Bradninch plan for life in Premier Division + Budleigh still in running

BRADNINCH skipper Gary Chappell is already looking ahead to Premier cricket next season, even though there is some unfinished business this term.

Bradninch are 58 points clear of third-placed Lewdown and one win away from promotion after their six-wicket victory at Sandford last time out.

Two wins will win the league outright, although if Paignton to Barton lose this Saturday that will be the end of that.

Chappell knows it is as good as in the bag now, which frees him to plan ahead.

“It is a good opportunity to give players some game time and experience at 1st XI level so we'll be mixing things about from now until the end of the season,” said Chappell.

“Thom Bunker will stay at five even when our main batters return as he took his chance last week when others were away.

“We'll still be going out to win games and continue with the approach and attitude that has got us this far.

“But the pressure is off and we can play with some freedom and enjoy our last four games.”

Chappell said he thought it unlikely Bradninch would thrash Chudleigh as heavily again.

“Chudleigh have done better than I expected this season and obviously have more to offer than we saw at our so I envisage a tougher game this time,” he said.

Chudleigh skipper Ed Foreman hasn’t forgotten the mauling by Bradninch earlier in the season and sees his side a definite underdogs tomorrow.

“We were awful against them first game and, realistically, this is not a game we stand much of a chance of winning,” said Foreman.

“We have set our own targets for this game and for the rest of the year.

“If we can take 35-40 points from our last four games then we will end the season with around 200 points.

“I will be shocked if we go down with that total.

“It is a tough ask but I know we are up to it if we perform.”

BUDLEIGH Salterton go to Lewdown with promotion still on the agenda despite last Saturday’s defeat at Barton

Budleigh totted up 234 for nine in 50 overs – openers Matt Junk (88) and Eliot Rice (50leading the way with a stand of 142.

Barton refused to give up even when this went against them and squeezed over the line with five balls to spare – Adam Last and Andy McVeigh the men of the moment with an eighth-wicket stand of 59.

McVeigh (26no) hit Budleigh skipper Joel Murphy for a boundary to win the game with four balls to spare.

Results elsewhere meant it was a setback rather than a disaster for Budleigh in the tussle to finish second behind champs-elect Bradninch.

Lewdown’s 10-wicket defeat at Plympton after they were bowled out for just 18 did Budleigh a huge favour.

Paignton (191pts), Lewdown (182) and Budleigh (179) are all battling for the runners-up spot.

In an intriguing finish to the season, Lewdown play Budleigh this week and Paignton seven days later. As Budleigh’s last game is against Paignton, anything can happen!

Something that does have to happen according to Murphy is that Budleigh need to concentrate more if they want to win matches.

“We thought we had a good enough score at Barton but, in hindsight, we didn’t make enough runs in the second half of our innings,” said Murphy.

“Perhaps we were a fraction complacent thinking we had enough and the game would take care of itself.

“Dropping four catches didn’t help as had we taken any of them we would have won the game.

“Ultimately, Barton played better cricket than us when it mattered.”

SANDFORD, at home to Hatherleigh, welcome back Matt Theedom after a week off.

Chris Blake is on to keep wicket and there is the first of three bonus appearances from former Devon opener Richard Foan.

Foan is home from his job in Australia and has added three more weeks to his stay.

“That is a massive boost for us,” said skipper Ryan Glass.

Hatherleigh need to find five points from somewhere to get out of the bottom two – and time is running out.

“It's simple for us,” said Hatherleigh captain Mark Lake. “We need to win this one to stand a chance of playing A Division cricket next year.

“I have faith in my team to get us out of trouble.”

Chris jelly is missing so Niall Leahy comes in.

BARTON captain Adam Parker is looking to build on the win over Hatherleigh in the derby clash with Paignton.

Adam Last and Andy McVeigh steered Barton to a last-over win that moved them away from the drop zone.

“Last week was obviously a big result that bought a lot of positives for us,” said Parker.

“They got off to a big start and we did really well to get back in the game and restrict them to 234.

“Batting wise we didn't get off to a good start but once again showed some good fight and spirit to see us through. 

“For the rest of the season we need to keep that spirit and fight going to keep the positive results coming.”

Back for selection are Andy Hele, Scott Bellamy and Scott Baldry. Barton are waiting on the fitness of Shaun Needham.

Paignton are withough Noah Wright in the early order and Stephen George in the bowling attack.

Pete Taylor comes in, as does Harry Ward, who took an unbeaten 157 off North Devon in a second team game last Saturday.

HOW do you follow handing out a 10-wicket hiding to a team that was second in the table?

That’s the poser facing Plympton captain Dan Robotham when he takes his team to Ipplepen.

Plympton bowled out Lewdown for 18 last Saturday – Imran Ali Pasha taking seven for five – then knocked off the runs inside five overs.

Victory lifted Plympton out of the bottom two, but only by four points.

Ipplepen won’t be staying up this year and what Plympton need is another win to enhance their survival prospects.

“We are looking to take the ruthlessness of last week into Saturday and win convincingly,” said Robotham.

“We will go into the game full of respect for Ipplepen as their performances have improved week on week and not be complacent.

“We know how important this game is for us to pick up big points.”

Christian Bunney, Jason Degg and Jamie Lee are all missing. Matt Gregory, Harry Kamdampully and debutant Jamie Bailey all come in.