Lake wants to concentrate on staying clear of Cornwood + Donohue senior helping Plympton + time running out for Plymstock + Corns have priorities + Sandford losing Rowe

Keith Donohue - summoned from semi-retirement to assist Plympton against Brixham
Keith Donohue - summoned from semi-retirement to assist Plympton against Brixham

HATHERLEIGH, whose lead at the top of the A Division over Sandford has been trimmed to four points, are at home to Budleigh Salterton tomorrow.

A defeat by Cornwood followed by a disputed rain-off at Brixham, have eroded what was a 30-point lead at the top.

Skipper Mark Lake isn’t too worried about Sandford catching his side; his concern is letting third-placed Cornwood, 52 points behind, into the running.

Hatherleigh host mid-table Budleigh tomorrow in a game they will want to win.

“I see this is a game we need to win keep the gap between us Cornwood as wide as possible,” said Lake.

“I am looking forward to getting back out there and playing again.

“The lads will be bang-up for getting back on the winning trail.”

Meanwhile, the process has started of investigating whether the correct procedures were adhered to before last Saturday’s game at Brixham was cancelled due to a bad weather.

Hatherleigh say they weren’t, Brixham say they acted correctly at all times and had nothing to gain by doing otherwise.

Umpire Chris Shelton has submitted a report on the fitness of the ground. He arrived after Brixham had called the game off.

Ed Leverton, the league secretary, said a number of issues are being looked into surrounding the non-game, including a potential disciplinary charge.

SANDFORD are about to lose Australian rising star Paddy Rowe sooner than expected as he has been called home.

Rowe, 16, was due to spend six-eight weeks at Creedy Park brushing up his game, just as he did last year.

The keeper-batter flies home on Monday having been invited by Cricket Australia to take part in a training camp in Brisbane.

If the camp goes well, Rowe will push his claims for a place in Australia’s next Under-19 World Cup squad.

“Paddy has shown some great qualities for a 16 year old lad and we wish him well for his season at home,” said skipper Richard Foan.

Sandford are only seven points behind leaders Hatherleigh now and skipper Richard Foan has them in his sights.

“Looking to keep the pressure on Hatherleigh this week with another win,” said Foan.

“Hatheleigh haven't really been under pressure all season so let's see how they deal with it.

“It is a big weekend for the club with the county game (Devon v Shropshire) on Sunday so let's hope we can kick it off with a win.”

Neil Bettis, Marc Bettis and Charlie Fitzroy come back in after their summer holidays. Seamer Jamie Palmer is still out with pulled hamstring

Chudleigh’s priorty is keeping away from the bottom two. They have a 16-point cushion going into the game.

“This will be a tough game for us, especially considering we are missing a few players,” said Chudleigh captain Ed Foreman.

“We have been playing well recently and to be hit by availability issues at this time is disappointing.

“We know our goals for the rest of the season and taking each game at a time is important.”

CORNWOOD want to keep on winning just in case when they face Ivybridge in an derby date.

The third-placed Corns may just catch Sandford for the second promotion spot, if they can claw back the 45-point gap between them.

Cornwood have to keep winning – and they need Sandford to slip up.

“With the top two (Hatherleigh and Sandford) playing each other on August  12 we have to keep going,” said director of cricket Duncan Boase.

 “Ivybridge away always adds a little bit of spice to the game.

“They will be desperate for points as much as we are.”

Craig Harris coms in for Shaz Ahmadm who is unavailable.

PLYMSTOCK are fast approaching the point of no return in the A Division – and skipper Scott Mansfield knows it.

Last Saturday’s reversal at Cornwood left Plymstock 28 points adrift at the bottom.

Fellow strugglers Lewdown are the visitors tomorrow and Plymstock have to win.

“It is a massive game for us this weekend, a must win if we are to give ourselves the best chance to survive this year,” said Mansfield.

“We need everyone to stand up and show the fight associated with staying up.”

Ian Whalley is away so batsman Jason Williams comes in.

FORMER Devon fast-bowler Keith Donohue is helping out son Craig when Plympton host Brixham.

Donohue senior has been semi-retired from league cricket for a couple of years, but there in a crisis if needed.

Plympton are only one place and nine points off the relegation places in the A Division – and have a number of key players absent.

So bringing the ‘old man’ back makes sense for Donohue junior, who hopes the younger players in the side will benefit from playing alongside more experienced campaigners.

“We are fortunate as a club to have some really good young lads having an opportunity in the men's teams.

“We are also lucky to be able to call on guys like Andy Walter and my old man who have played the game for a long time and are able to pass on their knowledge to the younger lads.

“For lads like Elliot Hamilton and James Degg who are 14 and 15 to have these guys around to learn from and to see how they go about it can only be a good thing.”

Jacob Caunter, who has shone with bat and ball since breaking into the side, isn’t around this week.

“Obviously disappointing to lose Jacob for a few weeks when he has been playing really well this year, but that's part and parcel of playing a sport that covers the school holidays,” said skipper Donohue.

One the challenge of the game, the captain said: “This week is a big week as a win will give the lads confidence going into the final month of the season.

“Hopefully the weather can be kind to us and we can have a good game of cricket.”