No rise for Plymouth despite win
Plymouth captain Callum Whittaker is keeping his feet firmly on the ground despite Saturday’s nine-run win over Sandford – and with good reason.
Despite winning for only the second time this season, Plymouth remain in the bottom two as results elsewhere did them no favours. Budleigh Salterton’s win in the derby clash at Sidmouth condemned Plymouth to another week in the bottom two.
The city side recovered from 76 for seven to make 195 all out in the last of their 50 overs. That proved just a handful too many for Sandford who, despite being in dire straights at 123 for nine got up to 186 in reply.
Plymouth’s saviours were tail-end batters Pasi Mawalage (32), Matt Hooper (46no) and last man Sam Stein (20). The last three pairs put on 119 runs, which proved the difference between winning and losing.
Luke Wright (2-40) picked up early wickets as Plymouth stumbled along but the real damage was done by spinner Simon Ashplant and seamer Matt Theedom, whose three wickets each ripped out the middle order.
Sandford seemed to be walking it at 98 for two with Russ Discombe (31) and Neil Betts (41) making the main contributions. A turning point was the dismissal of Adrian Small for 18 – stumped by Whittaker off a Hooper wide!
Five wickets went for 10 runs with Hooper and Barr in the thick of it. When Chris Blake went for a duck to Hooper, Sandford were 118 for eight and on the brink.
Left-armer Birkett nipped out Jamie Palmer and at 123 for nine it looked all over. But there was another twist left in this game, supplied by Sandford’s last pair of Ryan Glass and Ashplant. Glass made 58 not out and Ashplant kept an end up to reach 10 undefeated.
Their stand of 63 for the last wicket had Plymouth rattled at times, although keeping up with the rate was a problem.
Mawalage’s last over arrived with Sandford needing 21 to win and although Glass heaved the timber, he could only notch 11.
Bovey Tracey go into the top-of-the-table clash against Exmouth firing in every department after winning by 48 runs at Torquay.
Even with four first-team regulars missing, Bovey still had more than enough firepower to deal with newly promoted Torquay.
Bovey already top the table by 10 points from Exmouth with North Devon currently a distant third a further 21 points behind.
If Bovey can repeat the sort of showing which swept Torquay aside against Exmouth, they can start thinking seriously about a first Premier title since their one and only previous success way back in 2002.
After Peter Bradley (26) and Chris Clayton went for 38 on the board, Neil Hancock (85) and Chris Bradley (43) blazed a stand of 116 for the third wicket.
Nick Watkin (2-67) got Bradley and Hancock, whose 85 came off 81 balls and contained eight fours and five sixes.
Charlie Carter thumped 21 off 13 balls to bring up the 200 and a fourth batting point in the 38th and final over of a rain-reduced game.
Torquay lost Somerset’s Max Waller in the second over – Matt Kidd knocking over his stumps – and it didn’t get much better as wickets fell regularly to Hancock (3-25), Ryan Bougourd (1-17) and Chris Bradley (2-44).
When Scott Baldry was sixth out at 70 just three balls after Wakin had gone too, Torquay were out of the running.
Joe Thompson made 45 not out in a final total of 143 for eight. He and Mawgan Penrice put on 52 for the seventh wicket.
Heathcoat came crashing down to earth with a bump after their win over Torquay when they lost by 56 runs to visiting Exmouth. Half centuries from Devon pair David Lye and Trevor Anning ensured the runs kept flowing from start to finish.
Lye made 55 off 42 balls with three fours and the same number of sixes, and got the score up to 133 for four. Anning came in when Lye went out and battered 64 off 65 with four fours and two sixes. Jack Menheneott with three for 26 was easily the pick of the Heathcoat bowling.
A total of 250 for nine always looked challenging for bottom side Heathcoat and so it proved. Skipper Chris Small (58) and Joe Smith (41) got them going after a false start by adding 81 for the fourth wicket, but once Richard Baggs (2-36) picked off Small the decline started.
Lye (2-29) and spinner Curtis (3-25) all got in on the act as Heathcoat weaved from 138 for four to 154 for seven then on to 194 all out.
Budleigh Salterton will be looking to maintain their winning habit when Torquay visit Ottermouth this Saturday. The Otters were in danger of getting sucked into the relegation places had they lost at Sidmouth last time out, but kept their nerve in an occasionally fiery derby date to win by five runs.
Budleigh were all out for 190 in the last of their 50 overs – James Burke making the top score of 68. Eliot Rice (26) and Gammy Amarasinghe (24) proffered the back-up.
Opener Neil Murrin looked good for a few more than the 17 he ended up with, But was run out by Matt Cooke’s direct hit having ventured out of his ground for a spot of gardening!
Cooke with 5-32 from eight overs took the bowling laurels for Sidmouth, although he was helped by some tidy fielding.
Burke saw caught at mid-wicket while former Devon captain Bob Dawson fell to a smart catch by Miles Dalton at gulley. Budleigh used wickets in hand to notch 50 in the last five overs and that bat swinging was to prove decisive.
Sidmouth got a solid start through Sam Anderson (23) and Josh Bess (27), then lurched from 41 for none to 53 for four and on to 70 for five as wickets fell to Dawson (5-24), Joel Murphy and Amarasinghe.
Former captain Anthony Griffiths, recalled to the side after a week in the 2nd XI but batting at five rather than opening, held the middle order together with a knock of 62.
Support from Cooke (13) and skipper Will Murray (15) got Sidmouth down to seven to win from the final over, but they lost Murray to Lloyd Murrin (2-48) the Griffiths in the last over and finished six runs short with three balls to go.
Somerset and England U19 star Jamie Overton made an unexpected appearance for club side North Devon and inspired the defending Premier champions to a whopping 196-run win over Bradninch.
Overton’s first contribution was to share a stand of 108 for the fourth wicket with Matabeleland Tuskers’ Glen Querl as North Devon shot past the 200 mark. Overton made 79 off 49 balls.
Querl went on to make an unbeaten 136 – he went from 100 to i36 in eight balls - in a final total of 313 for six in 50 overs, which was way too many for Bradninch.
Querl (2-27) and Matt Westaway (4-39) softened them up then Overton performed a hat-trick on nine, ten, jack to dismissed Bradninch for 117.
That’s three wins on the bounce now for North Devon who have moved in behind leaders Bovey Tracey and Exmouth.