Hatherleigh skipper Lake looking to start a new unbeaten run at top of A Division table
HATHERLEIGH are looking for a bounce-back win at Brixham this Saturday after their perfect record went for a burton against Cornwood.
Skipper Mark Lake said he was happier being chased than doing the chasing so nothing much has changed.
“The run was probably going to come to an end at some point and the outlook remains positive,” said Lake, who takes the team to Brixham tomorrow.
“We will be working really hard now to put another run together to push towards promotion."
Hatherleigh all-rounder Jack Cherrington is away so Jabez Weale come up from the 2nd XI to go to Brixham.
SANDFORD skipper Richard Foan said the A Division title race was ‘back on’ after last Saturday’s round of fixtures.
While leaders Hatherleigh were losing their perfect record to Cornwood, second-placed Sandford were beating Budleigh Salterton.
The gap between the top two is only 18 points now, which is why Foan believes there is time to catch Hatherleigh after all.
Said Foan: “Looking for another professional performance this week at Lewdown.
“The team is heading in the right direction and the atmosphere at the club is fantastic.
“That comes from winning games so hopefully we can keep that going.”
AFTER taking Hatherleigh’s unbeaten record away, Cornwood are unchanged for the derby date with Plymstock at Oak Park.
The Corns are in limbo land behind the top two after beating Hatherleigh as it didn’t change much for them.
Leaders Hatherleigh are a little closer than they were – these things are relative when the gap is 63 points – and second-placed Sandford remain 45 points distant.
All Cornwood can do is keep playing to win and keep their fingers crossed.
“We have to keep pushing and hope one of the top two slips up, “ said director of cricket Duncan Boase.
“Still plenty of points available but we have to keep winning and hope Sandford slip as Hatherleigh look gone.
“It was a great performance against Hatherleigh last week which should give us confidence.
“I would still like one or two of our batters to go on and get 80s-90s but as long as we are winning and contributing scores, I’m happy.”
Although the team is unchanged, Boase said selection wasn’t a formality.
“Craig Harris is in the 2nd XI this week and if it wasn’t for his availability issues he would be nailed on to play,” said Boase.
“Bowling not an issue at the moment but they also can’t rest on their laurels.
“We are getting players back now available, the seconds are looking really strong this week, I was asked to drop out which is fine as I’m old and knackered!”
There are a couple of names underlined week in and week out on the teamsheet though: Matt Tamsett and Matt Skeemer.
“Matt Tamsett has bowled very well since he came in and is now a big player for us,” said Boase.
“Matt Skeemer is only an innings away form a massive score.
“He needs to get past his 40s and 50s and move on. If he does he will take a game away from the opposition with his attacking style.”
CHUDLEIGH’S win over Plymstock lifted them to fifth in the table, although they remain mathematically much closer to the bottom two (+14) than the top two (-71).
Ed Foreman’s side face Plympton tomorrow looking to build on the win over Plymstock, which was the first in six games.
We have had some good results recently but I still think we haven't played to our full potential,” said Foreman.
“I want to see more from our batsmen over the next few weeks.
“This is a key part of the season for us with a difficult run in.
“Plympton are a good side and won't be as generous with giving us their wickets as they were earlier in the year.
“We need to go up a level or two to get a positive result.
“We have created a little daylight between us and the relegation places but it would be foolish of us to take our foot off the gas as there are some quality teams below us.”
Plympton will want to avoid a repeat of the last meeting between the sides when they were bowled out for 109 chasing a modest 159 to win.
Defeats by Ivybridge and Plymstock have dropped Plympton down to fourth from bottom, only nine points off the drop spots.
That’s close enough for skipper Craig Donohue, who said: “Because of the last two results this week becomes a big game in the sense we need a result to get us back in the winning habit.
“We have shown a real never-say-die attitude for most of the season and will need to call on that this week to make sure we get a result.
“We know as a side the last two weeks haven't been good enough but the past is the past we just need to make sure we are on our game for the challenge Chudleigh pose.”
Elliot Hamilton keeps his place in the side having shown good application with the bat and at 14 looks like a good prospect for the future.
Christian Bunney is away with the school he teaches at so Dave Ackford will return at the top of the order.
Dan Britcliffe back after his honeymoon to bolster the Chudleigh batting.
BUDLEIGH Salterton, at home to Ivybridge, make two changes of personnel.
Left-arm seamer Sam Fereday drops down to the second team in favour of James Leat.
Batter James Doble steps up from the seconds to replace Alex Richardson, who has found run scoring tough at times this season.
The challenge facing skipper Trevor Anning for the next seven weeks is to keep the team focused.
Realistic hopes of promotion almost certainly ended last Saturday with the defeat by Sandford that left Budleigh 46 points shy of Sandford in second place.