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Hancock puts skids under Plymouth

Neil Hancock put the skids under Plymouth with a five-wicket haul as Bovey Tracey raced to victory at Mount Wise and back to the top of the Francis Clark Devon Premier Division by a point.

Exmouth were top off the table, but despite beating Torquay they missed out on a bowling maximum and handed the leadership back to Bovey by a point.

Hancock took four of the wickets to fall as Plymouth slumped to 47 for five – all either bowled or lbw.

The odd one out was opener James Toms, who made 22 off 30 balls before Peter Bradley (2-28) bowled him.

Only Jake Luffman (11) of the rest made more than six on a sorry day for Plymouth’s batsmen.

Peter Bradley picked up two in a row – Ben Stein was the other – Hancock returned after a brief breather to trap Rob Bennett lbw then Chris Bradley wiped through the tail.

Chris Bradley had three for one in 18 balls – the one was a wide – as Plymouth were skittled out for 70 in the 23rd over.

Dave Burke removed Peter Bradley for 16 with the score on 33 in the sixth over, which was as good as it got for Plymouth.

Sam Wyatt-Haines (31no) and Andy Fairbairn (16no) had the rest of the target knocked off in nine overs.

Bovey won at Plymouth without any assistance from injured Aussie all-rounder Damian Bourke.

Skipper Bradley expects Bourke to be fit for the trip to Bradninch this Saturday.

Torquay came off second best at Exmouth, who racked up 310 for seven in 50 overs and went on to win by 61 runs.

Openers Richard Baggs (69) and Sandy Allen (64) gave Exmouth a 141-run start then Seb Benton (40), Trevor Anning (43) and Mark Orchard (36 not out) kept the board ticking over.

Torquay’s bowlers struggled to keep it under six an over, although Des Krguer (10-0-40-2) and Dan Wightman (10-0-45-1) were notable exceptions.

Torquay lost Tim Western to Orchard and Mickey Wilkinson to Annning as they stumbled to 29 for two, but recovered through Kruger (67), Matt Thompson (19) and Joe Thompson (40) to reach 192 for five.

What Torquay couldn’t do was keep up with the asking rate as Anning, Davie Lye (3-34) and Jamie Tapper (1-29) kept the lid on.

Josh Hunt stepped up from D Division West 2nd XI cricket to make 31 and with Nick Watkin adding 21 and skipper Ben Passenger 18 at the end Torquay got maximum batting points in a tally of 249 for nine.

Results elsewhere were kind to Torquay as Cornwood were pointless against Sidmouth and Budleigh lost to Bradninch.

Torquay have a 24-point safety margin over second-bottom Cornwood with six games to go.

Cornwood’s stand-in captain Duncan Boase had to take crumbs of comfort where he could following the 154-run defeat by Sidmouth at Oak Park.

Liam Lewis hit a century – his third in the Premier Division this season – and Anthony Griffiths made 83 in a stand of 227 unbroken for the second wicket in Sidmouth’s 239 for one.

Asif Raza dismissed Matt Cooke early, but after that there was lots of leather chasing with only the odd appeal to keep spirits up.

Cornwood collapsed to 85 all out in reply –which was more than they looked like getting when they were 30 for six after a duffing up from Will Murray and Scott Barlow with three wickets each.

Raza (29 not out) survived the onslaught and with Elliot Staddon (24) for company put on 39 for the seventh wicket.

Charlie Miles spun out Staddon and once he went it was a straight forward job cleaning up the tail.

On a gloomy day for the Cornwood batters, only three reached double figures and one of those was last man in Andy Bees (11).

Cornwood didn’t take enough wickets or score sufficient runs to earn any bonus points from the game.

One of the few glimmers of good news was that fellow strugglers Budleigh and Torquay both lost, although Bradninch beat the former to move out of the bottom two at Cornwood’s expense.


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