Bideford skipper Heard dissatisfied with levels of performance but relieved to retain A Division place

Bideford skipper Paul Heard - relieved to be staying up

TOM Brend hit a half-century that helped steer Bideford to a four-wicket win at Chudleigh that secured their A Division status for another year.

Bideford could have been in trouble had they lost badly and Ivybridge below them pulled off a shock win over champs-in-waiting Paignton.

Ivybridge lost, Bideford won and the worrying was over at long last  for Bideford skipper Paul Heard.

“In the end we showed some character and earned our place in the A Division again next year,” said Heard.

“Probably not far off our expectations position-wise, but performances were frustrating at times.

“We didn't do ourselves justice 100 per cent of the time but, overall, fairly happy with our achievement.”

Chudleigh, already down before the game, were all out for 133 in the 48thover, 

Ed Foreman opened with 32, Alex Haywood (20) and skipper Matt Heather (20) chipped in to a running total of 91 for three, but after that it went downhill fast.

Only Guy Harrison-Roberts (19) lingered as the last five wickets fell for 21 runs.

Jack Ford (2-25) and Martin Stewart (3-16) were the bowlers who did the damage.

Bideford were n the driving seat as Brend (53) and Heard (26) got them to 101 for two.

Chudleigh could sniff a way back after Saqib Hasan (3-27) sparked a slump that saw four wickets fall for seven runs, but James Ford (22no) saw the chase through.

Chudleigh skipper Matt Heather is already looking ahead to 2019 before the dust has properly settled on a disappointing summer at Kate Brook.

Chudleigh were seldom out of the bottom two after the halfway stage and relegation looked inevitable long before it was finally confirmed.

Saturday’s defeat by Bideford was Chudleigh’s last outing before returning to the B Division three years after winning promotion as champions. 

“It's been a tough season for us this year but there are plenty of positives to take from it,” said Heather.

“Our younger players had a lot of exposure to 1st XI cricket which gives them great experience to take into next season as we look to rebuild.”