Wins for North Devon, Braunton and Bideford as Barnstaple and Filleigh come up just short

NORTH Devon's revival continued as they triumphed by 63 runs at Torquay.

North Devon were held to 247 for eight in 50 overs with two wickets each for Ben Passenger, Nick Watkin and Dan Wightman.

Opener Barney Huxtable top scored for North Devon - he hit 60 - while Glenn Querl (31) and Tom Allin (44) chipped in.

Allin made an early breakthrough when he removed Torquay opener Tim Western, but it was Querl who did the real damage with three for 24 on his return after being banned from bowling due to a suspect action.

Although the ECB cleared Querl to bowl in league and county 2nd XI cricket last Friday, he remains suspended in First Class matches.

Devon League officials say being banned in some forms of cricket but not others is a nonsense - and say it has to be all or nothing.

The Devon Cricket Board has taken up the case on behalf of the league with chairman Jim Wood tackling it with officials at Lord's.

The Thompson brothers - Matt (31) and Joe (42) resisted in theTorquay middle, but once they were parted at 140 for five Heard (4-27) ran through the bottom half of the order.

Torquay were all out for 184 in reply, a 63-run defeat which leaves them two places and 16 points above the second relegation place.

North Devon's third successive win lifts them to sixth in the table - 20 points off the drop zone.

Skipper Matt Dart can now focus on climbing the table rather than worrying about the drop.

"It was a great result for us," said Dart.

"246 was handy on a pitch that did all sorts, so credit to our guys for grinding out the runs, especially against Torquay's spinners.

"Paul Heard bowled well and deserved some luck after previous weeks.

"It has taken us some time to play proper cricket, but we are looking good going into the second half of the season."

North Devon are at home to Plymouth this Saturday.

BRAUNTON are off the bottom of the A Division table for the first time this season following a five-wicket win at Hatherleigh.

Charlie Neilson top scored for Hatherleigh with 61 in a final tally of 168 for nine.

Hatherleigh's batting careered all over the place as they slumped from 21 for none to 28 for five and on to 81 for eight as Jon Baglow (3-17), Alex Hodges (2-26) and Jon Higgs (2-35) wheeled away.

Neilson and super veteran Nick Rogers (21) put on 70 for the ninth wicket, which at least gave the Hatherleigh bowlers something to defend.

Knocking off the runs wasn't without its dramas as Braunton ,lost three wickets for one run on their way to 81 for four - Neilson (3-43) doing the damage.

After James Windsor (33) and Jon Higgs (26) had been and gone, skipper Ian Roberts batted through for a match-winning 56 not out.

"It was by far the best all-round team performance of the season," said Roberts.

"Really good opening spells from Baglow and Hodges set the game up.

"Having them 42 for six then 85 for eight it was a little disappointing we didn't finish them off.

"A couple of drops could have cost us but we batted well.

"Some steady partnerships made inroad and I felt as long as I stayed there and my team batted around me we would get home.

"Had to win it or season looked over."

It's leaders Heathcoat next, who trounced Braunton by nine wickets on the first day of the season.

"A Tough game against Heathcoat coming up, just hope we put in better performance than first time round," said Roberts.

Plymstock dropped behind Braunton into bottom spot, but only by a point.

Hatherleigh are the next side up - and skipper Mark Lake is concerned they will get sucked into the relegation mire if they don't buck up.

"We will have to bat a lot better than this in future, otherwise we are going to struggle," said Lake.

BARNSTAPLE lost by two runs at Chudleigh where five to win off the final over proved just too many.

Chudleigh made 218 for eight then held Barum to 216 for nine in reply to win by two runs.

Victory inches Chudleigh within three points of second-placed Tavistock and 12 behind leaders Lewdown.

Promotion is the aim for skipper Jon Martin, who feels his side are in the right place.

"We are in a strong position at half way - and my side is only going to get stronger and more consistent in selection as the season goes on," said Martin.

Scott Schaw hit a top score of 83 for Chudleigh, coming in at 64 for three after Sean Day had been in and out for two.

Schaw was involved in stands of 72 with Dan Britcliffe (26) and two of 28 with Rob Clarke (16) and Shaun Newland (13no).

George McEndoo with three for 62 shaded the wicket taking for B&P, although Steve Moore (9-0-28-2) and Jack Popham (9-2-20-2) were both far more economical.

Barnstaple's innings gathered pace as it went on, helped by Tom Popham (31) and Brady Saunders (45) at first, then McEndoo in the middle.

McEndoo made 62 off 72 balls and had he stayed there to the end B&P probably would have won.

Ed Forward ran out McEndoo in the 43rd over when the target was 16 to win off 12 balls.

Clarke bowled the last over and kept it tight to leave B&P three short of victory on 216 for nine.

BIDEFORD'S grip on top spot in the C Division shows no signs of loosening after they handed out a 140-run hiding to Chagford.

Skipper James Ford opened the batting and went on to make 109 in a Bideford total of 247 all out.

Ford, who faced 132 balls and hit 16 fours, shared in key stands of 102 with Reece Stanbury (31) and 68 with Alex Crisp (44) before he was sixth out at 226.

There were three wickets each for Chagford seamers Derek Lammonby (3-46) and Jon Wright (3-430.

Chagford were all out for 107 in rely, lasting just 26 out of their 45 overs.

Fred King (2-19) got into them Chagford early on then Josh Atkinson (2-22) picked up two more as Chagford dipped to 45 for four.

Martin Stewart (3-28) scythed through the middle order, leaving Josh King (2-2) to knock over the stragglers at the end.

Only three Chagford batters reached double figures: opener Chris Filor (15), skipper Lammonby (17) and Duncan Manners-Chapman, who was 29 not out.

Bideford are 29 points clear of Axminster at the top of the table heading for Ottery St Mary this Saturday.

Chagford are down to fourth, 33 points behind second-placed Axminster with a home date against Kingsbridge coming up.

FILLEIGH gave leaders Clyst Hydon their closest shave of the season so far before dipping to a 13-run defeat.

The runaway table toppers were limited to 187 for nine in their 45 overs with Kevin Sercombe top scoring on 54 and Dhanuja Haturusingha making 24.

The wickets were shared around with Ryan Bowden taking three for 27 and two each for James Marsh and John Hickman.

Filleigh struggled at first - they were 32 for four - then recovered to 104 for six.

James Popplewell with 47 kept Filleigh in the game, but Hydon kept chipping away to bowl the visitors out for 174.

There were three wickets apiece for Haturusingha and Will Thornton.

Halfway through the season Filleigh are halfway up the table with Halberton & Sampford Peverell coming to them this Saturady.