Shaldon promoted following Stoke cry-off

SHALDON Optimists clinched promotion back to the C Division West at the first attempt after being awarded a walkover against riverside neighbours Stokeinteignhead.

Twenty points for doing nothing meant Shaldon went 21 points clear of third-placed Yelverton with 20 to play for.

“We were really gutted Stoke said they could not raise a side as we wanted to win promotion by winning a decent game,” said Shaldon captain Mark Couch.

“We need four points off Yelverton to win the title and it would be nice to do it in style.”

In an intriguing finalé to the season, Shaldon play third-placed Yelverton this Saturday in the title decider.

The odds are heavily stacked in Shaldon’s favour as they are 17 points clear of Ashburton – they could even lose the match and still win the title.

The real pressure is on Ashburton, who have been in the top two since the first month of the season.

Ashburton could miss out on promotion if they lose to Stokeinteignhead and Yelverton beat Shaldon. It is going to be a nail-gnawing last day.

Ashburton took maximum points from their meeting with Exwick, posting 215 all out then dismissing their guests for 177.

The runs were shared around when Ashes batted with Ash Harvey (39) just having the edge of Lloyd White (34), Matt  Coon (32) and Matt Churchill (32no),

Best of the bowlers with four for 33 was Mike d’Augustino, supported by Ross Pascoe (3-46).

Exwick had a go with Howard Rose (51) and Kris Calderhead (39) making inroads.

Ashes’ 2nd XI captain Chris Yeo showed why he had been promoted with four for 10 and Churchill took three for 14.

Yelverton were way too strong for Newton St Cyres, racking up 359 all out in the 40th over then skittling their hosts for 65.

Having slumped to 15 for three at first, Yelverton got going with Richard West (21) and Peter Lojszczyk putting on 87,

West went to Dave Church but Lojszczyk kept going with Rob Grove (101) to reach 148 for five before departing for 72,

By the time Rob Grove got out, there had been further stands of 76 with Geoff Brain (22) and 75 with Ben Grove (46).

There was no respite when the tail was exposed – number 10 batter Ben Pearson made 43.

St Cyres, who only had nine players, lasted 21.4 overs. Only two players – Church (13) and Paul McCutchin (16) made double-figure scores.

Lojszczyk had three for 18 and there were two wickets each for West and Dan Farnham.

Ten-man Kenn defeated Buckland Monachorum by 128 runs after making 209 for six.

Opener Ben Challoner was the only one of the top five to miss out as Ed Bragg (28), James Gosling (51), Falk Koeller (55)  and Tony Gosling (42) got into the bowling.

Dan Rogers (9-7-6-0) impressed for Buckland.

Adam Talbott made 46 for Buckland and Steve Mannell had 25.

No one else made more than five and seven batters failed to score a run between them.

Ollie Thomas led the bowling effort with four for 32 and there were two wickets each for James Mason, James Gosling and Rob Parsons.

South Brent were on the wrong end of a 276-run verdict when they entertained Topsham St James.

Ross Treleaven hammered an unbeaten 105 for St James – 12 fours, four sixes, 53 balls – in their total of 303  for six.

Openers Callum Treleaven (58) and Aiden Pring (49) made a 116-run start before Ross Treleaven and Dan Armstrong (46) got going. They put on 74.

After Armstrong was run-out, Treleaven cracked on past 300.

Dom Prosser’s one for 32 off nine looked more than respectable in the light of the final total.

South Brent were all out in reply for 27 – Joe McShane taking five for 10 and Brian Jeary two for seven.

It has been a tough first season in the league for South Brent, who have only won once so far.

They have been bowled  out for less than 90 nine times in 15 completed games. Home and away against Shaldon (18 and 30), Topsham (39 and 27) and Ashburton (66 and 41) they have really struggled.