North Devon climb to second as Howe hits out
- Credit: Fiona Tyson
North Devon are up to second in the Tolchards Devon League A Division thanks to a 39-run win over visiting Abbotskerswell.
Rain delays meant a 26-over game was all that could be fitted in and with Ben Howe making a brisk 65 North Devon reached 155 for six.
Howe was fourth out on 106 having put on 51 with Dan Bowser (16) and 33 with captain Tom Popham, who went on to make 21 not out.
Isaac Windley got on with it to make 25 not out in a stand of 43 with the skipper.
There were two wickets each for Abbots’ bowlers Alex Birt and Mark Gilmour.
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Sam Carpenter (19) and Eddie Smout-Cooper (25) got Abbots away to a 40-run start, but wickets for Jack Moore (3-29) and Matt Dart (2-29) put a brake on the pursuit.
By the time Chathura Peirls (25) tried to raise the tempo the asking rate had climbed out of reach and Abbots only got as far as 116 for six.
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Victory took North Devon past inactive Plympton and Torquay into second spot behind early leaders Tavistock.
Abbots, who have lost both games played to a finish, are one point above the bottom two.
*Bideford made Kilmington work hard for a three-wicket win in one of only two B Division games played to a conclusion.
They posted 162 for nine in a full 45-over match, as veteran James Ford top scored with 88 – hitting seven fours and three sixes – and Ollie Hannam made 27. The pair put on 55 for the third wicket.
Ford kept going until he was seventh out on 156 and shared in a handy stand of 54 with John Weeks, who kept his end going with 13.
“James batted really well on a pretty slow pitch,” said Bideford captain Alex Hannam.
Wickets were shared around with four for Ollie Reed, two for Rob Crabb and one each for Matt Pile and Harry Johnstone.
Kilmington lost openers Josh Short and Tom Gooding cheaply, but got a move on during a partnership worth 46 between Pile (50) and Billie Reed (34).
Ford broke the stand when he bowled Reed, but by the time the next wicket fell the home side were almost home and dry. Pile was still going and Matt Rockett (43) had helped add another 73.
Spinner Jack Ford (4-43) earned Bideford a couple of bonus points with late strikes as four Kilmington wickets fell for 10 runs. Pyle was one of them with three runs needed, by when the game was almost up.
*North Devon 2nd XI had too much in every department for Feniton in a one-sided affair in the D Division East.
Joe Kelly top scored with 55 in a North Devon total of 209 for seven in 45 overs.
Reuben Windley (30) and James Starkey (20) got North Devon off to a 57-run start then Kelly was involved in stands worth 126 before he as sixth out 183.
Pick of the bowlers for Feniton with three for 43 runs was Jonathan Pyle.
Feniton were all out for just 61 with almost half of their overs unused. Pyle (16) was the only batter to reach double figures.
There were three wickets each for North Devon bowlers Simon Wright (3-30) and David Hartley (3-15). Starkey and Will Popham shared the rest.