North Devon skipper Tom Popham insisted there was plenty to be positive about amid the wreckage of a six-wicket defeat at Exmouth.

Popham felt at tea his side did not have enough runs in the book after they were held to 218 for six.

And an unbeaten century and some from David Lye only confirmed Popham's worst fears as Exmouth cantered to victory.

Opener Dan Bowser made a patient 63 - he only hit five boundaries during a 121-ball stay - and Ben Howe weighed in with 66.

Bowser, who was third out on 169, put on 121 with Howe and 44 with Popham, who was next best on 36.

There was nothing spectacular about Exmouth's bowling, although only George Greenway, Ben Twine and Andy Buzza went for more than four an over - and not by much either.

Exmouth lost newcomer Alex Hammond to Josh King in the first over, but that just brought Lye into the picture sooner rather than later.

The former Devon batsman clouted 22 fours and a six on his way to an undefeated 131 off 110 balls.

Along the way there were stands 99 with James Horler (31) and 93 unbroken with skipper Buzza (26) as Exmouth won with more than 14 overs to spare.

Popham said North Devon did not set a stiff enough target to chase.

"Exmouth bowled better lines and lengths then we did, which allowed them to get off to a bit of a flyer," said Popham.

"We kept going and nicking wickets which gave us a sniff.

"David Lye put a class knock together and obviously won them the game. We had a tough chance to catch him out but we put it down and he took them home."

A plus point for Popham was the way North Devon battled back under pressure.

"Ben Howe and Bowser got good scores and we fought back well in the middle overs with the ball so there's plenty for us to be positive about ready for Bovey at Instow this Saturday," he said.