North Devon’s form continues on weather-affected weekend

BOVEY Tracey were probably glad of the rain washing out their game against visiting North Devon, which was starting to slip away from them.

Jason Smith slammed 160 off 133 balls for North Devon in his final game before heading home to South Africa to play in an U19 international tournament as the visitors racked up 327 for six.

Smith and co-opener Barney Huxtable (86) rammed the Bovey bowlers for a record-breaking first-wicket stand of 263.

The previous best of 250 - set by Rick Twose and the late Ray Tolchard for Paignton and Sidmouth in 1987 - was the oldest surviving record in Premier history.

Smith smashed 18 fours and seven sixes and other than a half chance that skidded through the slips in the 30s never put a foot wrong.

Rob Ayre, North Devon's captain for the day in the absence of work-tied Matt Dart, said it was a top-quality innings from a top-class player.

"I would have gladly traded places to be at the other end instead of Barney Huxtable and he had the best seat in the house to watch," said Ayre.

"From the moment I saw Jason hit Neil Hancock through mid-on for four in the first over I suspected he might be on for a big one.

"It was a brilliant knock - something for us to remember him by in the years to come.

"Some of the shots were awesome, such as the six over extra-cover off Chris Bradley after he had sixed the previous ball over square leg.

"There were more than eight overs to go when Ryan Bougourd bowled him through the gate. Had he stayed there he would have got a double hundred. No question."

Bovey were 34 for three after 12 overs when the rain came down and the game was called off. Glenn Querl had taken two of the wickets to fall.

For run rate to be used to determine the outcome, at least 20 overs had to be bowled so it was six points each plus bonuses.

BRAUNTON'S woes in the A Division basement continued when they were 155-run losers at home to Plymstock.

Mark Abbot made 155 not out as Plymstock totted up 293 for four at Kelsey.

It was runs all the way for Plymstock with Abbot and Ollie Mullbery (26) opening up with 70 for the first wicket.

The big stand was one of 112 for the second wicket between Kiwi Abbott and Hal Kerton (45).

After Kerton went there was a brisk 65 for the fifth between Abbott and skipper Dave Orchard (14).

Braunton's bowling got a bit ragged after a while - Jon Baglow (2-36) excepted - and the Plymstock total included 43 boundaries.

Braunton knew there was rain about and a quick start might give them a chance of thieving a result on run-rate.

Mike Paine (35) and James Windsor (21) went for it and at 86 for two it was game on.

Then Abbott, by now rested after his marathon innings, was ready to have a bowl.

Abbot took six for 15 as Braunton nosedived from 86 for two to 95 for seven and on to 138 all out. Only Baglow (24) resisted once the slide started.

Braunton are now 38 points adrift at the bottom of the table with joint leaders Sandford to play this Saturday.

PAIGNTON skipper Connor Bryan will think twice about declaring early in future after his positive intention backfired against Hatherleigh.

Chasing extra points for a declaration win, Bryan came off five overs early when Paignton were 235 for seven.

Bryan had made 74 - he was fifth out at 145 - then Fanie deVilliers (44no) and George Benton (37) stroked 83 unbroken in eight overs to prompt the declaration.

Rob Fishleigh with three for 25 took the bowling laurels for Hatherleigh, backed up by Jack Cherrington (2-38).

Run-rate comes into play once 20 overs have been passed in the Premier and A Divisions - so Hatherleigh had one eye on the weather forecast and another on the scoreboard.

Gareth Tidball stuck and unbeaten 57 and Rob Davies was 18 not out in a total of 116 for one when the rain set in during the 24th over.

Hatherleigh are now eight points clear of the bottom two going into this Saturday's home game against Barton.

BARNSTAPLE remain in the B Division relegation orbit after slipping to a three-wicket defeat with 10 balls left against visiting Thorverton.

Thorverton were glad of a match-winning 54 from 'new' overseas player Kody Griggs for getting them over the line.

Griggs has been with Thorverton before in 2008 and 2009 when he was leading run scorer and wicket-taker on both occasions .

When Kiwi Luke Boyadijian had to go home recently due to illness, Thors sent an SoS to Griggs who got over from Australia as soon as he could.

Barnstaple made a respectable 229 for five with Ed Yeo (43) just shading top scorer ahead of Tom Popham (41) and Brady Saunders.

The Pophams - Tom and Jack (30) posted 76 for the first wicket then Saunders and Yeo notched 93 for the third. Lee Cole was 25 not out at the end.

Wickets were shared between Gillam Crouch (2-45) and Nick Barton (2-23).

Thors got up and running with a stand of 60 between openers Paul Fielder (36) and John Farley.

Griggs went in at four, helped himself to 54 and went at 147 for five to a catch by Sam Lathwell.

Skipper Hope larruped a breezy 47 to finish the chase.

B&P visit Shobrooke Park this Saturday with just 11 points between them and the second relegation place.

BIDEFORD came unstuck in the rain at Kingsbridge where they were six-wicket losers on run rate.

James Ford's men stay top of the table, but their lead has been trimmed to 20 points over second-placed Ipplepen.

Josh King slammed 104 of just 63 balls with 13 fours and six sixes - that's 88 in boundaries - as Bideford made a sizeable 302 for five.

Dan Barrett (60) and Jodi Gilmore (28) put on 80 for the second wicket then King and Matt Shepherd (47) added 123 for the fourth.

Neil Peach (1-34),and Bhanu deSilva (1-33) were cheap, James Rosewarne (0-88) went the distance and Chris Bowles (2-29) picked up a couple of wickets.

Kingsbridge lost daSilva (18) and Will Dorey (0) reaching 32 for two in the seventh over, then got on with it!

James Fletcher with 88 off 87 balls and Angus Watson with 16 fours in his 87 off 71 put up 165 for the third wicket.

When the rain came in the 32nd over Kingsbridge were ahead of the run rate at 227 for four.

Bideford will hope to bounce back against Dartington & Totnes this Saturday.

FILLEIGH made the long trip to Seaton for little reward as their game was rained off with the home side 43 for one.

Struggling Feniton visit Filleigh this Saturday.