Dawson (pictured) reels off ton as Exmouth send Paignton tumbling to defeat
EXMOUTH stay on station behind Bovey Tracey at the top of the table following a no-frills 70-run win at home to Paignton.
Former Devon captain Bob Dawson fired an unbeaten 104 to help Exmouth reach 243 for six.
George Greenway had a four-wicket haul and there were two each for Dan Pyle and David Lye as Paignton were bowled out for 173 in reply. Having slumped to 51 for five in reply, Paignton were always up against it.
Victory keeps Exmouth second in the table, 23 points behind the leaders.
Paignton are starting to look anxiously behind them as they are only nine points clear of the relegation places now after Plymouth beat Exeter to narrow the gap.
David Lye (31) had the bulk of the runs in the total of 54 for three when Dawson went in.
Dawson, who hit 10 fours and a six, got the scoreboard flicking over in a stand of 105 with Callum French (41).
French and debutant Louis Morison went for five runs more as 158 for three became 163 for five.
Dawson found a willing running mate in Finlay Marks (29) in a stand of 48 at the death.
George Benton (2-36 off 10) comfortably took the bowling honours for Paignton.
“After a tough start and a fine opening spell from George Benton, the lads really knuckled down,” said Exmouth skipper Richard Baggs.
“Bob played brilliantly and showed he is still a very fine player.
“Callum played a good role then an excellent innings from Fin Marks really got us up to a very good score.”
Paignton’s top five were blown away by Greenway (4-47) and Sean Butler, leaving skipper Richard Ashworth to do what he could with the lower half.
Wickets continued to fall to Pile and Lye, Ashworth among them for 58.
Benton, who went in at 82 for seven, frustrated Exmouth’s hopes of an early finish by making 51.
Tail-enders George Yates (12) and Steve George (10no) played their part in putting on 75 for the last two wickets.
Baggs said the game had been over for a long time before the final wicket fell.
“George Greenway then bowled his best spell for a few games and basically ended any chance for Paignton inside the first 10 overs,” said Baggs.
Paignton captain Richard Ashworth conceded his side were ‘second best’ but felt there were mitigating circumstances.
“George Benton and Rob Shergold bowled well up front and created a lot of chances,” said Ashworth.
“I felt a couple of decisions didn’t go our way early in their innings.
“Perhaps, had they gone our way wouldn’t have been chasing as many. That’s the way it goes sometimes.
“Dawson and their middle order batted very well on a pitch that was offering a bit to the bowlers.
“We did our best with the ball but they built some big partnerships in the middle overs which made it difficult for us.”
Ashworth said losing early wickets was the killer for Paignton.
“Once we were six down it made it almost an impossible task,” he said.
“George Benton and the guys at the end batted really well to see us past 150 and get us the extra batting point.”