Axminster CC feel the force

PUBLISHED: 10:00 29 May 2008 | UPDATED: 21:53 15 June 2010

Martin Howe bowling for Kentisbeare against Woodbury.

Martin Howe bowling for Kentisbeare against Woodbury.

Copyright Archant Ltd

Axminster felt the full force of a powerful Abbotskerswell side who dished out a 138 run defeat to Danny Larcombe s men.

Axminster felt the full force of a powerful Abbotskerswell side who dished out a 138 run defeat to Danny Larcombe's men. Larcombe had suggested before the game that the match represented a very real view as to how prepared his side were in terms of making a challenge for B Division honours and so does the defeat leave him concerned about his team's chances? "Not at all, let's face it, last year everybody was talking of the Brixham power, they turned us over at their place and we got our revenge back at Cloakham Lawns." Gary Larcombe and Raul East both bagged braces of wickets but the home side's strong batting line- up were on top throughout the pre- tea session and they closed on 244-6.Post tea only Paul Miller (26) and Sean Perry (26) could make any serious contributions and the reply closed on a sorry 106. Skipper Larcombe was forced to miss the game through family commitments and there was no Johnny Hurford either, he was working, but both return this weekend. Only the Abbots and Clyst St George remain unbeaten in the section some four games into the campaign. This weekend Larcombe's side host a Barnstaple team yet to win and the Axminster skipper will be looking for his outfit to bounce back and launch a bid to be the 'best of the rest' behind the Abbots who look well set for a successful season and a top berth finish. Axminster II fell to a single wicket defeat in a thrilling game at Cloakham Lawn against Abbotskerswell II. Andrew Guppy (59) and Rob Cheeseman (46) led their side to a close of 224 and Noah Hillyard (3-52) and Steve Heal (4-48) so nearly bowled them to what would have been a first win of the season but the visitors' 'tail end charlies' saw their side to the narrowest of wins. Axminster III went down by eight wickets to Stoke Gabriel II despite a fine 45 from young Alex Rocket but the club's IVs claimed a 41-run win at Cullompton where Ian Barwick hit a majestic century. Barwick (105) led the side to a total of 217 and then skipper Pete Kiy claimed three wickets as the Mid Devon hosts were then bowled out for 176. Seaton picked up 18 points from the visit of Ivybridge thanks to the combined efforts of John Waterhouse (36), Mark Bray (24) and skipper Mike Wheeler (28), who helped the side to a close of 162, and then Pete Lawson (3-13) and Ben Morgan (2-25) got together to bundle the visiting side out for 108, all this after Joe Berry and Ben Copp accounted for the major threat of the two visiting openers. A delighted skipper Mike Wheeler said: "It was a good win but you know this division is uncharted territory for us. We are coming up against sides we have never met before and that presents a new set of problems. But we have started well, it's going to be a tight league if the first four rounds of matches are anything to go by. We'll be there or thereabouts, that's for sure." Wheeler does have a theory as to his side's early season good form: "It certainly helps me to call incorrectly at the toss of the coin. This game with Ivybridge was such a case, they stuck us in and I think that's to our advantage, I think we are a better side batting first and then bowling to a target." Seaton sit fourth, some seven points behind early leaders Clyst Hydon and on Saturday they travel to a Kingsbridge side who sit one place and a single point behind them in the fledgling table. Mind you it's a relatively short season played over 18 weeks and so the quarter way mark is reached at close of play on Saturday, and another win will leave Seaton well placed to go on and make sure that their stay in the C Division is extremely short! Seaton II went down by 47 runs at Kenn II. Kilmington picked up another win, a big one too as they won by six wickets at Stoke Gabriel. Ben Noble has started the season well and, prior to the trip to South Devon, had been sending down over after over without too much good fortune. It wasn't lady luck on Saturday, more a case of Noble getting his just rewards as he claimed a four wicket haul and helped to restrict the hosts to 171-7. In the second session of the match the Kilmington batsmen took centre stage, in particular Tom Gooding who hit a superb unbeaten 78 and got excellent support in the successful run chase from Dave Cook and Andy Long, who both chipped in with 22. A delighted Ian Gooding said: "We bowled well and it was good to see Ben (Noble) get amongst the wickets. I think he was beginning to think he'd have a season of no luck at all after some really great early spells without getting wickets but it all came good in this one and then Tom (the skipper's brother) had a superb knock to lead us home." Ian Gooding's side are up to second place and sit just half a dozen points behind early leaders Clyst Hydon. On Saturday they stage an East Devon derby with the visit of Feniton and the skipper can't wait: "We usually have great games between us and I am sure this will be no different."Feniton remain without a win after four games of the new season, their latest failure to register a success came against a Kingsbridge side who resisted the opportunity to take on a run chase and hunt down the home side's offering of 236-8 by ensuring they banked some points with a dogged reply that closed on 177-4. Mind you, the home skipper, Mark Kingdom, will point to the fact that his misfiring fielders dropped seven catches with Jonathan Pyle seeing three put down off his bowling and his 2-27 really ought to have been a 'fivefer'. Dave Haysom (51) and Nick Robartson (40) had put on 80 for Feniton's opening wicket and later impetus came from Adrian Pullen, who hit an unbeaten