Premier round-up: Yau praises side for determined batting in face of criticism from rival captain + Paignton happy with points return

Matt Westaway - bowled well for North Devon

WHAT a washout! Saturday’s programme across all 16 divisions of the Tolchards Devon Cricket League was devastated by bad weather.

Only two games in the Premier Division started – and neither of them was played to a conclusion.

The bad news for Premier strugglers Plymouth, whose game against leaders Bovey Tracey was among the casualties, was their rivals mostly got some cricket in and picked up bonus points.

Paignton (217-6) and North Devon (36-2), who played each other, moved five and three points further away from Plymouth before rain stopped play in their game.

Bottom side Heathcoat gained ground on Plymouth courtesy of four bowling bonus points in their abandoned game with Torquay.

Only Exeter of the other sides in the basement remain as they were. Not a ball was bowled in their game with Sidmouth.

NORTH Devon got the thin end of the wedge against Paignton before rain stopped play.

Bowl first is normally the order of the day when rain’s about so North Devon skipper Ed Yeo had no hesitation putting Paignton in to bat.

Yeo would have been hoping for Paignton wickets and the bonus points they bring – so 217 for six probably wasn’t what he had in mind.

Paignton captain Richard Ashworth would have been far happier with the total and four bonus batting points.

Josh King (3-51) had Paignton wobbling with a double-wicket strike early on, but opener Tristan Coetzee (80) dug in and found a willing running mate in Connor Bryan (83).

Coetzee was third out at 117. Bryan – six fours, two sixes – was last man out on 213.

Matt Westaway (2-29) and Stef James (0-33) both bowled tidy 10-over spells for North Devon.

North Devon were 36 for two when rain stopped play.

TORQUAY captain Justin Yau and Heathcoat’s Pete Randerson couldn’t have been much further apart after their game fell foul of the weather.

George Allen top scored with 60 in Torquay’s total of 174 for nine in the full 50 overs.

Heathcoat  were 40 for one in the seventh  over of their reply when rain brought a terminal halt to proceedings.

The game didn’t last long enough for Duckworth-Lewis to be used to calculate a result.

Bottom side Heathcoat took away four bowling bonus points on top of six for an abandonment, which gained them some ground on Plymouth and Exeter in the fight to stay up.

Yau saw it completely differently and praised his side for overcoming difficult batting conditions to earn three bonus points.

“It was a great effort to bat 50 overs and it was a shame the weather prevented a finish,” said Yau.

“It was not the sort of wicket to try and blaze 250 and we posted a competitive score.

“At this stage of the season, why should we gift wickets to our rivals and give them extra points?

"This is the beauty of the Devon League. in tough conditions we grind and play smart cricket to make teams work for their points particularly when there is a virtual county rain off.

“At this stage of the season every point is precious and we need to keep picking up as many as we can whilst minimising them for our rivals.”

Randerson felt felt Torquay’s go-slow tactics were not in the spirit of the game.

“Torquay were 100 for four after halfway and only scored at three an over for the rest of their innings,” said Randerson.

“It wasn’t about scoring runs for them, but protecting wickets in case the rain came and Duckworth Lewis comes into play.

“After what happened in the Bovey Tracey-Sidmouth game last week, captains are a lot wiser about keeping wickets intact when there is rain about as Duckworth-Lewis  benefits sides with wickets in hand.

“It just seems wrong to block the bowling when the game is all about scoring runs.”

THE game between Bradninch and Exmouth was abandoned without a ball bowled.