Acton looking for response in wake of Cornwood defeat
BRADNINCH skipper Eliot Acton is looking for a reaction from his team when Ivybridge visit Kensham Park.
Last time out the Ninch went down by two wickets away to Cornwood in a low-scoring affair.
Defeat cost Bradninch second place as it allowed Budleigh to go past them.
Acton, who intends to lead an unchanged side, hopes the loss will prove a jolt to the system.
“Hopefully the result against Cornwood was a shot in the arm, so I will be looking for a positive response against Ivybridge,” said Acton.
“We know we have let ourselves down the last few weeks in the second part of our batting innings and in the field so will be looking to rectify both elements.
“It will also be nice to play on a decent wicket with a fast outfield so looking forward to a high-scoring affair.”
BIDEFORD have to shake off the tag of unlucky losers if they are going to start climbing the A Division table before it is too late.
Bideford slipped into the A Division bottom two after they lost by three wickets away to fellow strugglers Ivybridge.
The distance between Bideford and safety is only three points and there are six games left to turn the season round. The first is at home to promotion-chasing Budleigh this Saturday.
Skipper Paul Heard said Bideford are not playing dreadfully, but do need to find another 20 per cent from somewhere.
“We've shown promising improvement in certain areas over the past few weeks, but need to convert potential into results,” said Heard.
“We must be at our best to compete with a high-flying Budleigh side.”
HATHERLEIGH skipper Mark Lake feels the team will need to be on their toes for the away game at Plympton.
Hatherleigh have five more wins in the locker than Plympton and are pushing for the second promotion spot behind in the division.
Plympton are closer to the bottom two than the top two, but have the same number of batting bonus points (44) as Hatherleigh.
In their last three games, two of which they lost, Plympton have scored 280 (v Budleigh), 269-5 (v Ivybridge) and 283-3 (v Bradninch).
“It is going to be another tough game against a team who are scoring a lot of runs but not getting positive results,” said Lake.
“That points to a strong batting unit and we will have to be at our very best at, for me, one of toughest places to go in the division to obtain a positive result.”
With pacer Dan Fogerty and batting all-rounder Simon Gillespie not available, Ryan Dennis and Jasper Presswell come in.
Hatherleigh go into the game fourth in the table and fresh from defeating Abbotskerswell by 66 runs – Tino Mutombodzei passing 600 league runs for the season with a another hundred.
Plympton skipper Alex Carr missed the defeat at Budleigh last time out. He returns and takes the place of the unavailable Joel Larkman.
“We had a really good game against Hatherleigh last time so hoping for the same.
“If we can get Tino out then we should be in the game. If we don't then at least it should be a nice day to watch him bat.”
CORNWOOD captain Matt Skeemer is reading little into current form ahead of the leaders’ Cricketfield Road tussle with lowly Barton
While Cornwood have won all their last four games, Barton have lost three on their way to third from bottom.
Cornwood won a low-scoring affair when the two teams met at Oak Park in May and Skeemer has not forgotten it.
“Barton ran us close earlier in the season so we will need to be at our best to get the result we want,” said Skeemer, who has recalled Matt Butterworth.
Barton’s recent record prompted skipper Adam Parker to say: “We really need to get some wins under our belt now to avoid being dragged further into the mess.”
Run scoring has been Barton’s problem. The only time they scored more than 200, which was against Budleigh Salterton, they lost.
Last Saturday’s 84 all out against Tavistock joined 91 against Bideford and 75 against Bradninch as dismal totals.
Said Parker: “There will be a couple changes to try and strengthen the batting order.
“We have Will Grainger and Adam Last back available. Missing from last week is Sean Adderley.”
ALARM bells seem to be jangling at Abbotskerswell, who are 10 points adrift at the bottom going into the home game with Tavistock.
One win in the last five starts tells its own story about Abbots’ fortunes this season.
Nick Watkin, the captain, did not mince his words.
“We are running out of games to get out of the relegation places,” said Watkin.
“We need a win to carry on putting pressure on the likes of Bideford, Barton and Ivybridge so we will be giving everything we have to try and get that win.
“Tavistock have done superbly this season and all credit to them coming up from the B and performing as they have.”
Tavvy are a comfortable fifth in the table with a 64-point gap between themselves and the drop slots.
Tavvy should be favourites, but skipper Shaun Daymond is not so sure.
“Abbots are a better side than the league table is showing so we look forward to a good game,” said Daymond.
Dave Manning returns to the Tavistock early order to pep up the batting.
Abbots make two changes. Alex Birt comes in to replace Richard Acton who is in holiday and Jay Hussain replaces Ian Jarman to provide an extra bowling option.
“Both players deserve their chance having performed excellently in the second team,” said Watkin.
Birt is fresh from making an unbeaten century in the 2ndXI against Tavistock