There were wins for both Bideford and Filleigh in the B Division on Saturday

Paul Heard batting for Bideford against Ipplepen. Picture: Matt SmartPaul Heard batting for Bideford against Ipplepen. Picture: Matt Smart

Bideford can look forward to A Division cricket again next season after a two-year absence and have a game left to go up as champions.

Going into the second-last round of fixtures Bideford were top of the table, but a one-wicket defeat by Ipplepen allowed Abbotskerswell to go past them by beating Tavistock.

It all comes down to this Saturday when Bideford visit relegation battlers Barton and Abbots make the short trip through the back lanes to Ipplepen.

With only a point between the title rivals, it could go either way. As no one can catch either of them, that is one pressure neither has to worry about now.

Bideford went up and came straight back down when they last visited the A Division. Skipper Paul Heard is confident they won’t suffer the same fate again.

“We took too long to find our feet in the A Division last time but did reasonably well in the second half of the season,” said Heard.

“The team hasn’t changed much so the experience of last time should help.”

Bideford’s batters had an off day against Ipplepen, managing a not-so grand total of 101 all out in 28 overs. Ollie Hannam (27) top scored.

Pick of the bowlers for Pens were Joe Abbott (3-23) and Viking look-alile Marcus Green (3-10).

Pens appeared on course for a routine win at 68 for three – Jack Lewis (33) and Adam Peters (26) the run getters – then the wheels fell off.

Tom Brend (5-22) and Heard (2-25) got into the middle order then Martin Stewart (2-13 off nine) tuned the screw some more.

Abbott, who went in at 49 for two, dug in for the duration for an unbeaten 19. Last man Keith Wakeham kept his wicket intact to get Pens over the line.

John Hickman took six of the best as Filleigh spanked relegated Ottery St Mary by seven wickets.

Hickman took six wickets for 20 runs to help skittle Ottery for 112.

Ottery were 62 for one after Alex Clements (19), Dan Flower (14) and Rob Johns (19) got the started.

Hickman nipped out Johns and Joe Henkus in successive balls, sparking a collapse from 62 for two to 79 for eight. Matt Reed (13) and Joe Burch (16no) detained Filleigh longer than they expected.

Ryan Bowden (3-24) was also among the wickets.

Macauly Harrison-Hooton (30) joined Justin Saker (64) to polish off the runs in double quick time during a stand of 96 for the third wicket.

When Harrison-Hooton got out to Tom Hinch, the target was eight to win with 24 overs to go.

Filleigh’s season concludes this Saturday with a home game against relegation worriers Thorverton, whose situation worsened after they lost at Barton.