JAMES Toms and Marnus Labuschagne both slammed centuries as Plymouth signalled their intentions for the season ahead with a crushing 150-run win over North Devon,
A brisk stand of 65 between Callum Whittaker (21) and Toms got Plymouth up and running, then South African new boy Labuschagne got stuck into the bowling.
A stand of 132 between Toms and Labuschagne ended on 197 within moments of Toms reaching his ton. A moment’s hesitation taking a single gave North Devon’s South African U19 star Jason Smith the opportunity to throw down the stumps with Toms flagging to make his round. He was on 105.
Labuschagne kept on going to reach 126 not out in Plymouth’s 50-over total of 318-3.
North Devon’s bowlers all took a bit of a pounding, with Matt Westaway’s 1-34 off 10 overs a notable exception.
North Devon were faced with scoring at more than six and over to win. At 67-6 in reply, with Sam Stein 3-30, North Devon were looking down the barrel of a heavy defeat.
Rob Ayre (30) and Westaway (17) delayed the inevitable by putting on 25, then Paul Heard (26no) shored up the other end with Ayre and finally Matt Dart, who was last man out for 15, as North Devon were dismissed for 168.
North Devon skipper Matt Dart said things can only get better at home to Budleigh Salterton this Saturday.
l BRAUNTON were finished early at Heathcoat, where they were beaten by nine wickets.
Hit by player-departures during the close season, Braunton were all out for 65 in 41 overs.
There were three wickets each for former Somerset paceman Steffan Jones and Jason Parr and two more for Jamie Drew.
Only Tom Mitcham (10) and Alex Hedges (14) made double-figure scores for Braunton, who careered from 25-2 to 32-6 on their way to 65.
Heathcoat lost opener Justin Williams knocking off the runs. Smith (16) and jack Menheneott (37) took Heathcoat the rest of the way .
Braunton are home to Paignton this Saturday.
“We will put this one to bed and move on. Heathcoat are a good side and it won’t only be us they roll this season,” he said.
l HATHERLEIGH got off to a winning start back in the A-Division for the first time in 14 years when they walloped Brixham by 89 runs.
They lost Gareth Tidball and Tom Rogers by the time they reached 22, but Rob Chapman’s 48 got them up to 128-4. When Chapman went, Simon Gillespie (53no) and Jack Cherrington (60 off 43 balls) put on 68 towards a final total of 251-6.
Andrew Lewin was the pick of Brixham’s bowlers with 2-23 off 10 and Paul Heath was pretty cheap with 1-33, also off 10.
Lewin then top scored with 90 not out off 81 balls for Brixham, but no-one else made more than 13.
For Hatherleigh there were two wickets each for Charlie Nielson and Sean Letheran.
l THINGS can only get better for Barnstaple and Pilton this Saturday against visiting South Devon after a 136-run mauling by Tavistock.
Arron Churchill (45) and Ian Gray put on 85 for the first Tavistock wicket and with Dave Manning (66) and Shaun Cleave (25) putting on 84 for the fourth the Moorlanders had 297-7 on the board.
There were two wickets each for B&P bowlers Henry McEndoo and Paul Schiller.
Barnstaple captain Steve Moore never thought making 298 to win was likely, and so it turned out.
George McEndoo made 61, but that was as good as it got as B&P subsided to 161 all out. Tavvy skipper Shaun Daymond too, 4-28.
l OTTERY St Mary suffered an embarrassing 201-run defeat at Bideford in the C Division where they were skittled out for 27.
There clearly wasn’t anything wrong with the track at Westward Ho! as the home side cruised along to 228-9.
Matt Allin was on form with 89 and put on 95 for the first wicket with skipper James Ford (37). Josh King chipped in with 35 lower down.
There were three wickets each for Ottery bowlers Will Harrison (3-31) and Jody Clements (3-44).
Pullin (11) was the only batter in double figures as Ottery’s last seven wickets went for one run each.
Fred King took 4-19 but star of the bowling show was Josh Atkinson with 6-8.
l FILLEIGH made a disappointing start to the season in the D-Division when they went down by seven wickets at Halberton.
James Marsh top scored with 30 and Martin Brice chipped in with 28, but there wasn’t much from the rest as Filleigh were bowled out for 152.
The damage was done by James Mayes with three for 19 and two each from Josh Kallaway, Jon Geary and Dan Coles.
Halberton had a brief wobble early on – they were four for two with James Hill (38) among the wickets – but a stand of 112 between Mayes (71no) and Tom Sambrook (29no) sorted out the chase.