ALPHINGTON skipper Luke Phillips hopes the 83-run win over Braunton is a sign things are on the up at the Chronicles.
Four defeats in the first five starts had left Alphington in the bottom three.
Victory lifted Alphinton ahead of Braunton and five points clear of the drop spots.
It’s a step in the right direction and one Phillips felt was overdue.
“We had a bit of luck for once in the top four and that gave us a lift,” said Phillips.
“When we needed runs later in the game, Will Pring and Al Davey ran really well, turning ones into twos and even running a four.
“When we bowled we pinned them down in the middle and when they tried to get moving we took wickets.
“It as been a tough start to the season, but I think we have turned a corner now.”
Mark Halse had a rare failure with the bat but Phillips (40) and new Exeter City boss Matt Taylor (46) moved smartly to 82 for two.
Taylor kept going until he was fourth out on 144. Lower-order oomph came from Pring (57) and Davey (27), who put on 74 towards a total of 246 for seven.
Braunton got to 84 for two in reply – Jon Baglow (37) and Mike Brown (22) the run getters – then dipped to 87 for four with Tom Bath (3-52) among the wickets.
Phil James (24) and Jamie Tapp (29) got Braunton up to 123 for five, but when Halse removed Tapp it was the beginning of the end for Braunton.
Halse went on to finish with four for 24 and with Taylor and Tom Ballett taking a wicket each the visitors were all out for 163.
PLAYED six, won them all and only four dropped points so far. That’s Sidmouth’s record at the top of the C Division East after a 92-run win over Kilmington.
Kilmington, who were second going into round six, struggled to keep the runs down from the start.
Sidmouth openers Issac Thomas (76) and Nick Mansfield (34) put on 113 and there were plenty more runs where those came from. Skipper Anthony Griffiths (62) was involved in a stand of 89 with Byron Knowles (64) before he was last out at 270 for six.
Brett Garner’s two for 43 and Josh Short’s none for 43, both from nine overs, were the best of Kilmington’s bowling figures.
Tom Gooding (59) and Matt Pile (50) gave Kilmington a start and at 104 for two they were in the game. But not for much longer.
Gooding had already gone and he was followed by Pile, Matt Rockett and Garner in a running total of 106 for four.
A combination of Daley Holmes (3-12), Ed Hurley (2-24) and Byron Knowles (2-44) worked down the order as Kilmington faded to 186 all out.
OTTERY defeated Feniton by 10 wickets in the derby date to move up to second in the table.
Feniton are now looking anxiously behind them after dropping into the bottom three in a division with three relegation places.
Feniton stumbled from 67 for three to 103 for six and on to 119 all out. Apart from Mark Salter’s 26 there was not a lot from the rest.
The wickets fell in ones and twos at first before Henry Mutter (3-8) put Feniton out of their misery.
All Ottery needed to knock off the runs were 22 overs. That’s how long it took Aussie opener Oliver West (84) and Alex Clements (31) to take care of business.
New boy West, with two hundreds already and 493 league runs in the book, never mind 13 wickets at a shade above 14 each, has clearly made a huge difference for Ottery.
Feniton skipper Jon Pyle said there was no disguising it had been a poor day all round.
“We did not bat well and although a number of lads got in they were unable to take a start into what we have needed all season, which is big individual contributions.
“We really ought to have been looking at 250-plus batting first. But, having said that, the way they, and particularly their superb Aussie [Oliver West] went about the run chase – even a 300 score would not have scared them.”
CLYST Hydon came a cropper at Whimple in the C Division East, where they were bowled out for 134 and lost by eight wickets.
Hydon started brightly enough as openers Ian Sutton (35) and Heflin Wood (28) put on 56.
Graham Trude went in at second wicket down with both openers gone and watched a catalogue of disaster unfold 22 yards away.
Hydon went from 80 for four to 116 for nine as Kiwi Devon Nightingale ran through the middle and lower order.
Nightingale finished with six Hydon wickets for 23 runs. Trude was last man out for 36.
Whimple galloped to 75 for one with openers Nathan Kidd and Henry Gordon-Lennox (48) leading the charge.
Cameron Kidd (27) was second out on 131, which left Nathan Kidd (29no) and David Culshaw (4) to tie up the lose ends.
Winning skipper Ben Silk said he hadn’t been sure whether to bat or bowl first – and even now wasn’t sure he made the right choice.
“It was an eight-three spilt on whether we should bowl first if I won the toss and, I hindsight I wish I’d batted first,” said Silk.
“I am convinced, on that track, we would have got 300 and the batsmen would have got some real confidence back in their veins.
“That said, in terms of an all-round performance with ball first, and then bat, that was as good as it gets.”
BUDLEIGH Salterton II salvaged what they could from a 125-run defeat by Exeter II at Ottermouth.
Tom Richardson belted 115 for Exeter in their tally of 347 for five.
Richardson shared stands of 212 for the second wicket with Mike Wilkinson (67) and 50 with Charlie Kidson, who went on to make 66 not out, 50 of which came in boundaries.
Joe Marley’s nine overs bowled for 37 runs conceeded, stood out in the Budleigh stats.
Budleigh started badly with opener Greg Evans bowled in the first over by Nick Horne (3-32).
Surviving opener Neil Murrin (28) and Donovan Robinson (62) got the score up to 99 for two and from then on it was a case of gaining as many bonus points as possible.
Luke Jefferson (23) and Chris Battin (22) did their bit to get Budleigh to 222 for six and maximum batting points.