Sidmouth confirmed Devon champions
Sidmouth collected the handful of points they needed to confirm them as 2010 Francis Clark Devon Cricket League champions on the way to a four-wicket win at Plympton.
Two points were all Sidmouth needed to be sure of finishing ahead of North Devon and claiming their third successive title.
They were bagged when Plympton’s Lewis Gregory was caught off the top edge having a swipe at Josh Bess who went on to take 4-34 as Plympton were bowled out for 107 in 35 of their 50 overs. Skipper Will Murray picked up 3-11 from nine miserly overs.
Opener Duncan Hefford top scored for Plympton with 34 before he was run out by a direct hit. Alex Trevarthen, who smashed a half-century against Bovey Tracey seven days earlier, only managed one before hitting a tame catch to mid-on.
Skipper Arwyn Jones had 10 maidens in a 19-over spell while Keith Donohue’s 19 overs only cost 20 runs – and he picked up three wickets. At 77 for six when Bess got out there was just a flicker of a chance that Sidmouth could slip up.
Matt Cooke (21no) and Jackson Davey (14no) made sure they didn’t. The game was Ross Farrer’s last for Plympton before he moves to Gloucestershire to take up a post as cricket development officer.
Bovey Tracey sneaked ahead of Bradninch into fourth place in the final table with a 127-run win at relegated Braunton.
Bovey’s batters had a hit-and-miss sort of day as they stop-started their way to 199 for nine in 50 oves. A running total of 46 for four wasn’t that impressive as Bovey struggled against Alex Hodges (3-30) and Jon Baglow (3-49).
Chris Clayton was bowled by Hodges, who had Andy Kingdon caught at mid-wicket then dismissed Sam Wyatt-Haines with a catch at extra-cover. Baglow nipped out Richard Longstreet at the other end.
Pakistani Test star Faisal Iqbal led one comeback by hitting 36. He was bizarrely dismissed when Andy Paddison found the edge of his bat and keeper Ian Roberts palmed a catch to Jon Higgs alongside him in the slips.
Having dipped to 109 for six with Ben Ayres out as well, Bovey fought back again through Andy Fairbairn (38) and skipper Peter Bradley (47).
The final total may have looked a little on the light side, but Bovey knew they had more than enough after reducing Braunton to 39 for four in reply. Wyatt-Haines – only 14 but one to watch out for in the seasons ahead – then ripped out the middle order in his way to figures of 4-21.
Braunton lost their last six wickets for just 13 runs as they slid to 72 all out on their way back to the A Division after a year away.
Paignton were just a whisker away from a memorable win over Plymouth in their last game of the Premier season.
Their total of 234 for nine – anchored by 70 not out from George Stephenson – looked way too many for Paignton as they laboured to 72 for five in reply after a battering from left-arm pacer Dave Burke (4-31). Seb Benton (33) had the only score of note at that point.
Mark Gilmour snapped Paignton out of their slumbers with 21 off 16 balls before Charlie Hill ended his playtime! Connor Bryan (40) and Richard Cooper (41) moved the score along to 148 for seven, only for both to go in quick succession.
Steve George (25) and Justin Mann (32no) got Paignton back in the game and had George not been caught behind at 203 they may have won.
Last man Mike Pedley shut up shop with Mann as Paignton closed on 229 for nine. Plymouth have become draw experts this season – this was their eighth – but their stickability has served them well as they are third in the final table.
Bradninch had the best of a drawn game with below strength North Devon, who sent some of their regulars to Sandford to ensure their 2nd XI got the points they needed to be sure of avoiding relegation.
Openers Gary Chappell and Tim Poper were the main run-getters for Bradninch in a total of 243 for nine. Chappell hit the to score of 84 before he was fourth out at 160 when lbw to Matt Dart (4-70).
Bradninch had a bit of a wobble from 159 for one to 168 for five. A skipper’s knock of 45 by Ross Acton stopped North Devon getting on top.
Matt Nobes then slammed a farewell century for North Devon in his last Devon League game before returning to Australia. They went safety first to the draw and finished on 214 for eight.
Budleigh Salterton finished a disappointing season on a high note with an eight-wicket win over doomed Exeter. Tyrone Kent totted up a top score of 82 for Exeter in a total of 198 for four.
Budleigh weren’t taking the 30-over game too seriously it seems as captain and opening bowler Ian Bishop kept wicket – while Devon keeper Sandy Allen had a bowl!
The game was reduced to 30 overs as parts of the Ottermouth outfield were wet and the boundary had to be moved to get the game on at all.
Kent and James Street (39) put on 96 for the first Exeter wicket with Alex Brown (13), Will Steward (160 and Cameron Grainger (15no) all chipping in.
James Burke then lashed an unbeaten century to see Budleigh to victory and secure in sixth place in the final table. Burke, who has been offered a development contact at Somerset for next season, hit 13 fours and three sixes from 83 balls faced.
His second 50 came in just 33 deliveries. Along the way there was a stand of 137 for the second wicket with Bob Dawson. Lloyd White (23no) hit the winning runs with four balls to spare.