half century, and Jonathan Pyle (25), the pair adding 76 for the fifth wicket. But, even with wickets in hand, the visitors seemed to have no desire to take on the run chase and, whilst wickets didn't fall, some disciplined home bowling, which included a wonderful 10 over spell from 16-year-old right arm off spinner Ben Allen, left the reply closing on that 177-4. Kingdom said: "We have only ourselves to blame. You simply cannot put down seven catches and expect to win the game, but a big plus was the batting. We got that right today and I was very impressed with young Ben, he bowled superbly and will keep his place for the next game." It's the East Devon derby on Saturday for the men from Acland Park as they make the short trip to Kilmington, a game which Kingdom says: "We should be back to full strength and it's sure to be an interesting game, we will be ready."Ottery St Mary have not made the best of starts to the campaign, indeed they went into game number four still looking for a first win, but that particular nemesis is no more as they took on, and achieved, a big run chase to beat Ipplepen at home on Saturday. The visitors chalked up an imposing 284-6 thanks to a magnificent century from Sam Tenant, an unbeaten 72 from 2nd XI skipper Gavin Iley and some early lusty blows from Brian Burns. The Aussie glovesman opened the innings and smacked ten fours and a six in a whirlwind knock of 58 that set the tone for the run chase. Then Tenant chalked up his magnificent ton, indeed when he walked off with 114 to his name he had only faced 101 balls. Despite the season not being a month old, Tenant has already got two 'tons' and a big half century to his name. 2nd XI skipper Iley was called up to boost the side in the wake of a number of players being unavailable and he hit an excellent unbeaten 72 and the win was finally confirmed with the light fading fast and the pavilion clock showing 8.35pm! The Otters' Ian Townsend said: "It was an amazing game of cricket, and was one of those games that was a pleasure to be involved in. We did not bowl very well, in fact in all honesty the game was littered with some poor bowling, but the batsmen took full advantage and Sam (Tenant) is currently in the form of his life." With the quarter season mark arriving this coming weekend ,Ottery St Mary sit third bottom just five points off basement dwellers Dawlish and Teignmouth but in turn they are just 17 points shy of new leaders Thorverton. In a section in which every side has already lost one match, it looks like being an exciting season ahead. On Saturday Ottery travel to Ipplepen. Uplyme and Lyme Regis won the East Devon derby at the expense of Whimple and it was a good afternoon for home skipper Ashley Caddy who hit a half century and claimed three wickets. The hosts scored 240-8, led by Andrew Dare with an unbeaten 77. Caddy hit 55, he and Dare adding 94 for the fourth wicket, and there were also runs from Phil Norris (37). Only Dan Van Grudgings could get amongst the wickets for the visitors. He took 3-60 and then only Will Cleal (31) made any impression with the bat as Caddy (3-28), Neil Price (2-19), Steve Batey (2-26) and Jack Lamb-Wilson (2-7) combined to bowl out the visitors for 137. Batting hero Dare made a real impression in the field, holding onto three excellent catches, all in the mid-off position. Skipper Caddy said: "In recent games we have had one or two of the three elements of the game okay but for the first time this term we got our bowling, fielding and batting spot on. It was a thoroughly comprehensive show from all the side and I am delighted. "Now we need to demonstrate that we can produce similar performances with regular consistency." Next up for Caddy and his men is a trip on Saturday to Dartington. Honiton are finding things tough during the early stages of the season. They slumped to a second defeat and are now one place and 10 points off basement dwellers Cullompton after a seven-wicket defeat at Mountbatten Park at the hands of Countess Wear. Home skipper Pete Matravers certainly did his bit for the cause, top scoring with 78. Steve Holland (44) and Phil Tansley (31) gave good support and the home side closed on a competitive 233-9 but Exeter made short work of knocking the runs off, losing just three wickets on the way to the win. Mind you they did have in their ranks a player who last year was scoring runs in the top flight of the Devon League. James Hope, who began last year at Paignton and who has also played cricket at Exmouth, Exeter and Alphington in recent seasons, scored an unbeaten 86 to help his new side to victory. Honiton go to Lustleigh on Saturday. Upottery claimed a thrilling last ball win when Gary Kennard clipped the final delivery of the match to the boundary to bring up a three wicket success at Shaldon. The home side's 16-year-old Carl Woolnough hit a wonderful 61 in his side's 183-6, wicketkeeper Richard Boss chipped in with a knock of 48 but Stuart 'Willow' Drew claimed a 'fivefer' for Upottery, who picked up a maximum point win thanks to Kennard who finished unbeaten on 56. On Saturday, Upottery stage an East Devon derby when they host Yarcombe and Stockland. Upottery II were five wicket winners over Exmouth III in a high scoring encounter. Exmouth batted first and the young combination of Lawrence Greenaway (91) and Tom Sampford (65) helped them to a close of 257-7, Duncan Kennard claiming five of the wickets to fall for 59 runs, whilst skipper Dan Prettejohn held on to a couple of spectacular catches. The home innings was paced to perfection with Bruce Inglis providing the early impetus with 52, 'fivefer' hero Kennard top scored with 87, 15-year-old wicketkeeper Oli Rice weighed in with an unbeaten 34 and their was a cameo knock of 17 from Mike Kellow that all helped the home side claim victory with 10 balls of the contest remaining.

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