North Devon are still looking for the win they need to be sure of Premier cricket in the Sandhills next season after a 132-run roasting by title-chasing Heathcoat.

Jack Dart (57) and Peter Randerson (71) led the way for Heathcoat, who reached 271 for five with support from Malcolm Cloete (41) and Liam Lewis (26).

Lewis and Dart put on 77 for the second wicket after Reid Mawdsley was in and out for an unlucky 13.

Randerson and Cloete put on 96 for the fourth wicket, taking the score to 220.

Three wickets each for Jackson Thompson and Jack Menheott consigned North Devon to 139 all out and left them only 17 points away from the drop spots.

North Devon’s batting was shambolic at times. They lurched from 19 for four to 87 for eight, which was when Josh King went for 46.

Tail-enders Richard Screech (18) and Jack Hockin (32) made the score a little more respectable.

Matt Westaway, the North Devon captain, felt his side were partly the architects of their own misfortune.

“We dropped Jack Dart early on and he made us pay the price,” said Westaway. “You can’t give good players a chance.”

Westaway said Heathcoat are a strong outfit and his side soon found out why they have barely been out of the top three all season.

“They took early wickets, which chopped our legs out from underneath us,” he said.

Defeat left North Devon 17 points away from the relegation spots and in need of a win to be safe for another season. The chance to earn it comes along at Sidmouth this Saturday.

“We remain positive,” said Westaway. “The guys will continue to practice hard and I am sure someone in the team has a match-winning performance in them.”