Ashes oust Shaldon from top spot
ASHBURTON defeated Shaldon by two runs to knock their rivals off the top of the D Division West table and take it for themselves.
Ashburton have been steadily gaining on Shaldon for a while and went level last time out.
Their narrow win gave them a slender lead of 10 points – and with six games to go there is plenty of time for the situation to change again,
Shaldon seamer Ross Aitchinson got Ashes dangerman Lloyd White cheaply, but runs in the book for Ashley Berry (38), Tony Lacy and Ashley Harvey (46) took the visitors to 145 for five.
Gordon Colwill scored most of the remaining runs after Harvey was dismissed by Ryan Bougourd.
Carl Woolnough topped the bowling return with four for 30 and Mark Couch (3-18) mopped-up the lower order as Ashes were all out for 164.
Shaldon got to 70 for two without too many issues – Dom Durman (2-27) taking both wickets to fall – with George Thomas (40) and Bougourd (17) jogging along nicely.
Losing four wickets on 70 – two each for Will Coon and Harvey - put a whole new shape on the game.
Skipper Couch (44no) and Woolnough (39) rebuilt and their stand of 89 appeared to put Shaldon on course for a win. Overs weren’t a problem – there were 15 to go – and the target was six to win.
Woolnough got out to Matt Coon, Jamie Day only last two balls, Joe Wilcox lasted on and Aitchison was run out as Shaldon were dismissed for 162.
Winning captain Harvey said it was a real nail-biter that swung this way then that.
“It was one of those games that do not come along very often,” said captain Berry.
“An absolute roller coaster where each team won a period of cricket to put them back on top.
Shaldon had come back at us after being 70-6, with Mark doing some clean striking.
“We never gave up though and I was proud of my team showing the hunger to keep searching for the win, even though they only needed six runs to win with four wickets in hand.
“We held our nerve and that belief converted into wickets and now we find ourselves in a solid position going into the final third of the season.”
Opposite number Couch said he thought the game was in the bag until it was snatched away.
“It was a really good game that ebbed and flowed, unfortunately one team had to lose,” said Couch.
“Needing six to win with only six wickets down, I did think we had got over the line.
“There are six important games left.”
The first of those is against South Brent this Saturday. Ashburton play Newton St Cyres.
YELVERTON went on a record-breaking blitz in their 339-run won over near neighbours Buckland Monachorum.
Yelverton’s total of 443 for four was a record for the D Division West, besting the 372 for two made by Countess Wear against Stokeinteignhead last season.
The stats make impressive reading, unless you are one of the eight bowlers Buckland skipper Steve Mannell tried to slow things down.
Dan Cooper (34) and Pat Hobbs (138) put on 110 for the first wicket.
Hobbs, who hit 20 fours and three sixes from 75 balls faced, then put on 110 with Richard Townsend.
Towsend accumulated 121 – 12 fours, four sixes - and added 199 with skipper Richard West.
West made 87 not out from 51 balls before the overs ran out.
Buckland were all out for 104 in reply, not one making more than opner Pete Barrett (31).
Pete Lojszczyk (4-14) did the early damage, Hadleigh Scott-Kirk (2-19) got into the middle order and West (4-39) picked off the rest.
KRIS Calderhead slammed an unbeaten 132 as Exwick piled up the runs against South Brent.
Calderhead batted from start to finish as Exwick made 338 for two in45 overs.
Howard Rose (75) and Calderhead opened with a stand of 128. Greg Newcome (69) joined Caldehead to put on another 111.
Ray Grunsell was not out on 46 as the supporting partner in an unbroken stand of 99 with Calderhead.
South Brent were all out for 122 in reply – Dave Lewis top scoring in 62.
Bowling star of the show for Exwick was Rehann Caryl, who took four wickets for two runs from seven overs, five of them maidens.
KENN were 101-run winners in their meeting with Newton St Cyres.
Kenn made 213 for nine with former Sidmouth, Paignton and South Devon batsman Martin Swannel top scoring on 53.
Pat Boot made 46 and the best of the chip-ins came from James Gosling (22).
St Cyres were all out for 112 in reply, Shenan Grossberg (39) and Andy Cork (20) the main run-getters.
Former Bovey Tracey pair Ollie Thomas (0-16) and James Mason (2-19) gave St Cyres nothing to hit, then Pete Chislett (2-18), Gosling (2-10) and Ed Bragg (3-15) bowled them out.
STOKEINTEIGNHEAD made Topsham St James work every inch of the way for a three-wicket win in a low-scoring affair.
Stoke were bowled out for 108 in the 22nd over – Tom Willis battling for 26.
Ross Treleaven (3-42) took early wickets Dan Armstrong (2-36) had a go in the middle then Ed Kirby (3-23) and Mark Phillips (2-5) took out the stragglers.
Topsham got in a pickle against Mark Russell (4-19) who took out Aiden Pring (26) among others.
Mark Phillips (35) was third out at 70 and it took a handful of bits and pieces to get Topsham over the line.