Bideford keep tight grip on top spot

BIDEFORD kept a firm grip on top spot in the B Division by handing out a 63-run defeat to Seaton.

James Ford opened up with 39 and steered Bideford to 97 for three before the run getting took off.

Jayson Bartolo and skipper Paul Heard racked up 87 for the fourth wicket towards a Bideford total of 246 for seven.

Joe Berry (3-53) removed Heard, but the run rate increased in the last six overs with Bartolo and Fred King (19) clattering another 49.

Bartolo was out in the penultimate over for 85 off 107 balls, scored waiting for the bad one to come along. He had 10 fours, two sixes and a lot of dots in the book.

Rob Prior bowled nine overs for figures of one for 22. Joe Seward got out Bartolo in his return of two for 29 off five.

Seaton ran into trouble from the off with King and Heard (2-23) reducing them to 23 for three.

Dependable Matt Hewer (39) and Josh Cann hoisted 82 for the fourth wicket and at 121 for our with 14 overs to go there as a game to be won.

Removing Cann was crucial for Bideford and Martin Stewart obliged.

Cann was scalp number two of five for Stewart (5-28) as the Seaton lower order crumbled.

Bideford are five points clear of Ipplepen at the top with doomed Ottery to play this Saturday.

Heard was happy with the performance in all areas.

“Jayson Bartolo anchored the innings with 85 and a couple of others chipped in well,” he said.

“Bowlers were disciplined and put pressure on their batters from the start.”

Seaton have slipped down the table to sixth having lost their last two games.

Skipper Ben Morgan, who made 21 near the end, felt his side could have done better.

“We didn't bowl in the right areas towards the end, they got a bit lucky and probably scored 30 more than they should have,” said Morgan.

“It was going be hard to chase down 246 from 23 for three, but Josh Cann batted superbly and Matt Hewer brought us back into it and gave us a chance.

“Once josh was out we weren't going to get them.”