Plymstock heap pressure on Ivybridge at top of B Division
PLYMSTOCK raced to an eight-wicket win at Braunton that heaped the pressure on leaders Ivybridge at the top of the table.
While Plymstock were shunting Braunton over the relegation trap door, Ivybridge were frustrated by a rain-off at Tavistock, which cost them points.
Only the champions get a cup for the trophy cabinet and that’s what Mansfield and Ivybridge opposite number Kelvin Trent are focussed on now.
Plymstock are only four points behind Ivybridge at the top now and that two-horse race reaches a climax this Saturday when the two protagonists meet at Dean Cross.
The worry for the losers – especially if that is Plymstock who are second – is a defeat could let Bideford snatch promotion at the final hurdle.
Plymstock don’t need reminding they were unseated in last season’s promotion stakes with the winning post in sight.
Braunton made 136 for seven in 28 overs of a rain-reduced game at Kelsey – Rob Cunningham keeping them in check with a four-wicket haul.
Opener Alfie Huxtable top scored for Bruanton, whose next-best chip in was 26 not out by Alec Hodges.
Cunningham (4-20) was well backed-up by Bronte Bess (0-9), Syed Ali (1-25) and James Nicholls (0-19).
Plymstock hurtled to victory in 16.1 overs, led there by skipper Scott Mansfield (42), aided and abetted by Jason Williams (21), Jack Horton and Bronte Bess.
Williams and Masfield put on 54 for the first wicket, Mansfield and Horton took it to 86 for two then Horton (28) and Bess (38) finished the task.
Bess blocked the first three balls he faced, the lashed five fours and three sixes on his way to 38 off 12 balls.
It was a big win in the grand scheme of things for Plymstock as it took them closer to promotion.
Skipper Mansfield said Braunton and the umpires deserved credit for the positive way they approached getting the game played in wet conditions.
He added: “We have struggled to achieve promotion in recent seasons but if we beat Ivybridge we could secure it.
“In recent weeks our aim has been to put pressure on Ivybridge and open up a gap over Ottery and Bideford.
“By beating Braunton we achieved all three, but we still need to perform to achieve our goals.”
THEY managed 23 overs at the Ring before rain stopped play between Tavistock and Ivybridge.
Ivybridge were 141 for one when the players came off, Abraham Kopparambil (63) and skipper Kelvin Trent (54) were the not-out batsmen.
SHOBROOKE Park took the bulk of the points from a rain-affected game at Bideford.
Jon James, Jacques Budricks and Andrew Codling all made 50 or more as Shobrooke amassed 255 for five and maximum batting points in 41 overs.
James (61) and Chris Simpson (14) put on 50 for the seconde wicket, Budricks (56) shared stands of 32 with James and 43 with Chris Ford, then Codling whacked it at the end.
Codling hit eight fours and a six on his way to 53 of 26 balls, a knock that it included an unbroken stand of 49 in the last three and a half overs with veteran Richard Pyle.
Bideford spinner James Ford – four overs for 41 runs – was on the receiving end of the blitz.
Bideford were 28 for three when it rained in the seventh over of their reply, skipper Simpson taking two of three wickets to fall.
That was 12 points in total from a rain off, which moved Shobrooke into the safety of mid-table with two games to go.
Said Simpson: “With three different players getting 50s it was our best team batting performance for years.
“Jon James smashed it to all parts, Jacques showed his class with a fine 50 the Codling showed what he can do.
“We have been waiting for Andy to click - hopefully he can keep it up.
“It is shame it rained when it did as we were in the box seat.”