C East: No 'grand' finish for Gooding despite one last win for champs Kilmington + Garner confident club is ready for B Division cricket

KILMINGTON completed their promotion-winning campaign in the C Division East with a seven-wicket victory over relegated Budleigh Salterton 2ndXI.

Ben Carter (50no) and Max Mejzner (43) had the only notable scores for Budleigh, who were bowled out for 156, Rob Crabb had four for 25.

Kilmington were over the line in the 23rdover thanks to runs from their to four.

Openers Tom Gooding (24) and Josh Short (23) got things going, then Matt Pile (39no) and Brett Garner (56) put the game to bed.

Amid the promotion celebrations in the pub later, there was some sympathy for opener Gooding on a landmark missed.

Gooding – three hundreds and four 50s this season – need 56 to reach 1,000 for the season. Sean Butler denied him.

Kilmington skipper Garner said: “I am so pleased we have completed such a successful season, and ended it on a high. 

“The biggest factor in our title success has to be the batting.  We have been so consistent with the bat fro match day one. “

He continued: “If there’s an element of disappointment then it is only the fact that Tom [Gooding] could not get over the line in terms of him scoring 1,000 runs. 

“Tom has been a key part of our batting effort and I am looking forward to seeking him at the next level.”

So, will Garner be in charge when Kilmington take to the pitch in eight months time? 

He says: “I’d love to be in charge as we face a new challenge, but it will all depend on the annual general meeting. I honestly feel that our first-choice 14 are all good enough to continue the journey with this team.

“If we can keep them all together I see no reason why we cannot be at the business end of the division above in 12 months time.”

FENITON lost by five wickets away to Sidmouth 2ndXI, a result that cost them their C Division East spot.

Braunton were below Feniton going into the last round, but their win at Clyst Hydon lifted them safely out of the bottom three.

Graham Tucker (55) and Jon Pyle (51no)_ both made half centuries in Feniton’s 228 for five.

Elliott Rice (25), Isaac Thomas (43) and Nick Mansfield (45) got Sidmouth to 117 for three in reply.

Skipper Anthony Griffiths (53no) put on 95 for the fourth wicket to end the game as a contest.

JAMIE Telford clobbered an unbeaten 171 for Exeter 2ndXI in a seven-wicket, last-day win over city rivals Alphington on the County Ground.

Mark Porter took an unbeaten 109 for Alphington in their 45-over total of 257 for six.

The big stand was one of 95 between Porter and Will Pring (31). D J van Vuuren chipped in 45.

Exeter were 41 for three before Telford and Luke Unsworth (55no) got going. Their stand of 220 unbroken won it with more than eight overs to go.

BRAUNTON live to fight another day in the C Division East after beating Clyst Hydon by five-wickets.

Hydon were already down going into the game and Braunton would have joined them had they lost and Feniton won.

It was still a  bit too close for comfort though as only eight points and one place separated Braunton from relegated Feniton in the third drop spot.

After four successive battles against relegation – they lost the one in 2016 in the B Division – skipper Dan Brierley will hope for calmer waters next summer.

Fletcher Eaglesome (25) and James Billington (20) put runs on the board for Clyst after the early order failed.

Jon Baglow (4-23) and Martin Smith (2-19) wrapped things up in a hurry as the last four wickets went for 20 runs.

Braunton passed the 134 needed to win in the 24thover, although it was by no means easy going.

Will Thornton (3-43) decimated the top order and at 17 for four Braunton were teetering.

Alec Hodges (35no) and Smith (59) ended the game as a contest with a stand of 105 for the fifth wicket.

WHIMPLE’S four-wicket win at Ottery St Mary kept them out of the relegation mix.

Oliver West (58) had the only score above 19 in Ottery’s total of 164 all out.

Cameron Kidd had four Ottery wickets for 35 runs and Devon Nightingale picked up three more.

Whimple had a wobble between 57 for one and 65 for four, losing Kidd (36) in the process. Dave Culshaw (32) steadied the chase, leaving Will Bardot (33no) and Matt Brown (21no) to tie up the loose ends.

Whimple skipper Ben Silk said: “It was a good all-round display, but not without a worry or two when we did slip to 90-6! 

“I also felt at tea that perhaps we had let them [Ottery] get 20 or 30 more than they should have posted. 

“That said, Will [Bardot] and Matt [Brown] batted very sensibly to help us to what ultimately was such an important win. 

“We were well informed as to what was happening elsewhere and so were clear about what we had to do. 

“I did not want us to slip back a level. We have worked hard to get this club to the level we now play at and we need to keep looking and moving forward.”

As for next season, Silk says: “I do think we need to recruit a couple more players to the first-team squad to help us look to continue what I hope will go on being an upward journey.”