Heathcoat's Joe Hancock – two wickets against Bovey Tracey<br>credit: Conrad Sutcliffe - no re-use without copyright owner's consent

HEATHCOAT are off the mark and out of the bottom two in the Tolchards DCL Premier Division following an eight-wicket win over Bovey Tracey.

Back-to-back defeats by Paignton and Exeter hinted at a tough season ahead for the Knightshayes outfit.

The prognosis looks far healthier after Bovey were bowled out for 119 – Fin Stoneman taking six for 30 – and that first Premier win wrapped-up inside 20 overs.

For Bovey skipper Toby Codd there might be question marks over his side’s approach to batting after they folded from 68 for one to 85 for five and on to 119 all out.

Bovey got into what looked like a useful position thanks to solid knocks from anchorman opener Adam Kent (30), Jake Pascoe and Ed Foreman (25).

Although Jamie Drew (1-28), Jesse-James Albanie (1-28), Tom Hatton (0-16) and Joe Hancock (2-27) all bowled mean spells, wickets were in short supply.

Stoneman accounted for Foreman then Kent ten runs apart, then added Musa Twala almost immediately.

Hancock and Albie soon got the idea and Stoneman took three more wickets on his way to a career-best performance in the first team. His previous high was three for 38 against Sidmouth in 2022.

An intervention from the weather gods meant a referral to messrs Duckworth-Lewis, who ruled Heathcoat needed 95 to win in 33 overs. Wickets fell at 47 and 59 – both to Ollie Clifford-Bourne (2-11) – during a routine run chase.

Dylan Penberthy-Hutchings (23) and Drew (28no) were the main run-getters.

Penberthy-Hutchings, the Heathcoat captain, said the pavilion was hosting sponsors and a 70th birthday celebration during the match, which created a contagious party mood.

“There was a great atmosphere and we put on a good display for the people at the club,” said Penberthy-Hutchings.

“Everyone bowled well and Bovey never got away from us even at 68 for one.

“Finn bowled really well and it was great to see our seam attack coming together. 

“We were never in trouble chasing and the top four all chipped in.

“Our only negative was not winning by ten wickets.”

Codd, Penberthy-Hutchings’ opposite number, said: “We started really well with the bat, but collapsed badly. 

“The opening partnership between Jake Pascoe and Adam Kent was very promising and that's definitely something we can build on into the summer.

“We won't dwell on the result too much and will go again this Saturday against Exmouth.”