Paignton determined to go up as champions + Torquay toppled by Plympton

HARRY Ward and Chris Kelmere both hammered hundreds as Paignton thrashed Chudleigh by 230 runs to clinch promotion back to the Premier Division at the first attempt.

And on a good day for another graduate of Paignton’s famed youth system, 14-year-old spinner Rory Medlock had a seven-wicket haul in only his third 1st XI outing.

Ward hit 15 fours during a 139-ball knock of 102 in a stand of 259 for the first wicket with Kelmere.

Kelmere, playing against one of dad Chris senior’s former clubs, plundered 149 off 121 balls with 16 fours and nine sixes.

There was still time for Kevin Renecke to slash 50 off 28 deliveries as Paignton reached 343 for four.

Mark Heather picked off Ward and Renecke on his way to bowling figures of three for 64. Mark Russell bowled 10 overs for 32 runs before the batters cut loose.

Chudleigh, who need a miracle in the final round of games to save them from the drop, were bowled out for 113.

Skipper George Benton knocked over both openers, Kelmere accounted for Matt Heather (36) and Medlock took care for the rest of the wickets to fall. Four were lbw decisions, two were caught behind and last man Luke Quaintance was bowled.

The odd man out was Guy Harrison-Roberts, who was 37 not out when the last wicket fell.

Defeat leaves Chudleigh 22 points adrift of safety with 20 to play for and in theory relegated. Brixham, the side they are adrift of, have a three-point discipline penalty hanging over them. If enforced Chudleigh could stay up if they wallop Bideford and Brixham are pointless against Budleigh. Unlikely.

Paignton can’t avoid being promoted and are now in a straight fight with Torquay for the champions’ trophy. A win at Ivybridge this Saturday will do it, irrespective of how Torquay do at Cornwood.

Skipper Benton said: “It was another convincing win and even better for seeing Torquay drop points and us taking over at top of the division. 

“The boys were brilliant. Harry Ward and Chris Kelmere could not have done any better.

“Bowling wise, young Rory Medlock deserved every one of his wickets.”

Abbotskerswell v Budleigh | Torquay v Plympton | Bideford v Cornwood | Brixham v Ivybridge