The Instow cricketers went down by 43 runs at Heathcoat on Saturday in the Tolchards Devon Premier.

North Devon's season is in danger of going nowhere after they lost by 43 runs to Heathcoat.

The Instow men are in the mid-table cluster, 20 points ahead of the drop zone and 56 short of leaders Sidmouth.

North Devon need a win over Exeter this Saturday to avoid slipping closer to the wrong end of the table.

Heathcoat were all out for 283 in the last of their 50 overs.

Their total was constructed by a stand of 145 between centurion Pete Randerson and Sam Smith, who contributed 52.

Randerson went in at 21 for three in the fourth over after Heathcoat skipper Brad Barnes was first out to North Devon medium pacer Matt Westaway.

Max Curtis got Randerson on his way to a five-wicket haul, but only after he had scored 120 and taken Heathcoat to 241 for six.

Along the way there were warm-up stands of 27 with Toby Lochead and 38 with Jack Dart before the main event.

Smith, Will Thompson, Randerson and Jamie Drew all went going from 231 for three to 241 for seven.

Dinesh Raheja (25) and Matt Rudston (12) put on 28 in the last five overs, a stand that ultimately put the game out of North Devon's reach.

North Devon's captain for the day Ed Yeo had a plan to chase down the runs, which involved him going up as a pinch-hitter and keeping batters in hand down the order.

Tom Ansell (33), Ed Yeo (39) and Dan Bowser (31) all made runs on the chase and at 140 for three with 
22 overs to go North Devon looked good.

With Kyle Verryenne (45) on top of the bowling North Devon reached 216 for five, needing 75 runs to win from 11 overs.

Three wickets went for six runs notched - one each for Raheja, Jack Menheneott and Jamie Drew (3-44) - and the game started swinging towards Heathcoat.

Drew took three wickets for 19 runs in a second spell of 21 balls to shoot North Devon out for 240.

North Devon captain Barney Huxtable, who played but had a day off from skippering, said: "Changing the order was right, but we got it wrong later in the chase.

"Heathcoat's 283 was a about par - maybe 10 more than it should have been - but we thought it was gettable.

"When we lost a few wickets instead of taking it steady for an over or two we kept trying to go at seven, eight and nine an over.

"We played big shots when ones and twos would have been better, and lost more wickets."