Bideford kept themselves at the top of the B Division, but Filleigh dropped back into the bottom three on Saturday

Bideford kept a firm grip on top spot in the B Division by handing out a 63-run defeat to Seaton.

James Ford opened up with 39 and steered Bideford to 97 for three before the run getting took off.

Jayson Bartolo and skipper Paul Heard racked up 87 for the fourth wicket towards a Bideford total of 246 for seven.

Joe Berry (3-53) removed Heard, but the run rate increased in the last six overs with Bartolo and Fred King (19) clattering another 49.

Bartolo was out in the penultimate over for 85 off 107 balls, scored waiting for the bad one to come along. He had 10 fours, two sixes and a lot of dots in the book.

Seaton ran into trouble from the off with King and Heard (2-23) reducing them to 23 for three.

Matt Hewer (39) and Josh Cann hoisted 82 for the fourth wicket and at 121 for four with 14 overs to go there was a game to be won.

Removing Cann was crucial for Bideford and Martin Stewart obliged.

Cann was scalp number two of five for Stewart (5-28) as the Seaton lower order crumbled.

Bideford are five points clear of Ipplepen at the top with doomed Ottery to play this Saturday.

Heard was happy with the performance in all areas.

“Jayson Bartolo anchored the innings with 85 and a couple of others chipped in well,” he said.

“Bowlers were disciplined and put pressure on their batters from the start.”

Filleigh have dropped back into the B Division bottom three after losing by 40 runs to Abbotskerswell.

Take out 57 from James Fulner and Richard Harmer’s 32 and there wasn’t a lot from the rest from Abbots early order as John Hickman (3-38) and James Campbell (4-41) got into them.

Abbots pulled out of their nosedive thanks to Connor Adams and the tail enders.

Adams made 57 not out off 44 balls and with support from Noah Tobias and Riccardo Small-Boyce put on 119 for the last three wickets in a final total of 241 all out.

That tail-end defiance ended up costing Filleigh, who were dismissed for 201 in reply.

Plenty of batsmen got settled – Jas Kalsi made 29, skipper Simon Prideaux 27 and Ryan Bowden 30, but in the top half Justin Saker (57) really kicked on.

Tail-ender James Campbell made 23 in a losing cause for Filleigh before Tom Keily (3-46) brought proceedings to an end.

Filleigh had the consolation of maximum bonus points – five batting, five bowling – so the day wasn’t a complete write-off.

Prideaux wasn’t really consoled though and felt it was a game Filleigh allowed to slip through their fingers.

“We created opportunities to win in both innings, but weren’t able to take the chances,” said Prideaux.

“We had Abbots at 132 for seven with 14 overs left, but couldn’t get the last three wickets, and they scored heavily in the powerplay at the end of their innings.

“Batting well at 120 odd for three with myself and Saker well set, I played a terrible shot and was caught.

“Saker got out quickly after and we couldn’t find a partnership to take us closer.

“We also bowled 22 wides, which didn’t help our cause.”