Heathcoat go top to set up three-way fight on last day of season

Alex Barrow, who was injured while keeping wicket for Exeter

HEATHCOAT won the top-of-the-table clash with Exeter in the Premier Division to set-up a last-day nail-biter in the race for the title.

Heathcoat’s 67-run win over leaders Exeter moved them into top spot and dropped the County Grounders down to third.

Sidmouth’s five-wicket win over North Devon took them (260pts) past Exeter (255) into second spot. New leaders Heathcoat are a further six points ahead.

On what is going to be a frenetic last round of games this Saturday, Heathcoat are at home to relegation worriers Sandford, who have must-win issues of their own, Exeter go to doomed Hatherleigh and Sidmouth make the short trip to Exmouth.

Peter Randerson, the Heathcoat captain, had no time for iffs, buts and maybes when he weighed-up the last round of games.

“It's pretty simple: win to be champions,” said Randerson. “If we play our best cricket, we will be champions.”

Opener Reid Mawdsley made a season’s best of 92 and Jackson Thompson was 68 not out in Heathcoat’s 45-over total of 263 for five.

Five overs were lost while Exeter keeper Alex Barrow was treated by paramedics after sustaining a head injury keeping wicket.

Former Somerset staffer Barrow was unable to bat in the Exeter innings, which only got to 196.

With Barrow injured and Ben Green out due to a back injury, Exeter were two batters down. Tom Richardson (42) and James Bovey (45) had the notable scores.

Jamie Drew (2-28) and Chris Cabburn (2-52) accounted for four of the top five, which left Louis Stephenson (3-30) to go through the bottom half.

Randerson said Exeter inevitably missed Barrow with the bat, but that was not the reason why they lost. 

“Unfortunately, Alex was injured while keeping which was not good for the game and all at Heathcoat wish him a speedy recovery,” said Randerson.

“But we went about our work brilliantly. Reid and Jackson batted wonderfully, then our bowlers did the damage with the ball. 

“We were great in the field and out fielded Exeter.”