Top two clash at Oak Park in A Division match of the day
BRADNINCH go to Cornwood for a top-of-the-table clash they won’t want to lose.
Cornwood are eight points clear at the top of the table, which will change negatively if Bradninch beat them.
A Cornwood win will leave Bradninch around 20 points adrift – and under pressure from chasers Budleigh Salterton and Hatherleigh again.
Bradninch were lost a low-scoring affair by three wickets after being bowled out for 117 first time round and have revenge on the agenda.
“We were very poor against them first game but, on another day, could still have won so very keen to put things right with a win this time around,” said Ninch skipper Eliot Acton.
“We know Cornwood are a strong bowling team, but we have some in-form batters so it should be a good contest.
“If we get both parts right, I'm confident we will can put them under pressure and get a positive result.
Cornwood will be unchanged and the message from skipper Matt Skeemer is ‘more of the same’ please.
“We will need to be at our best again but the guys are taking a lot of confidence from our recent batting performances ,” said Skeeemer.
Bradninch team news is bowling all-rounder Ross Acton returns after a rest for Will Grieg.
South African Justin Wubbeling takes the helm for Plympton’s trip to Budleigh Salterton as Alex Carr has work commitments. Jonty Walliker comes in for Carr as a straight swap.
Donovan Robinson returns to the Budleigh side and Harry Parkin drops to the 2nd XI
Bideford welcome back skipper Paul Heard after more than a month on the injury list for their trek to Ivybridge.
Martin Stewart is injured, Chris Luxton has home commitments and James Greenleaf has to work, which leaves some plugging to do.
Young batter James Hayter and Cameron Atkinson join Heard in the side.
Tavistock entertain Barton looking to bounce back from the 10-run defeat by Hatherleigh that dented their promotion hopes.
Experienced run clubber Dave Manning is not available, but Aaron Churchill is and comes into the side along with seamer James McGahey.
“We are looking forward to another home game and want to get back to winning ways,” said skipper Shaun Daymond.
Barton, two places and nine points off the drop spots, look like being without injured opening bowler Jon Martin until further notice.
“I see the physio in two weeks time to have further investigation but don’t think I will play again this season,” said a gloomy Martin.
Skipper Adam Parker may be tempted to bring back veteran Dave Carter, who bowled nine overs for 15 runs against Kingsbridge in the 2ndXI last Saturday.
Carter is one of the dwindling number of players still around who turned out for Barton in the 1990s when they were a leading Premier Division club. In 1991 he scored 343 Premier runs, a figure bettered in 1999 with exactly 400.
Fourth-placed Hatherleigh (160pts) host Abbotskerswell this Saturday. But it is the game between Cornwood (189) and Bradninch (181) that Lake has his eye on.
“With the top two playing each other there’s a chance to gain ground on one if not both teams,” said Lake.
“Still a lot of points to play for so we can't afford any slip-ups this week end.
“We need the table to look a lot tighter on Saturday night than it does now.”
Abbots, rock bottom and 17 points adrift after their defeat by leaders Cornwood, need a bonus win over a team they are not expected to beat to kick-start an ascent up the table.
“Every point vital for us from now on in,” said Abbots skipper Nick Watkin.
“Under no illusions about the size of the task in front of us as Hatherleigh have an exceptional overseas in Tinotenda Mutombodzi and an excellent young side.
“It will be good to test ourselves against such a talented side.”
Keeper-batter Eddie Smout Cooper comes in for the unavailable Noah Tobias.
“Pleased to have Eddie back in the fold as he is a talented, young cricketer with great potential,” said Watkin.