LAST season’s reprieve from relegation has turned into a mixed blessing for Plymouth Civil Service & Roborough.
At least that’s how skipper Nick Read sees things after hefty defeats by Ipplepen and now Paignton.
Civil were due to go down from the D Division West last season, but spared the drop due to league reshuffling to accommodate relegation requests from Chagford and Brixham.
Read was not keen on the idea at the time and nothing that has happened since has changed his mind.
“We did not wish to stay up but because of outside factors we did,” said Read.
“It would have been better for us to go down as we would have been more competitive in the next division and our cricket would have been more enjoyable.
“It is what it is and all we can do is keep playing and building for the future with some younger players when we move to our new home at Manadon in the not-to-distant future.
Opener Noah Wright made his second successive league century as Paignton raced to 271 for eight. He was involved in stands worth 245 runs with assistance from Tom Blundell (47) and Sam Woodcock (21).
All Civil’s bowlers took some stick, although Ben Richards (3-60) had the consolation of some wickets.
Read (30) was the only batter to survive long in Civil’s top half as they slid to 77 for seven in reply. Stuart Dent was last man out for a patient 59 in a total of 150.
Young spinners Rory Medlock (2-18) and Sam Woodcock (3-10) impressed for Paignton
PLYMPTON 2nd XI slumped to a second successive defeat in the D Division West after going down by 61 runs at Ipplepen.
Ipplepen were in a mess at 32 for four after a duffing up from Matt Knight (3-20) but recovered to make 188 all out thanks to Steve Bowden (46) and skipper Simon Tapley (46no). Joel Larkman finished with three wickets.
The Plympton innings never really got going: Dom Durman (5-36) made sure of that.
Steve Raven (35) hung round for a while, but once he went it was full speed ahead to 127 all out.
WHITCHURCH ran out of steam against early front-runners Hatherleigh, who took a 27-run win home with them.
Danny Forrester (64) and Simon Weale (32) were Hatherleigh’s prime run getters in a 45-over total of 200 for nine. They put on 99 for the fourth wicket.
Josh Vernon (3-29) kept it tight with the new ball. Rob Bone (4-50) picked up wickets at a price when the slog was on.
Skipper Josh Towl (73) led the Whitchurch reply, backed up by Vernon with 32.
Man of the match Forrester (3-17) and veteran Richard Tidball (4-42) dismissed the home side for 173 with three overs to go.
SOUTH Devon accelerated the pace just in time to beat Kenn by four wickets at Marsh Road.
Seven days earlier it was South Devon who were on the receiving end of a last-over defeat as Chelston & Kingskerswell beat them by five wickets with three balls to go.
This time round it was South Devon who won with three balls remaining of another nail biter.
Kenn jogged along to 224 for five in their 45 overs thanks to sizeable contributions from opener and captain Ben Challoner (48), James Gosling (52), Ben Gannon (36no) and Christy Wells (47).
Gannon and Wells put on 81 unbroken for the sixth wicket.
Newcomer Brad Bingley picked up three Kenn wickets for 49 runs on his South Devon debut. Skipper James Allen (1-34) gave little away during his nine overs.
Opener Jonty Tupman and John Purchese, another of South Devon’s new signings, took South Devon from 26 for two to 145 for three.
When Purchase was dismissed for 50 the asking rate was hovering round nine an over.
Tupman batted on and on for a career-best score of 72 off 113 balls as the target came down. A rapid 31 off 16 balls by Liam Price helped, as did five penalty runs in the second-to-last over.
It came down to four to win from the last over, which proved no problem for Richard Beaumont (18no) and Kalen Warne (9no).
South Devon skipper Allen had plenty of pats on the back to deliver after the game.
“It was a very mature knock from Jonty Tupman and the best I have ever seen him bat,” said Allen.
“John Purchese was fantastic. He and Jonty set up a platform for the boys at the end to give it a hit.
“Credit to Liam Price who turned the game in our favour with his 31 off 16.”
South Devon are away to Lewdown this Saturday.
PAT Duke and Lucas Grierson took three wickets each to speed Chelston & Kingskerswell to a 48-run win at Lewdown.
Grierson, who batted at first wicket down, shared stands of 49 with opener Chris Harrison (46) and 60 with Erik Gregerson on his way to 52,
Skipper Gregerson was fifth out on 202 having added 66 with Mike Etherington (25) as Chelston & Kingskerswell reached 220 for five.
Charlie Hughes wasn’t the cheapest of the Lewdown bowlers, but his three for 41 was effective.
Lewdown’s innings was of the fits-and-starts variety. Ollie Brown (41) and Adam Creasey (37) took them to 100 for three. Then Duke (3-43) and Grierson (3-32) got to work as Lewdown slumped to 122 for seven.
There was a revival led by Hughes (34) but once he went it was downhill all the way to 172 all out.
Chelston & Kingskerswell sit second in the latest table, a point behind leaders Hatherleigh 2nd XI.