Joe Birch - three wickets for Ottery against Budleigh 2nd XI

ALPHINGTON paid a high price for dropping Kilmington opener Tom Gooding in the C East clash at the Chronicles.

Gooding was on 40 when he was put down and went on to score 172 not out in Kilmington’s total of 348 for three. He now 911 league runs this season – three tons, four 50s – at an average of 101.22.

Kilmington skipper Brett Garner said: “It was another master-class from Tom [Gooding] though, to be honest, we are ribbing him about his batting now becoming boring! 

“Joking apart, he is in such great form and we, as a team, have now scored over 1,100 runs in the last three games alone!”

Gooding got Killy to 130 for two with help from Josh Short (42) and Matt Pile (31) – and there was more to come!

Billy Reed (53) was involved in a stand of 97 and skipper Brett Garner jogged along to 20 while another 121 was added unbroken.

Alphington reached 223 for six in reply before the overs ran out. Nick Halse (65), D J van Vuuren (51) and Tom Nightingale (33) were the leading scorers.

Pile and Rob Crabb had two wickets each for second-placed Killy, who turn their attention to divisional leaders Sidmouth this Saturday.

Only one side goes up this season and with just five points between the top two Saturdays clash could be crucial deciding who it is.

“We are now in a situation where if we win all our last four games, we go up,” said Garner.

Sidmouth skipper Anthony Griffiths is on the same page of the hymn-book as Garner.

“It is going to be like a cup final which, I am sure most of both teams will never have played in one,” said Griffiths. 

“Stating the obvious, whoever wins will get promoted.”

Sidmouth chased to win against visiting Exeter, knocking off 229 with 11 balls to spare.

Skipper Sean Langford hit 95 and, after a mid-innings lull caused by Ed Hurley (4-56) and Charlie Dibble (2-31), Pete Hensor clattered a rapid 53 at the end.

Isaac Thomas (33), Nick Mansfield (81) and Tom Moore (45) got Sidmouth to 143 for three.

Griffiths (46no) and Mansfield took Sidmouth within 19 runs of the target.

Oliver West was Ottery St Mary’s man of the match in the three-wicket win at Budleigh Salterton 2nd XI.

West took four for 44, and Joe Birch three for 20, as Budleigh were bowled out for 193. Dickie Arnold top scored on 58.

West in cahoots with Alex Clements (16) and Joe Henkus (10) got Ottery to 109 for two in reply.

Wickets started falling regularly, but West (75) got he chase up to 162 for six, leaving Jody Clements (14no) and Rick Jackson (10no) to sign off the win.

Whimple beat Braunton by six wickets to open up a 30-point gap between them and the drop spots.

Opener Callum Mitchell made a top score of 65 – he and Jon Baglow (20) got Braunton started – and there were chip-ins from Alec Hodges (34), Andy Wood (21) and Brendon Harris (23) to a Braunton total of 193 all out.

There were three wickets apiece for Cameron Kidd, Matt Brown and Devon Nightingale – and a run out.

Wimple made early progress through Henry Gordon-Lennox (40) and Nathan Kidd (32). Cameron Kidd’s 82 wrapped it up with nearly 10 overs un-bowled.

Whimple skipper Ben Silk said: “After the loss the week before this was a ‘must-win game’ so to come away with the job done most efficiently is very pleasing.”

He continued: “I only had the bare five in terms of bowling and, on such a hot afternoon, switching them round was the key. They all bowled very well and I was quite content to be chasing a sub 200 score.”

With four games left and two of them against sides in the bottom three, Silk says: “We can go to Clyst Hydon this Saturday and look to add to their woes and the week after we have a Feniton side we certainly ‘owe one’ after they beat us first time round.”

Feniton edged closer to safety in C East with a 78-run win over doomed Feniton, but still have work to do to get out of the bottom three.

Mark Kingdon (65) and Alex Frankpitt (53) both hit half-centuries in Feniton’s total of 280 for seven. Graham Tucker (28) and Chris May (25) chipped in.

Hydon bowlers Lewis Rhodes and Clinton Lewis had identical figures of two for 50.

Hydon slumped to 55 for four in reply – Jon French (3-39) doing the damage - before Sinthuran Thevaraj (22) and Clinton Lewis (52) sparked a fightback.

Lewis was ninth out – one of three victims for Feniton skipper Jon Pyle (3-24) who didn’t need long to knock over last man Will Thornton.

Feniton are 11 points behind Braunton, the team they have to pass to reach safety. 

Skipper Pyle said: “Now we have given ourselves a chance and it looks as if that game with Braunton on the second last Saturday of the season is ‘the one’. 

“We need to make sure we stay close to them before that game and make sure we do that business that day.”

Hydon are 60 points shy of safety with four games and 80 points to play for. If they lose to Whimple this Saturday that will probably be it, although bonus points could keep them in limbo for another seven days.

With only one win in 14 starts – a real upset against leaders Sidmouth – Hydon’s players will probably be glad to drop to a more competitive level next term.