Bradninch see safety cushion taken away by Exmouth defeat

Richard Baggs - hit 43 on his return to the Exmouth 1st XI

BRADNICH and Sandford find themselves locked together in the fight to dodge the drop after losing to Plymouth and Exmouth respectively.

Bradninch lost by 27 runs at Exmouth and Sandford by a mere six runs against Plymouth.

Sandford were four points behind Bradninch going into round 17, but not anymore. It’s 168 points each with a game to go.

Sandford will be aiming to deny Heathcoat the win that would earn them a first Premier Division title.

Bradninch go to Plymouth, who have only lost once in the second half of the season.

Gary Chappell, the Bradninch captain, was to the point in his assessment. “It is going to be a close one,” he said.

Richard Foan, the Sandford captain, chipped in with: “it is going be an interesting week weekend for sure.”

Exmouth made 209 for eight in their 50 overs against Bradninch with runs coming at the start and the finish but not in the middle.

Richard Baggs (43) and Bob Dawson (61) put on 82 for the first wicket, but no one else mad more than 10 until ninth pair David Lye (27no) and Andrew Buzza (25no) came together on 165,

Ross Acton (1-34), Charlie Sheen (2-37) and Chappell (1-24) were tidy for 10 overs each, Eliot Acton (3-44) got both openers in his haul.

The Ninch had it all to do after slumping to 23 for three –Billy Rudolph (2-29) striking early,

Chappell (47), Charlie Walker (27), Dan Hardy (20) and Kian Burns (21) kept Bradninch in the hunt and up with the asking rate.

Wickets in hand were the problem and without an anchorman after Chappell went as 138 for six Bradninch subsided to 182 all out.

It was French’s first win since taking over earlier this month as Exmouth captain and one which was somewhat overdue after three loses on the trot.

French knew where much of the credit should go – immediate predecessors Dawson and Baggs.

“Daws batted superbly and, as he has done so many times, judged the situation perfectly. 

“Daws and Baggsy set us a great platform. The wicket pretty wasn't great and was hard to come in on. 

“For the first time for a while we batted our 50 overs and the ninth-wicket stand, along with Daws' contribution at the top provided the difference. 

“Had Bradninch batted the 50 overs they would have won, but we bowled well and stuck to our jobs.”