford 91 (M Allin 37: P Chappel 3-19, R Acton 3-19), Bradninch 93-3 (G Chappell 47no). Bradninch (20pts) bt Bideford (3) by 7 wkts. North Devon 154-6 (D Tribe 67, W Miller 20no, M Gear 20; P Steward 2-21), Newton Tracey 150 (P Steward 51, B Sobey 23, R Screech 20; S Rhodes 2-18, C Payne 2-20, M Westaway 2-20, M Dart 2-40). North Devon (20pts) bt Newton Tracey (10) by 4 runs. North Molton versus Sandford. Match cancelled, waterlogged pitch. Division 2 - Braunton 190-9 (W Manning 71, J Higgs 23; S Oliver 5-25), Victoria Park 168 (C Bettis 31, N Bettis 29; A Paddison 3-14, M Mitchell 3-25). Braunton (20pts) bt Victoria Park (8) by 22 runs. Filleigh II versus Hatherleigh. Match cancelled, waterlogged pitch. Division 3 - Barnstaple & Pilton II versus Holsworthy. Match cancelled, waterlogged pitch Shobrooke Park 241-7 (R Newall 102, B Trenaman 39; T Batson 2-46, P Simmons 2-51), Bratton Fleming II 218-8 (G Barrow 70, B Ayre 34, M Southcott 32, S Ayre 32; B Trenaman 3-42). Shobrooke Park (20pts) bt Bratton Fleming II (10) by 23 runs. Cheriton Fitzpaine 180-5 (P Cutler 96, J Tricks 46no; R Kelly 2-21, J Wainwright 2-40), North Devon 122 (C Welch 47; J Cutler 3-9, R Keight 2-22, D Carr 2-28). Cheriton Fitzpaine (20pts) bt North Devon II (4) by 58 runs. Division 4 - Bude 197 (J Ambrey 60, M Mansbridge 25), Bideford II 164 (A Hockin 3-6). Bude (20pts) bt Bideford II (8) by 33 runs. Halberton 253-8 (D Gollop 83, RP Tidborough 76, D Coles 34, J Turner 18; A Birt-Mitchell 3-27), Bradninch II 193 (B Wakeley 66, R Gitshum 25, A Birt-Mitchell 22; W Austin 4-46, F Harding 3-27). Halberton (20pts) bt Bradninch II (6) by 60 runs.Narrow defeatfor under-14sNORTH Devon under-14s went down by two wickets in a closely-contested opening match against East Devon in the Devon Cricket Board inter-district competition at Exeter on Sunday.Put in to bat in the 50-over match, North Devon were 172 all out in 48 overs.Max Curtis led the scoring with 58no, including five fours, Craig Overton hit 40, including seven fours and Harry Booker added 22. Jamie Overton 4-28 and Craig Overton 2-37 led the North Devon attack, but East Devon held their nerve to move from 160-8 after 47 overs to 173-8 with five balls remaining.North Devon now meet West Devon at Plymouth on Sunday.