Budleigh set for thrilling run-in to Francis Clark Devon League campaign
21:47 05 August 2014
BUDLEIGH Salterton have some big games coming up after they beat Barton by 35 runs to stay fourth in the A Division table, writes Conrad Sutcliffe.
It couldn’t be much tighter at the top of the table with just 16 points between leaders Bradninch, second-placed Plympton, Paignton in third and Bradninch.
The Budleigh run-in includes Paignton in two weeks time and Bradninch on the last day of the season, which looks like it could be a promotion or even title decider.
The Otters have climbed the table on the back of a five-match winning run, having been fourth from bottom at halfway.
Budleigh started inauspiciously against Barton, who had them 44 for four with Mark Gilmour (3-35) doing most of the damage.
The rot stopped with former Somerset pro Ben Phillips, who anchored the innings with 61 not out from 88 balls.
Alex Richardson (16) was Phillips’ running mate in a key stand of 58 for the sixth wicket.
And tail-ender James Leat did his bit, keeping out 19 of the 20 balls he faced to score one run in a ninth-wicket stand of 21 with Phillips.
Stuart Bowker had two for 36 for Barton, who got out Budleigh’s last man Adam Jones with the total on 167.
Budleigh’s total included 33 wides, which did Barton no favours either in the final adding up.
Barton looked on course for victory at 70 for none after 20 overs with openers Damon Calland (39) and Scott Bellamy (23) going well.
Then it all started to go wrong for the Cricketfield Road side.
Bellamy was bowled by James Burke, Calland got himself run out the Gilmour and Adam Parker fell to Joel Murphy and James Leat respectively.
Denovan Ekstraal batted a long time for 26 – Budleigh managed to keep him off the strike – but lacked significant support.
From 91 for four when Parker was dismissed, Barton didn’t manage a stand of more than 14 as they were bowled out for 132. Ekstraal was the last man out.
Murphy finished with four for 22 and there were two wickets for Leat as Barton’s last five went for just 16 runs.