Top two Bradninch and Lewdown meet in A Division match of the day

BRADNINCH head to Lewdown for a top-of-the-table clash that could have a huge bearing on the title race.

Bradninch are 25 points ahead at the top after a four-wicket win over Plympton last time out and could stretch that to 40-plus if they win. It’s hard to see them not going up once they are that far ahead.

A loss will cut the deficit to between 10-15 points and that makes it game on.

Tim Piper, the Bradninch skipper, believes his side can wrap-up promotion in July if they win four more games.

Lewdown are the first obstacle and with Johannes Wessels the form player in the division will take some beating.

 “Wessells is the clear danger man for Lewdown,” said Piper. “He has to have a good game for them to beat us.

“We're not worried about anyone else.”

Spinner Will Squire is away on a hockey tour and misses the game.

Eliot Acton is home from university and plays against Lewdown and in Sunday’s Servicemaster Clean T20 finals day game or games.

Chris Metters, the former Warwickshire all-rounder, is available on Sunday.

“It is a big weekend for us with a top-of-the-table clash followed by the twenty20 finals day,” said Piper.

“Everyone is fit and ready for a decent weekend of cricket.”

Lewdown have We have a couple of players missing from the team that defeated Hatherleigh last week.

Tom Pearce returns from travelling in Australia, which will strengthen Lewdown with bat and ball.

Lewdown lost the last time the sides met, but skipper Tallan Burns has other ideas.

“A game against arguably the strongest team in the division will always be hard,” said Burns.

“We know the quality they have having gone there first game of the season with six players out.

“For us it's another game, we will set up and play how we've done all year.”

CHUDLEIGH, at home to Hatherleigh on Saturday, are exceeding expectations going into the second half of the season.

Last Saturday’s 14-run win over Barton was Chudleigh’s fourth of the season – one more than skipper Ed Foreman had budgetted for.

Staying up is the target and Foreman said although the signs are encouraging there remains lots to do.

“Overall we are very pleased with our first half of the season,” said Foreman.

It was great to get a first away win under our belts last week, which provided a good confidence boost.

“Hatherleigh is an important game as we have a very poor recent record against them, which needs to change sometime.

“They have won all five of our last meetings.

“The league is so tight I think seven wins might not be enough to stay up.

“We need to stick to what we have been doing well and results will come.”

Hatherleigh need to keep their winning form against Chudleigh going having slipped into the bottom two last Saturday after losing to Lewdown.

“Chudleigh have done well this season, but I will be looking to drag them closer to us rather than let them slip away up the table,” said Hatherleigh captain Mark Lake.

“I feel seven or eighty wins are required to assure safety and I want to add another one on Saturday.

“Chudleigh are a tough team to beat and our boys need to be right up for it.”

Batter Gareth Tidball is away so Charlie Nielson comes back in. Tom Strawbridge replaces Adam Quick. 

BUDLEIGH Salterton will be without former Devon all-rounder Trevor Anning against Sandford tomorrow.,

Anning, who joined from Exmouth two weeks ago, is at a wedding but his absence is more than compensated by the continued availability of Somerset’s Max Waller.

Youngster Ed Doble comes into the side.

Budleigh go into the game third in the table behind top two Bradninch and Lewdown and conscious they could be second if they win and Lewdown lose tomorrow.

While Bradninch have the look of champions about them already, it’s wide open for second place at the moment.

Budleigh skipper Joel Murphy is looking to win and win well against Sandford.

“It is so tight this year every point could be crucial at the end of the season,” said Murphy.

“So far we have only played at 80 per cent of our capability and that has got us to third.

“We need to find the other 20 per cent if we are going to get in the top two and stay there.”

Elsewhere in the A Division, Ipplepen entertain Barton and Plympton are at home to Paignton.