Sean Butler - deserved to take wickets against Ivybridge

ABBOTSKWERSWELL beat Bideford by 16 runs in a basement battle they could not afford to lose.

Victory hoisted Abbots out of the bottom two at the expense of Ivybridge, who lost to Budleigh Salterton.

Abbots went past Ivybridge and Bideford to fourth from bottom in a table with two drop spots. And they now have a 10-point safety margin, although that might not survive a run in of Bradninch (3rd), Budleigh Salterton (4th) before bottom side Barton on the last day.

Skipper Nick Watkin went in first wicket down and came out at 131 for three with 48.

Elliott Adams, who put on 84 with Watkin, made a top score of 64 not out in Abbots’ total of 221 for five. Mark Gilmour (21) and Charlie Dowling (24) chipped in.

Adams (2-15) quickly reduced Bideford to nine for two before Paul Heard (39) and Tom Brend (46) turned things round.

The target came down 206 after a rain break. Jack Ford (25) and Ollie Hannam (26) got Bideford in sight, but they ran out of time on 189 for eight.

Sam Carpenter’s three for 13 late in the day included Hannam but by then Bideford had slid behind the clock.

Watkin said Bideford’s decision to make Abbots bat first seemed right at the time as conditions suggested it would have been better to field. Not that he was complaining about the turn of events.

“I was mystified how the wicket played so well when it was wet as I feared the worst when I lost the toss,” said Watkin.

“The batters, and in particular Elliott, batted superbly. 

“Bowling wise we started really well, picking up two early wickets and once Noah removed Paul Heard I always felt we had enough runs on the board to get the win."

Bideford skipper Heard said it was one of those days when little or nothing went right.”

“We failed to switch on after rain delays and it cost us massively,” said Heard.

“By dropping multiple catches we let Abbots get 30-40 more than they should have with the bat.

“We then lost wickets at the wrong times in the second innings and those of us who got in, failed to go on.” 

“Sam Carpenter bowled really well to pick-up his three wickets to gain us an extra bowling point.

“Absolutely delighted to get the win. I felt we were on top throughout the game.”

Bideford skipper Heard said it was one of those days when little or nothing went right.”

“We failed to switch on after rain delays and it cost us massively,” said Heard.

“By dropping multiple catches we let Abbots get 30-40 more than they should have with the bat.

“We then lost wickets at the wrong times in the second innings and those of us who got in, failed to go on.”

TAVISTOCK beat Plympton by eight wickets in a low-scoring affair at the Ring.

Plympton were told to bat first on a damp and dismal day – and were bowled out for 82.

Justin Wubbelling (35) and Dave Wrench (13) made the only double-figure scores for Plympton.

Tavvy’s Charlie Barriball posted a season’s best of five for 22 to finish what Dylan Aucamp (3-19) started with the new ball.

Tavistock wickets fell at 18 and 32, which was when veteran left-hander Dave Manning went out to join Harry Geering.

Manning (35no) overhauled Geering (30) from a standing start as Tavvy eased to victory in the 23rd over.

Tavistock (5th) are going nowhere in their first season back in the A Division – which won’t bother skipper Shaun Daymond given the survival rate for sides promoted from the B Division in recent summers.

Plympton are 26 points clear of the relegation places and skipper Alex Carr could do with a win over either Bideford or Barton in the next two weeks go avoid any last-day dramas against Cornwood.

BUDLEIGH Salterton won by seven wickets at home to Ivybridge to get back in the promotion picture.

The Bridge were bowled out for 95 in a game whittled down to 44 overs each because of bad weather.

Run machine Dinesh Raheja (4) had a rare failure, but has gone past 500 league runs this season and can be excused the occasional off day.

Harvey Johnson made 22, Dudu Zondo as next best with 19 off 44 balls and Simon Kidd had 14 in a total of 95 all out.

Ed Doble (3-20) and Jack England (3-23) were Budleigh’s bowling bosses. Joel Murphy took a couple at the end.

Duckworth-Lewis decreed Budleigh needed 91 to win in 44 overs, a target achieved with 23 of them to spare.

After a double strike by Josh Coker (2-36) reduced Budleigh to 36 for two, Tari Musakanda (32no) and Tom Oxland (17no) polished off the rest without mishap.

Budleigh are fourth in the latest table, but are only two points behind Hatherleigh in second.

Lloyd Murrin, the Budleigh captain, got what he wanted after the previous week’s defeat by leaders Cornwood.

“After last week it was a great response,” said Murrin.

“We bowled superbly and took are chances well, which is what was lacking last time out. 

“Jack England tore through the top order and a top effort by Sean Butler in this first game in the 1st XI this season deserved wickets.

“Top effort opening up by Sean butler playing his first 1XI game of the year and was unlucky to not get wickets.

“Ed Doble also bowled with great control and it was good to see him back in the wickets.”

With Hatherleigh and Bradninch still to play, either side of a date with lowly Abbotskerswell, Budleigh have a tough run-in.

“We will have to be at our best for the next three games as anything other than that in this division and you lose,” said Murrin. 

“The boys have done fantastically well and although we set a goal of being where we are it's great to be in the mix with three games to go.”

Ivybridge have fallen 10 points behind Abbotskerswell, whose win over Bideford lifted them out of the bottom two.

A run-in of Barton (bottom), Cornwood (top) and Hatherleigh (2nd) suggests there is no easy way out of the bottom two for Ivybridge.

BRADNINCH are right back in the A Division promotion race that’s become tighter than ever after winning by two wickets at Barton.

Eliot Acton, the Bradninch captain, was looking for a response from his side after they lost to Hatherleigh and slipped back from second to third.

Acton got his wish with the win at Barton, which lifted Bradninch back up to third.

The top four could not be much closer now as Hatherleigh (2nd) defeated long-time leaders Cornwood, whose advantage at the top is down to 14 points.

The two, three, four behind Cornwood (251pts) is Hatherleigh (237), Bradninch (236) and Budleigh Salterton (235).

Budleigh play Hatherleigh this Saturday, which has the potential to break the log-jam. Bradninch face Budleigh on the last day, which could be a promotion maker or breaker for both sides.

Acton has looked at the table, looked at the fixtures and come to a couple of conclusions.

“In our position we need a result in our favour over the next few weeks,” said Acton.

“More importantly, we need to worry about winning our next three games first.”

Barton made 150 for five in a game reduced to 40 overs a side due to bad weather.

Skipper Adam Parker (31) and former Devon batsman Andy Pugh (60no) put on  64 then Rob Shergold (21) assisted Pugh adding another 66.

Duckworth-Lewis said Bradninch had to make 154 to win and they got there after a struggle.

Shergold (3-33) posed problems up top but a stand of 85 between Leon Horn (50) and Tim Piper (34no) got Bradninch up to 133 for four.

Wickets tumbled to Tom Porter (4-19), but Piper stuck in out and bits and pieces from the lower order got Bradninch over the line.

Said Acton: “We were not at our best but we got the result on a challenging pitch that only got worse. 

“Leon Horn and Tim Piper both knuckled down and played really well in the circumstances.”

Bradninch are at home to relegation worriers Abbotskerswell this Saturday.

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