Saturday, July 13, 2024

Cricket season spiralling away from most local clubs

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With the halfway-point already looming in the Tolchards Devon Cricket League, it is heading towards a season of disappointment for our local teams in the Premier Division, where all week eight games followed recent form to the letter.

Both Sandford and Bradninch and Kentisbeare won again to remain first and second respectively.

Cornwood stay third after their 82-run win over Paignton. Charlie Ward gave the visitors the perfect start, bowling Devon opener Ben Privett with the second ball of the afternoon. But instead of wobbling, Cornwood steadied and worked hard to post 200 all out, with Luke Medlock claiming 3-20.

In reply, the Ward brothers (Charlie and Harry) helped Paignton recover from 24-2 to 107-3, but the remainder could not muster a double-digit score between them against tight bowling, completely running out of steam at 118 all out.

Bovey Tracey’s miserable season continued with a 75-run home defeat to Sidmouth. Chasing 153 to win, they were all out for 77 inside 30 overs.

Paignton (8th) play Bovey (9th) at Queens Park this Saturday.

North Devon are looking strong at the top of the A Division after a commanding 7-wicket win over Hatherleigh. Torquay and Kingskerswell are back up to fourth following a similarly controlling 9-wicket win at Tavistock.

Torquay and KK, without Blaise Baker and Harry Passenger, held the home side to 199 all out. Harry Baxendale returning figures of 4-21.

Their batting strength this season is in the top three/four, who delivered again. A patiently proficient opening stand of 163 between Tim Western (61) and Chris Kelmere meant Nathan Roux was this week only required to support Kelmere (104 not out) through to the end and seal the victory, which was achieved with 17 balls to spare.

Abbotskerswell remain bottom of the table after loss number seven at the hands of Plymouth at Two Mile Oak. The home side’s 188-9 was again too little. Mohammad Siddiqui’s 101 set-up Plymouth’s comfortable 5-wicket, completed inside 30 overs.

Torquay are back at The Rec to play Kilmington (6th) this week, as Abbots travel to Hatherleigh (7th).

The game of the day in the B Division was in rural Aish and went the way of Barton, who regained top spot after a 4-wicket win at Stoke Gabriel. Barton had Stoke at 96-7, before they recovered to a more respectable 154-9, thanks to 35 from the experienced Mike Smith.

Barton underwent their usual jitters in reply, but stuck on well to reach their target inside 29 overs. Tarisai Musakanda top scored with 61 not out in a line-up that included former Abbotskerswell captain Nick Watkin, who made the move back to his roots shortly before Saturday’s game.

Teignmouth and Shaldon have gladly turned the corner and notched their third straight win, a 33-run success at Chudleigh, despite only posting a total of 147 all out. Chudleigh, however, soon showed why they are at the foot of the table, opening bowlers Ruben Minnaar (2-18) and Jawad Shirzad (3-21) having them in early trouble at 19-4, from which they only recovered to 114 all out.

Ipplepen’s long trip to Bideford, Littleham and Westward Ho! ended in a 93-run loss. The home side set a robust looking 292 to win, Ewan Wiliams blasting a 62-ball 102, with 9 sixes and 7 fours. Being 42-4 hindered the reply and 198 all out was all Ipplepen could accrue on the day.

Week nine sees Barton at home to Budleigh Salterton (4th), Teignmouth and Shaldon (8th) at home to Cullompton (3rd) and another South Devon derby with Stoke Gabriel making the short journey to Ipplepen (7th).

Paignton 2nds are 10 points clear at the top of C Division West after a nervy 2-wicket win over Cornwood 2nds at Queens Park. Sean Kirk man-of-the-match for his 4-51 and 51 not out, which proved the catalyst in getting Paignton home with just 10 balls to spare.

Brixham looked like they had slipped back to old ways after electing to bat and being dismissed for 121 at Mount Wise against Plymouth 2nds. Timothy Robinson’s 76 was the only score in double figures outside extras.

But a great effort again with the ball saw Plymouth come up 5 runs short at 117 all out, despite plenty of overs in-hand. Lee Upham returning figures of 3-34 as Brixham advance to 6th.

A nail-biter at Marsh Road, Newton Abbot saw Sandford 2nds edge home by 4 wickets, with just two balls to spare, to beat South Devon. Mali Marshall struck 77 out of the 253, which almost proved enough.

This Saturday sees Brixham at home to Paignton 2nds as South Devon (7th) travel to Cornwood 2nds (3rd).

Babbacombe slipped off top spot following an 8-run loss at Plymouth CS and Roborough. Week nine sees them back at Walls Hill for the visit of new leaders Plymstock 2nds.

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