French (pictured), Randerson and Lewis see Heathcoat over early slump in win at Plymouth
PLYMOUTH’S roller-coaster season continued as they dipped to a 22-run defeat against visiting Heathcoat.
The City side don’t seem able to win two weeks running this season, which will hold them back in the title race if that trend continues.
Plymouth bounced back from pasting by Sidmouth to win at Exmouth last Saturday and were in confident mood for the date with Heathcoat.
A target of 253 to win was a fraction above five an over, but with 10 to go the asking rate had risen to eight and Plymouth could not catch up.
Defeat leaves Plymouth slap-bang in the middle of the table after five rounds of games.
Heathcoat recovered from three for two with openers Toby Lochead and Rob Holman both back in the shed to reach 252 for six.
Callum French (69) and Peter Randerson (57) started the revival with a stand of 114 that Joe Hagan-Burt (2-46) broke by bowling Randerson.
In-form Liam Lewis tucked into the bowling to make an unbeaten 66 as the scoreboard kept ticking round.
Wickets were hard to come by for Plymouth, although Faizan Riaz (0-31 off 10) gave Heathcoat’s batters little to hit.
Plymouth were 90 for three halfway through the chase – Riaz had been and gone for 35 by then - but with wickets in hand still had a platform.
Hagan-Burt (44) and Steve Luffman (35) helped skipper Jon Varcoe chip away at the deficit in stands of 75 and 53 respectively.
Had Luffman lasted an over or two longer, a Plymouth win was not a far-fetched possibility.
When Luffman was spun out by Jackson Thompson it was down to Varcoe, whose patient 59 was not enough so swing the match.
Maclolm Cloete (3-36) and French (2-36) were the bowlers who stopped Plymouth getting a move on.