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Exmouth slide to second straight defeat

Exmouth skipper Richard Baggs didn’t hold back after his side dipped to their second successive defeat – a three-wicket reversal at North Devon.

No one made more than opener Sandy Allen with 30 in Exmouth’s total of 211 for eight in 48 overs although five other batters got into the 20s then got out.

Best of the rest were Gary Chappell (28), Trevor Anning (27) and Mark Orchard (25).

North Devon didn’t get a great start – former Exmouth opener Barney Huxtable was out first ball after tea – and at 47 for four the game could have gone either way. Anning (4-19) took all of the wickets to fall during the opening spell.

A stand of 82 between Tom Allin (49) and Jason Smith (99) saw North Devon over the hump and they went on to win with more than nine overs to spare.

“We played too many bad shots and bowled too many short balls," Baggs said.

Torqay put some more distance between themselves and the wrong end of the Premier table when they defeated Bradninch by seven wickets.

Bradninch were bowled out for 93 in the 41st over – Jack Bradbury picking up three wickets for 11 runs.

There was a big hole in the Bradninch order where Jackson Thompson has been all season - the former Gloucestershire and Unicorns batter was unavailable – and Torquay were quick to cash in.

Opener Dan Hardy made 32 and Ross Acton at five chipped in with 24, the only double-figure scores in the Bradninch innings.

New opener Greg Maher was out to the first ball he faced – Nick Watkin doing the honours – and the same bowler accounted for skipper Tim Piper.

Somerset’s Max Waller, making one of his infrequent appearances for Torquay, had Hardy caught by Tim Western at 61 for four and when Acton went at 77 for five the rot set in.

Bradbury and Jack Richardson (2-3) polished off the stragglers as Bradninch lost their last five wickets for 11 runs before Torquay also stumbled making two for two with openers Tim Western and Des Kruger both dismissed by Acton.

In-form Mickey Wilkinson and Waller took the score up to 87 for three and Waller (35 not out) and Matt Thompson knocked off the last seven needed with the minimum of fuss.

Budleigh Salterton’s losing streak was up to eight games following a four-wicket defeat at Exeter. James Burke top scored with 58 – it came off 83 balls and included one straight six which cleared the pavilion high on the bank behind the bowler at the County Ground – in a Budleigh total of 169 for nine.

Burke went after spinner Harry Booker in a big way, hitting him for 16 in one over – but Booker had the last word when he enticed the batsman into playing on.

Skipper Joel Murphy came in at 97 for six and wrung 72 runs out of the lower order before he was the last man out. Booker took 3-30 for Exeter – he was the bowler smashed over the pavilion roof - while there were telling spells from Billy Searle (2-27) with the new ball and spinner Adam Gribble (2-24).

Exeter’s run chase wasn’t a formality it looked like at 55 for one with Will Steward (26) and Miles Lenygon whittling away at the target.

Murphy (1-31), Burke (2-43) and Dawson (1-45) all took wickets as Exeter slowed to 65 for four. Matt Hicks batted on for 71 not out off 82 balls with eight fours and a six to seal victory with more than seven overs to go.

Budleigh were rock bottom without a win so far and 28 points adrift of safety while Exmouth went past inactive Plymouth – they were rained off against Cornwood – into fourth place.

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