Abbotskerswell turn heat up under Bideford in B Division title race

Will Harrison - a tidy spell for Ottery against Thorverton

ABBOTSKERSWELL turned the heat up under leaders Bideford when they beat them by 85 runs at Westward Ho!

Bideford appeared to be running away with the B Division title as all the teams behind them kept beating each other.

That was before Abbots beat Bideford to move within 12 points of the leaders in round 15 of 18.

If Bideford slip up against in-form Filleigh this Saturday, and Abbots complete the anticipated win over relegated Ottery, the could be new kids on the block at the top.

Filleigh are unbeaten in seven games – five wins, two rain-offs – so Bideford will be wary of them.

Tom Keilt (73) and Jimmy Fulner (98) were the prime run getters for Abbots in their total of 246 for nine.  Fulner went in at 29 for two and was eighth out at 226.

Jamie Lathwell and Josh Atkinson had three wickets each for Bideford.

Bideford slumped to 25 for four in reply, losing three for none in eight balls to Keily (2-29) and Ricky Small Boyce (2-32).

By the time Paul Heard (60no) got going the damage was done.

Heard batted through to the end in Bideford’s total of 161 all out.

Noah Tobias (3-23) polished off the stragglers.

Defeat was a setback but not a disaster for Bideford.

“We still need to play good cricket for the last three games,” said skipper Heard.

“We were poor. The bowling department did a reasonable job, but our fielding was shocking.

“Then we didn't show any fight with the bat.

“The only positive was getting 8 points out of the game.”

Charlie Hill the Abbots' captain, said: “To win by but nearly 90 runs against the top team is exactly what we wanted.

“We batted and bowled in partnerships to create pressure on Bideford.

“We punished the bad balls and took all our catches.

“With teams still lurking below us we can't let this momentum drop and hopefully we can carry it through for the rest of the season.

“With Tavistock this Saturday we know to expect a tough game, we look forward to it.”

FILLEIGH are one more win from safety in the B Division thanks to a six-wicket victory over Barton.

Barton were held to 177 for eight which Filleigh knocked off with nearly 10 overs to spare.

Filleigh are 39 points away from danger. A win over Bideford this Saturday will make them safe.

Barton are in the bottom two and in danger of going down with doomed Ottery. They have to do something about the nine points between them and Thorverton. A win over Seaton this Saturday would help.

Openers Shaun Needham and Alex Hunt both made 33s for Barton, who went downhill rapidly from 126 for three to 147 for seven.

Jon Hickman (2-25) had the best of a consistent set of figures.

Filleigh were 13 for two then 54 for four after Adam Parker (2-25) picked up a brace.

Justin Saker (93no) and Filleigh skipper Simon Prideaux (51no) knocked off the rest without mishap.

That’s seven games without a defeat for Filleigh who have Ryan Bowden back this Saturday against Seaton.

“We have had a great second half so far and i hope it continues,” said skipper Prideaux.

“Delighted to get a win and not to make it difficult for ourselves for a change.

“We dropped a catch early on and after a couple of misfields O thought it might be one of those days.

“We fought back really well in the middle 15 overs with excellent spells from john Hickman and Justin Saker.

“We lost a few early wickets but Bideford weren't able to get the key wicket of Justin who batted brilliantly.

“We've been guilty of giving our wickets away this season, leaving it to others, we didn't want to make that mistake again.

“I was really happy to see the game through and chase the runs down in such measured way.”

SHOBROOKE Park are right back in the thick of the B Division promotion race after beating rivals Ipplepen by five wickets.

Pens were bowled out for 13 by Dan Robbins (3-21), Chris Simpson (2-17) and Will O’Sullivan (2-10).

Take out 26 by opener Jack Lewis and 47 extras – 39 wides among them – and there wasn’t a lot from the rest.

James Goodman struck 45 to see Shobrooke home with time to spare despite interuptions from Will Gornall (2-24) and Marcus Green (3-35).

Shobrooke shot up to third in the table, 14 points behind second-placed Abbotskeswell with three games to go.

To say in the running Shobrooke need to win the derby date against Thorverton this Saturday.

Abbotskerswell are at home to winless Ottery St Mary, who are already relegated after they lost to Thorverton last time out.

That win over Ottery was enough to hoist Thors out of the bottom two and put Barton in their old spot.

Dave Baldock (73) and Ben Coe (65) rescued Thors from 41 for five with a stand of 113 that helped achieve a total of 229 all out. Skipper Andy Pitt (27) chipped in.

Ottery skipper Will Harrison (2-18) was tidy with the ball. Tom Hinch had three for 43 from 5.5 overs at the end.

Ottery were in the game at 129 for two – Dan Flower (32), Alex Clements (28), Billy Read (20) and Rob Johns (28) in the runs.

Once the slide started – James Grady (3-38) and Paul Fielder (3-35) responsible – only George Southall-Brown (28) tarried long as Ottery slumped to 195 all out.

Skipper Simpson said he was pleased with the way Shobrooke were playing after their mid-season slump.

“We bowled really well with all of us sharing the wickets around.” Said Simpson.

“Second team bowlers Mark Wheeler and Will O’Sullivan were outstanding.

“James Goodman got a great 45 - he's another player who has come up from our 2nd XI.

“We are really looking forward to the last few games, we are playing well znd will hopefully keep things going.”

TAVISTOCK won by four wickets at Seaton to keep their faint promotion hopes alive.

Sean Cleave was the man of the moment with the ball for Tavistock with six wickets for 40 runs as Seaton were bowled out for 174.

Opener Joel Seward top scored with 60 for Seaton – he was fifth out at 108 – and after he fell to Cleave the runs came from Ben Morgan (28) and Chris Aplin.

Billy Barriball (41) opened up for Tavvy and anchored the chase up to 86 for three.

Skipper Shaun Daymond (25) and Charlie Barriball (38) took  Tavvy most of the rest of the way, leaving man of the match Cleve (19no) to clinch the result.

It’s been fluid all season among the top five clubs with no one other than Bideford stringing wins together for long – and they lost to Abbotskerswell last time out.

As Tavistock are 26 points behind second-placed Abbots going into the last lap of the season, promotion is possible, although Daymond is realistic.

“I think Abbots winning made them pretty sure of going up but we will be looking for a strong finish,” said Daymond.

“If we win our last three games we are in with a shout, but it is very unlikely.”