Sandford 14 points clear in A Division after win over Brixham + all over for Cornwood after defeat at Lewdown

SANDFORD went 14 points clear at the top of the A Division table when they dispatched relegation worriers Brixham by eight wickets.

Second-placed Hatherleigh lost again – the third time in four games – which was a further boost for Sandford.

If Sandford win at Hatherleigh this Saturday – not a formality by any stretch – and Budleigh Salterton lose at Lewdown they will be promoted with three games to go.

“We are in a fantastic position of having everything in our own hands,” said skipper Richard Foan.

“We are playing good cricket all round, with everyone contributing.”

Mark Orchard went in at 61 for four after Tom Hopper had already been and gone and made a top score of 60 in Brixham’s 190 all out. Tom Blundell made 28.

Pete Steer (4-31) aided and abetted by Grant Ward (2-37) and Ben Clement (2-27) did most of the bowling damage.

Sandford openers Neil Bettis (66) and skipper Foan (96) put on 172 for the first wicket. Chasing 191 to win that was game over.

“All the bowlers bowled well to keep Brixham to a manageable total, Peter Steer again taking important wickets,” said Foan.

“Neil and I took advantage of some indifferent bowling but had to work hard on a difficult pitch.”

Brixham have to do something against Chudleigh at Boundary Park this Saturday to stop the gap widening between them and safety. Right now it is 21 points.

CORNWOOD can probably forget about promotion from the A Division once and for all now after they crashed to a 10-wicket defeat at Lewdown.

The Corns were hanging on to slender hopes of catching either Sandford or Hatherleigh for one of the two promotion spots.

Sandford’s win over Brixham means they are 67 points ahead of Cornwood with 80 points to play for.

Although Hatherleigh lost to Plymstock in a thriller at Harewood House, they are still 53 points clear of Cornwood in the second relegation slot. It is hard to see the Corns making that ground up in the time left, which starts with a derby date against Plympton this Saturday.

Elliott  Staddon (48) and youngster Ben Beaumont (20) gave Cornwood a 55-run start and at 78 for two there was no hint of the carnage around the corner.

Wickets tumbled to Leon Horn (4-22) and Dave Ball (4-17) as Cornwood stumbled from 88 for thee to 98 for six and on to 117 all out.

Lewdown, not out of the relegation picture and scrapping for every point, took no chances knocking off the runs.

Ball (66no) and Dino Visser (33no) used up 32.4 overs and contended with nine bowlers as they knocked off the runs.

Duncan Boase, the director of cricket at Cornwood, said a rare bad day on the batting front was his side’s downfall.

“Our middle orderm who have been very good for us most of the season, didn't have a good day and we were well short of where we should have been runs wise,” said Boase.

“Lewdown’s opening batters came out and played their shots and didn't give us a great opportunity to get into the game with the ball.”

IVYBRIDGE dropped to third from bottom in the A Division after the lost by two wickets at Chudleigh.

Opener Jake Zimmerman top scored for the Bridge with 66 off 100 balls in a respectable total of 241 for five.

Along the way there was a stand of 79 with Abraham Kopparambil (33). Jeewan de Silva chipped in with 64 not out, sharing a stand of 84 unbroken with George Thompson.

Rob Clarke and Grant Stone had two wickets each for Chudleigh.

Chudleigh heads probably dropped after opener Mark Solway went second ball, but perked up while Stone (46) and Matt Heather (49) put on 95.

There was a brief wobble mid-innings, Harry Solomon picking up a couple of wicktets, but a captain’s knock from Ed Foreman saw Chudleigh home.

Foreman batted through from 97 for three for an unbeaten 81 as Chudleigh won with five balls to bowl.

Ivybridge have a 20-point cushion between them and the drop spots. A win over bottom side Plymstock this Saturday will go a long way towards making them safe.

Click here to read more A Division reports