A Tom Ansell century wasn’t enough as the Instow side suffered their third defeat from four

North Devon are hovering one place and three points clear of the Premier Division drop spots following their three-wicket defeat at Paignton.

Opener Tom Ansell hit a run-a-ball 127 not out for North Devon in their hefty total of 260 all out in the last of their 50 overs

Paignton skipper Richard Ashworth virtually matched Ansell run for run, if not ball for ball, as Paignton knocked off the runs with five balls to spare.

Ansell opened up with Dan Bowser (25) and put on 59 without mishap.

The big stand of the innings was one worth 92 with Rob Ayre (44) that took the tally to 151 for two.

Callum Hotham (26) shared a stand of 54 that took Ansell to 97 not out. Skipper Ed Yeo was at the other end when Ansell reached his century.

South African Tristan Coetzee marked his belated Paignton debut four games into the league season with 48 off 49 balls as the Queens Parkers set off in hot pursuit.

There was a hitch when Connor Bryan was caught behind off Matt Westaway, but that just brought Ashworth in a little earlier.

Coetzee went at 85 and Wolf on 92. Chris Kelmere (43) proved a willing running mate for Ashworth as the chase picked up speed.

A stand of 86 for the fourth wicket was broken when Kelmere departed caught behind to Jack Popham (3-54).

Paignton still needed 82 to win and Ashworth, on 77 not out when Kelmere trudged off, got the bulk of them.

Harry Ward (16) and Rob Shergold (11) mostly kept an end up while Ashworth got on with it.

North Devon welcome Exeter to the Sandhills this Saturday.

Skipper Ed Yeo will want to avoid a third successive league defeat to keep the side clear of the relegation places.

Exeter are a place above North Devon, with an eight wicket win over Sidmouth last time out.