Over and out! Nick Watkin, who has stepped aside as Abbotskerswell's captain<br>credit: Conrad Sutcliffe - no re-use without copyright owner's consent

NICK Watkin has stepped aside as Abbotskerswell captain following a 48-run defeat by Thorverton that has left the team bottom of the A Division.

Watkin isn’t saying much about his decision to resign as skipper, although he was reluctant to continue in the role this season and had hoped to stand down during the winter.

“Standing down is not something I wanted to do, but I did not feel I had much choice,”said Watkin, who has passed the mantle to Ed Smout-Cooper.

George Greed rescued Thorverton from a worrying 70 for six by making a watchful 48 to help the total reach 163 all out.

Greed was the last man out for Thorverton. His stand of 57 for the last wicket with tail-ender and captain Jake Choules (17) proved significant to the outcome of the game.

Abbotskerswell shared the wicket-taking around with two for James Tyler and Liam Hurse during Thors’ early problems, and three lower down for Watkin (3-28).

Abbots top order has struggled for runs all season. A progressive total of 39 for four, with Toby Hard just out for 20 of them, was nothing new.

Watkin dug in for 35 from 62 balls – five boundaries, lots of dots – but had little support at the other end. He was ninth out on 113.

Last man Alfie Harrison did not last long against Ben Slaviero (3-20) as Abbots were bowled out for 115 four balls after Watkin’s demise. Dan Robbins took the main bowling award for his figures of four for 28 from 10 overs.

In the log-jam at the top of the table the one-two-three is North Devon (93pts), Bridestowe (84) and Thorverton (83).

Choules said the impressive thing about this win was how it was achieved.

“It was great to grind out another win at home with different people contributing each week,” said Choules.

“George Greed showed his class with the bat and we were a relentless unit in the field. Dan Robbins was the stand-out bowler.

“We have back-to-back away games again next (Hatherleigh and Bridestowe) so hope to take some of the home form on the road.”

In his final reflections as skipper, Watkin said: “We bowled well until Thorverton were nine down but, as a team, our top score this season is 169.

“In part that is due to not replacing our overseas batter from last season but also, in part, due to us as a batting unit playing fairly average shots to straight balls.”