Hatherleigh hopes hit, wins for Braunton, Barnstaple & Pilton
Hatherleigh's worries at the foot of the Premier table deepened when they lost by six wickets at Exmouth.
Defeat leaves Mark Lake’s side one off the bottom of the table where they are 12 points adrift of safety.
Hatherleigh’s batting barely got out of first gear as the team struggled to 126 all out in the 48th of their 50 overs.
Skipper Mark Lake, who went in at 58 for five after Andy Buzza (4-17) had battered the top order, faced 79 balls on the way to a top score of 23 that staved off total collapse. Next best was tail-ender Charlie Nielson with 19.
There were two wicks each for Exmouth bowlers Billy Rudolph and Lawrence Greenway.
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Exmouth did not make the best of starts as Kai Higham and skipper Tim Piper were both in an out by the time seven runs went on the board.
James Horler (23) and Dan Pyle (52) made a 70-run dent in the deficit, which left Louis Morison (37no) and Fin Marks (12no) to conclude proceedings.
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Hatherleigh captain Lake said his side played badly, but there were mitigating factors.
“The pitch looked an absolute belter, but it was not the case at all,” said Lake.
“We didn't give a good account with the bat at all.
“All credit to Exmouth: they out played us in every department and deserved the win.”
*Braunton sit third in the C Division East table after beating Exeter 2nd XI by 53 runs on the Kelsey ground.
Openers Sam Bithell (54) and Jack Whittaker (70) put on a hundred for the first wicket and the runs kept coming as Alfie Huxtable tucked in to make 83.
Huxtable and Whittaker added 95 for the second wicket as Braunton advanced to 253 for six in 45 overs.
Exeter’s frontline bowlers struggled for wickets, but change bowler Adam Fradgley (3-20) had some good fortune in the later overs.
Exeter got to 119 for two thanks to second wicket pair Ollie Gribble (58) and Graham White (33). Then it all went wrong.
Four wickets fell for four runs scored – Jon Baglow (3-28) and Steve Moore (2-42) the guilty parties with the ball – and the chase was never the same again.
Tommy Stewart (37) tried to get Exeter going again, but support was in short supply at the other end.
Stewart was one of three wickets claimed by Huxtable as Exeter dipped out for exactly 200.
*Barnstaple & Pilton won for the first time this season when they defeated visiting Sidmouth 3rd XI by 73 runs.
Victory was not enough to move B&P off the bottom of the table, but skipper Lee Cole said it was an important step in the right direction.
“It was the lift we needed and hopefully we can somehow pick up some more wins to move us up the table,” said Cole.
Cole was grateful to a dogged knock of 71 from Andrew Fewings for rescuing the side from total collapse after Tom Burhop (5-19) and Liam Dalton (2-15) had run through the top order.
“Having been 70 for seven after being put in I expected the worst, but sensible batting from Andrew enabled us to set a modest but defendable total of 141,” said Cole.
Sidmouth ran into trouble from the start as Giles Bashford (3-8) and Clive Ball reduced the visitors to 33 for five.
Bits and pieces from Mike Lewis (18) and Andy Cross (15) delayed the inevitable before Sidmouth collapsed to 68 all out.
Cole and James Roe wrapped it up as Sidmouth lost their last five wickets for 11 runs.
“Giles Bashford and Clive Ball bowled with good control to give us a great start, which was followed up by some good bowling from James Roe (2-25) and myself (4-15).