SEATON are on their way back to the A Division after an absence of 16 seasons after routing Thorverton by nine-wickets.
Seaton had a dramatic fall from grace down the league ladder that saw them go from the Premier Division to the D Division before the rot stopped.
It has been a long way back for the club, but for players like skipper Ben Morgan who stayed loyal through thick and thin the effort has been worthwhile.
Promotion may be guaranteed, but there is one more job to finish.
“Having got this far we want to end in style and that means getting those 12 points we need as soon as we can to seal the title and go up as champions,” said Morgan.
As for what lies ahead and stepping-up into the A Division, Morgan said: “We will look at next year when the dust has settled on this season.
“Now is the time for us to complete the job and, over the final two games we will reward the loyalty the players have shown this season and continue to play to win, but making sure we enjoy the moment.”
Dave Baldock (40) was one of only two Thorverton batters to make a double-figure score as Seaton shot them out for 104 inside 32 overs.
Joel Seward (3-17) and Daley Holmes (3-26) did most of the damage, aided and abetted by Wes Holmes (2-12).
Seaton opener Matt Hewer had a rare off day – in and out for six to Shane Yelverton – but a partnership of 93 unbroken between Seward (46no) and Ryan Daye (45no) had victory wrapped up with 16 overs to go.
Thoverton are still second and have three games to go against Plymstock (6th), Cullompton (3rd) and Kilmington (5th).
Thorverton skipper Andy Pitt, whose side are second behind Seaton, has not given up on promotion yet.”
Said Pitt: “It's still completely in our hands as we're playing the teams directly below us and it's pretty obvious what we have to do to go up.”
On the disappointing showing against Seaton Pitt said: “I probably made the wrong decision at the toss, even though our batting has fired the last few weeks.
“We played some really poor shots on the sort of pitch we haven't played on for a while, but Seward and Daye showed us how it should have been done.”
PLYMSTOCK’S promotion prospects appear to have crumbled after they lost by five runs at Kilmington.
It’s four defeats on the trot now for Plymstock, who are one of the clubs chasing the second promotion place behind Seaton, who are officially promoted.
Plymstock are 26 points behind Thorverton, who occupy the second promotion place, with three games and 60 points to play for. As 20 of those points are against Thorverton this Saturday, it isn’t quite over yet.
Whether Plymstock are equipped for promotion is another question. The views of vice-captain James Nicholls on the manner of the loss at Kilmington suggest another season in the B Division won’t be such a bad thing.
Plymstock were 99 for two chasing 158 to run, but paid the price for losing their middle order cheaply.
“Our batting has let us down all year and was no different at Kilmington,” said Nicholls.
“How we have lost from 99 for two with 15 overs to go is beyone me.
“It looks like poor game management and poor planning from batsman coming in.
“Saying that our top four, whom we rely on to get the bulk, all got in and out, when we should be comfortably seeing it home.”
The only saving grace for Nicholls was the first-time new-ball pairing of Max Thomas and Jonny Norman.
“Max and Jonny were absolutely faultless with the new ball and that could be a great partnership for us,” said Nicholls.
Matt Pile (33) got Kilmington up to 87 for five in a 40-overs game then Joe Elsworth (28) and Brett Garner (24) weighed in to the final tally of 157 all out.
Karl Vendrasco got a rare bowl at the end for Plymstock and took out the bottom half of the order en route to a five-for-22 haul.
Nicholls (24), Vendrasco (28) and Hal Kerton (38) were the prime run scorers before it all went wrong for Plymstock, whose last four wickets went for 12 runs.
Wickets were shared with two each for Pile, Josh Short and Rob Crabb.
CULLOMPTON hammered relegation favourites Brixham by nine wickets to re-join the B Division promotion scrap.
Seaton are definitely up after their nine-wicket win over Thorverton who, despite the setback, are still second in the table.
Thoverton (185pts) are one point ahead of Cullompton (184) and have a game in hand on their local rivals.
Bovey Tracey 2nd XI (184pts) are ineligible for promotion as they are not a 1st XI and cannot play in the A Division as the rules stand in 2019.
Jason Parr, the Cullompton captain, is toeing a line that still has Thorverton as favourites to go up. However, there is a caveat.
"I still think the second promotion spot is Thorverton’s to lose from here but it's good to keep the pressure on them.
“After losing four games on the bounce just after the halfway point, I thought we we're completely out of the running.
“We have picked up three good results in three weeks, other results have favoured us and we're now back in with a sniff.
“We've got a week off now but we'll be working hard to be ready for the Thorverton game in two weeks, which will now be a massive game for us.”
Brendon Parr took four wickets for 16 runs and there were two wickets each for Jacob Dienes (2-35) and James Vincent (2-8) as Brixham were skittled for 86. Mike Barron made 28 and tail-ender Matt Parsons was 15 not out.
Dangerman Dhanan Lakshan was dismissed by Jason Parr for five.
Cully openers Tom Mortiboys (24no) and Jamal Anwar (27) chipped 44 off the target, which left Jason Parr (23no) to tie up the loose ends.
Said Parr: “It was a very clinical performance.
“We bowled and fielded exceptionally then knocked the runs off sensibly against a threating spell from Lakshan on a difficult pitch.”
IPPLEPEN effectively banished their relegation worries once and for all with a four-wicket, last-gasp win in the derby clash with Chudleigh.
But for Chudleigh the threat of going down is still hanging over them, although they could be in the clear themselves by Saturday night.
The Pens are 51 points clear of bottom side Brixham with 60 points to play for. Only one side is going down this summer and it won’t be Sam Wakeham’s side, although he is still hedging his bets.
Said Wakeham: “It was a huge win, which gives us a more comfortable cushion against relegation.”
Second-bottom Chudleigh are 34 points ahead of Brixham and have a greater chance of being caught. But if Brixham lose to Kilmington this Saturday, it looks like curtains for them.
Matt Heather, the Chudleigh skipper, said he won’t relax until his side are 100 per cent safe.
“We're getting closer to safety, but I think one more win would make it a lot more comfortable,” said Heather.
Heather (38) and Adam Sercombe (34) were Chudleigh’s two leading run getters in a total of 145 for seven after 27 rain-reduced overs.
Aiden Phillips (2-14) was Pens’ most successful bowler.
Ippelen were a bit wobbly at 53 for four with Wakeham just out for 28.
Callum Stanley (33) and Ashley Harvey (30) steadied the ship, leaving Reuben Stanley (19no) and Seb Powell (14no) to see it through.
Pens needed eight off the last over from Alex Haywood to win and got them when Powell scuttled a single from the final ball.
Wakeham said it sensible batting was key to winning the game after his side had been 15 for three early on.
“A mature knock from Callum Stanley allowed myself and Ash Harvey to be more aggressive and stay with the rate,” said Wakeham.
“After Harvey went it was down to the Stanley brothers to get most of the remaining runs, with Reuben showing great maturity in the way he went about the chase.”
Losing captain Heather said: “We were gutted to lose on the last ball of game.
“We batted well in reduced overs, but simply didn't bowl well enough.”
Chudleigh make the short trip to Bovey this Saturday. Ipplepen are at home to champs elect Seaton.