Hardy ton heaps pressure on Paignton as Bradninch go third

DAN Hardy thumped his second Premier ton of the season as Bradninch handed out a 138-run hiding to Paignton.

Hardy hit a top score of 125 in Bradninch’s total of 271 all out.

Skipper Gary Chappell took three wickets and there were two each for Ross Acton and Matt Foster as Paignton were bowled out for 133.

Victory lifts Bradninch up to third in the table, five points behind second-placed Exmouth who lost at Exeter.

Tristan Coetzee had a couple of Bradninch wickets and George Yates (2-52) a third as the home side reached 32 for four in the tenth over.

When opener Chappell was joined by Hardy the run-rate started to rise during a stand of 105.

By the time Chappell was dismissed by Devon new boy George Benton (3-65) for 53, Bradninch were 147 for four.

Hardy and Acton (27) posted 84 for the fifth wicket as Bradninch stepped on the gas again.

Hardy was last man out in the final over having been party to stand worth 229. He hit 18 fours and a six.

Paignton needed five and half an over to win the game. That looked a bit fanciful after they dipped to 28 for four.

Dan Wolf (34) and Rob Shergold (13) put on 44 for the next wicket, which turned out to be Paignton’s best partnership.

Ollie Higgs made 29 in a losing cause as Paignton faded away in the 36th over.

Acton (2-21) and Foster (2-31) got into the early and middle order. Chappell (3-28) picked off the stragglers.

Hardy won the game against North Devon with a ton – and had some wickets too that day.

Chappell felt the Hardy factor was significant again.

“Dan played exceptionally well to get us to 270, which was far too many on a tricky pitch,” said Chappell.

“Paignton like to play in a certain way and are a competitive, hard-working team so it was pleasing to come away with such a convincing win.”

Paignton skipper Ashworth had no significant complaints.

“To be honest it was one of those days where we were outplayed in every department,” he said.

“I don't think we did too much wrong in the field, a couple of hard chances went down which could have swung the game in our favour but they batted very well.

“Only having five bowlers did make it difficult and we were definitely missing a spinner.

“Their total was probably a bit over par, but definitely gettable on a fairly flat pitch.

“Bradnich bowled well up front and once we were 30 for four it was always going to be a very difficult ask.

“It was a shame we couldn't get a couple more batting points but we'll take seven points and move on to a big game against Torquay this weekend.”