The Instow side fell 63 runs short of victory in the Tolchards Devon Premier

North Devon are down to seventh in the Tolchards Devon Premier Division after losing by 63 runs at Sidmouth.

Liam Lewis clobbered 102 off 127 balls during 191 minutes at the crease to help Sidmouth reach 271 for nine. He suffered from intermittent back spasms throughout his knock and did well to bat as long as he did.

Along the way there was a stand of 99 with co-opener Matt Cooke – he made 50 off 53 balls – and handy partnerships of 29 with Luke Bess (18), 39 with Zak Bess (19) and 41 with Kyle Brockley (26).

Lewis was last man out on 259 for nine, the third and final victim for Jack Hockin (3-57).

Pick of the bowlers wicket-wise was Devon seamer Josh King with four for 44.

North Devon ran into early problems against Sidmouth seamer Scott Barlow, who bowled seven overs for nine runs and nipped out opener Dan Bowser and Max Curtis in a running total of 10 for two.

Tom Ansell (48) and Kyle Verreynne (16) got North Devon back in the game by putting on 62, but 72 for two deteriorated to 89 for five as Murray (4-36) and Charlie Miles made inroads.

Back came North Devon with another sizeable stand, this time between skipper Barney Huxtable (61) and keeper-batter Ben Mason (54).

Sidmouth were glad to see the back of Huxtable at 162 for six – Brockley claiming him lbw – and Mason was left with the bottom half of the order.

A target of 110 to win in 14 overs with four wickets left proved too stiff for North Devon. Mason was ninth out at 207 with the game long lost by then.

Losing skipper Huxtable said there were a number of factors behind the defeat.

“We didn’t bowl particularly badly, however we didn’t bowl to the best of our abilities,” said Huxtable.

“Liam Lewis played a well-timed innings and scored a good hundred, made even better by the fact he could hardly walk because of his bad back.

“Sidmouth bowled very well at the start and made it hard for us to stay up with the asking rate.

“We pulled it back with myself and Ben Mason scoring quick 50s, but it wasn’t quite enough and we left too much to do in too little time.”

North Devon are at home to bottom-of-the-league Brixham this Saturday.