Hatherleigh eclipse Exeter to keep survival hopes alive

Hatherleigh captain Mark Lake in bowling action

Hatherleigh captain Mark Lake in bowling action - Credit: Mark Lockett

Hatherleigh kept hopes alive of wriggling off the relegation hook when they defeated Exeter by 72 runs.

Although Hatherleigh remain in the bottom two for at least one more week, they have moved within touching distance of safety. The bottom four are Exeter (11.50pts), Exmouth (9.00), Hatherleigh (8.90) and Cornwood (8.76), two of whom will be going down.

It promises to be a frenetic end to the season as Exeter and Exmouth meet this Saturday, Exeter also play Cornwood, who have business with Hatherleigh on August 21, and Exmouth go to Hatherleigh on the last day of the season. In a normal season those would be four 20-pointers.

Hatherleigh’s Zimbabwean prop Tino Mutombodzi posted a season’s best of 85 in his side’s 50-over total of 221 for eight. Gareth Tidball (56) and Mark Lake (33) chipped in.

Spinner Mike Wilkinson, in a rare 1st XI outing for Exeter, took three for 52 runs.

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Hatherleigh seamer Paul Heard then turned in a season’s best five for 15 as Exeter were bowled out for 149.

Exeter had a task on their hands after sliding from 41 for one to 58 for six as Heard got to work and were not going to win it from there.

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Alex Heywood (31) and Wilkinson (31) detained Hatherleigh for a while in the field before Rob Cockwill (2-17) and a run-out finished what Heard had started.

Hatherleigh play Bovey Tracey home and away on Saturday and Sunday this weekend, which is now a mega one for both teams. Winning captain Lake will be going all out for back-to-back wins.

“There is all to play for now and a double header with Bovey Tracey this weekend,” said Lake.

Lake said Exeter could have no complaints about the result as his team were always in top, adding: “It was a complete team performance in a game we dominated from ball one.

“We made an above-par score and I had no doubts we would defend if we bowled to our capabilities.

“Tino and Gareth were brilliant with the bat and Paul was outstanding with the ball. Ryan Davies took two of the best catches you will see by a keeper standing up.”

The relegation-haunted seconds saw what a difference it makes having a professional in your side when they ran into Brixham.

Overseas pro Abdul Muzammil reeled off an unbeaten century for Brixham in a 103-run win.

Opener Richard Ward (28) got Brixham settled then Muzammil and Rhys Dallow really kicked on.

A stand of 141 between Dallow (50) and Muzammil (115no) took Brixham to a useful total of 246 for four as 30 wides helped.

The game got away from Hatherleigh during the time it took them to slide from 95 for four, when the had just lost Danny Forrester for a top score of 55, to 103 for six.

Cameron Rowlands (16) and Jamie Nielson (15) delayed the investable, but Muzammil (2-23) and Lee Upham (4-20) knocked over the stragglers as Hatherleigh were bowled out for 143.

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