Axminster edged out as promotion draws nearer

Axminster were edged out in their C Division top-of-the-table clash at home to Bideford, but ended the day a little nearer promotion.

Befitting of a high profile game, the Cloakham Lawn encounter went the distance with the visitors claiming a three-run success.

Bideford batted first and closed on 202-9 with Joel Seward (3-43), Gary Larcombe (2-26) and Robbie Prior (2-33) claiming the bulk of the wickets.

Larcombe again showed his all-round worth to the side, top scoring with 32 whilst Seward hit 31 and there were other useful contributions of 24 from Matt Pile and 20 from Steven Wakeley.

Skipper Tristan Wakeley was disappointed at stumps, and identified where the game was lost.

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He said: “We gave them too many runs in the field and, even though chasing 203 to win was well within our capability, we fell away mid-innings and left ourselves too much to do to compete the run-chase succesfully.”

Axminster remain 31 points clear of third placed Ipplepen who they visit this Saturday for a second successive match of the Day in the C Division programme!

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A win in South Devon could see Tristan Wakeley’s side promoted by stumps if they can restrict the home side to eight points, winning with a maximum themselves and then Kingsbridge come unstuck against Plymouth Civil Service and Roborough.

Even defeat at Ipplepen would still leave Axminster in the box seat for promotion with their last two games to follow bring home to Chagford and away to Dartington and Totnes.

Mathematically they require 36 points from their remaining three games.

Wakeley says: “We do have a tough run-in. There’s no game in the last three where you’d say it was a comfortable ride. The next one is always the biggest as far as I am concerned, but clearly there’s none bigger than being away to your main rivals for a promotion place. The title bid was needed by Bideford, I don’t want our promotion dented by defeat at Ipplepen.”

Brad Cross and Johnny Hurford, who both missed the Bideford defeat, return for the trip to Ipplepen.

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