IPPLEPEN nicked the sugar out of Abbotskerswell’s tea by denying them a last-day win to celebrate a second successive promotion.
Abbots were already assured of a promotion place and were battling it out with Bideford to see who would go up as champions.
Ipplepen beat Abbots by four wickets after bowling them out for 152, but by the time the winning runs were scored Bideford had already lost by five wickets to Barton.
It wasn’t an entirely satisfactory end to a promotion season, but Abbots won’t care too much as they are back in the A Division in 2018 after an absence of four years.
Charlie Mitchell made 34 at the top of the order and Charlie Hill chipped in 36 coming in at five as Abbots made 152 all out.
Pick of the bowlers was Marcus Green (4-34), backed up by Will Gornall (2-14).
Pens had a little wobble mid-chase when they went from 71 for two to 77 for five with Adam Peters (37) a casualty. Elliott Adams (3-45) was largely responsible.
Seb Powell (29) and veteran Green (38) saw Pens over the hump.
BARTON staved off a second relegation in a row with a five-wicket win at Bideford.
The Cricketfield Road side have been living dangerously all season in and around the bottom two and were in contest with Thorverton to avoid going down with Ottery St Mary.
Thorverton lost at Filleigh, which rendered Barton’s result meaningless, although any win over a promoted side is worth having.
Bideford, already guaranteed a promotion place, were all out for 120. Ollie Hannam (25) top scored in the absence of the prolific James Ford, who stayed at home as he was feeling unwell.
Wickets were shared for Barton with Matt Needham (3-16) taking one more than the rest.
Shaun Needham (35) and Andy Hele (38) got Barton up to 90 for two. Martin Stewart (3-16) slowed the chase, but bits and pieces got it done.
SEATON had a bit too much all-round for relegated Ottery in a 25-run win at Court Lane.
Rob Prior (31) and Joel Seward (25) led a modest batting effort that took Seaton to 157 all out – Rob Crabb taking four for 18.
Joe Henkus (34) and Harry Mutter (27) made a game of it, but Seaward (4-33) and Tim Mitchell (3-33) got Ottery all out for 132.
“They were 70 for three at drinks and in a good position, but Joel and Tom have been taking wickets all season and did it again,” said Seaton skipper Ben Morgan.
Seaton will be happy to have stayed up in the B Division following promotion, having found the first month of the season a worrying experience.
Ottery drop back to C Division cricket after two seasons, winless in 16 completed games.
The last side to go down winless was South Devon in 2013.
TAVISTOCK made sure of third place in the final B Division table when they romped home by 59 runs against Shobrooke Park,
Tavistock pottered along to 176 all out with Shaun Daymond (34), Dave Manning (32) and Charlie Barriball (27) all chipping in.
A stand of 46 between Daymond and James McGahey (10no) for the last wicket prove useful in the context of the game.
Dan Robbins took three Tavvy wickets for 34 runs and there were two each for Will O’Sullivan and former Cornwood seamer Craig James.
Shobrooke were all out in reply for 117 – skipper Chris Simpson the only batter to last long.
Barriball finished with figures of six for 26, which included blowing Shobrooke’s top five away by getting all of them out.
FILLEIGH ensured their own mid-table finish and consigned Thorverton to relegation when they beat them by four wickets.
Thors only stayed up by the skin of their teeth last summer and were soon back in the thick of the relegation struggle this term.
Andy Pitt’s men were three points behind Barton and safety going into round 18 still had a chance.
Barton won at promoted Bideford – a surprise result given their respective league placings – and once that result came through it was all over for Thors.
If it proves to be overseas player Justin Saker’s last game for Filleigh after two seasons with the club, he certainly went out with a bang!
David Baldock made a top score of 76 for Thorverton in their total of 193 for eight. Along the way he shared a stand of 72 with George Greed and another of 37 with Ali Chilcott (27).
Filleigh’s Justin Saker took three for 39 – and that was just the start of his contribution.
Filleigh’s overseas all-rounder opened the innings and batted through for an unbeaten 149. No one else made more than a dozen.
Simon Prideaux, the Filleigh captain, said Saker had been an important part of the club’s success story this season, but not the only part.
“Finishing fifth in our first season in the B division is a great achievement,” said Prideaux.
“It is the highest level many of our team have played at and we have coped well the step-up and will look to build on it next year.
“Justin saker will be difficult to replace. He won the league runs in both seasons he has played and taken some useful wickets with his speculative off-spin.
“For a club such as Filleigh, whom many consider small, holding our own against the bigger sides and beating a few of them is a great achievement.”