North Devon’s season is in danger of fizzling out after they slipped to a 37-run defeat at Plymouth.
The Instow outfit are 60 points behind the leaders and 43 clear of the relegation places. They won’t be winning the title and would need a run of bad luck to get sucked into the relegation mire now
Plymouth totted up 262 for seven then bowled out North Devon for 225.
After James Toms fell cheaply to Devon paceman Jack Popham, Dan Robotham (42) and Faian Riaz put on 121 for the second wicket.
Riaz found a willing running mate in Hal Kerton to take the score up to 201 for four.
When Popham returned for a second spell he had Riaz caught behind for 16, which came off 92 balls and included 12 fours and two sixes.
North Devon’s depth of batting got them to 225 all out in reply, which was more than looked likely when they slumped from 162 for four to 167 for seven.
Adrian Isherwood – in at 59 for two, out of 166 for six – anchored the middle order until Adam Talbott (32) bowled him for 54.
Josh King (23) and Jack Popham kept North Devon in the hunt with a stand of 48 for the eighth wicket. Both are county players and both have scored Premier Division 50s either this season or last.
Once Talbott accounted for King it was downhill all the way to 225 all out. Popham (46) was last to go, bowled by Hagan-Burt (2-2) in the mopping up exercise.
For North Devon skipper Matt Westaway it was one that got away.
“Plymouth got a competitive score, although I thought we could chase it down,” said Westaway.
“Faz batted extremely well and his innings was chanceless.
“We lost wickets at regular intervals and were always a little behind the rate.
“There were good individual batting performances by Isherwood and Jack Popham but all in all it was a disappointing day.”