Axminster ending season well

This weekend saw two fixtures in the first division, Hatherleigh vs Axminster and Cornwood vs North Devon. 

Cornwood, who had faced Plympton the week before traveled to Instow hoping to build on the experience they had gained. They won the toss and choose to field, which looked to be the right decision as they took an early wicket of opening batter, Eluned Davies, when the score was just 6. North Devon however had other ideas and batted with confidence and the loss of the next wicket at 42, brought in the middle order, who all batted extremely well, Ruby Davies and Carmen Clements both ending their innings just shy of a half century on 44. With Lydia Clements scoring 39 and Meg Clements, 34, North Devon completed their innings on 209 for 7 wickets - 3 of those wickets being a run out. 

Cornwood came into bat but the bowling of North Devon proved too strong and Cornwood were regularly losing wickets for few runs, top score being 21 from Kelly Luscombe. It was very much a day for Ruby Davies, taking 5 wickets for just 12 runs off 6 overs (2 maidens) and also Olivia Kingdom, who also bowled an effective spell off 3 wickets for 16 runs (2 maidens) and after 17.1 overs, Cornwood's innings came to an end. With this win, North Devon move clear of the relegation spot and are only 5 runs behind Cornwood, who have now played all of their fixtures for the season, but will remain in the first division safely on 74 points. 

In the other fixture, Hatherleigh traveled to Axminster fielding 4 sets of mothers and daughters in the team. Axminster fielding a stronger team won the toss and chose to bat. And bat they did. The opening batters of Holly Elsworth and Jen Poole put on an opening partnership of 164 before Chloe Rose bowled her out on 58. Holly continued to bat confidently and seemingly had nine lives as Hatherleigh failed to take chances in the field. The return of Lucy Quick to the bowling attack saw Holly 4 short of her century, ending her innings on 96, nearly half of the final 200 runs scored. 

Hatherleigh took to the crease knowing that they were playing for points. Opening batters Chloe Rose and Lucy Quick started positively, but the bowling and catching of Sophie Florides proved too much for Lucy and the first wicket was lost on 25. Axminster took regular wickets, but the bowling of Cassia Astley-Jones to the tailenders proved the undoing of Hatherleigh as she quickly took 3 wickets for 5 runs in 3 overs, taking the wicket of Alicia Stebbing who had come in and scored a quick 26 off 31 balls.  Hatherleigh were all out for 136, well short of the target required. With this win, Axminster (98) are 3 points clear of now 3rd place Hatherleigh(95) , but it seems neither will  catch Plympton who are now over 20 points clear at the top of the table with only Axminster to face on the 1st weekend of September. 

With few fixtures left in the second division this season, it looks that Sandford will be starting their promotion celebrations as they sit 44 points clear of second place Plymouth.