Axminster CC poised as spin combo reap reward

PUBLISHED: 10:00 12 June 2008 | UPDATED: 21:55 15 June 2010

P2744-24-08TI Whimple v OSM. Whimple batsman Mike Searle..
photo Terry Ife

P2744-24-08TI Whimple v OSM. Whimple batsman Mike Searle.. photo Terry Ife

Copyright Archant Ltd

Axminster have completed one third of their Francis Clark Devon League B Division season and the mid term report reads on target in all areas after a fine all round performance saw them beat Plymouth Civil Service at Cloakham Lawn by 59 runs.

Axminster have completed one third of their Francis Clark Devon League B Division season and the mid term report reads 'on target in all areas' after a fine all round performance saw them beat Plymouth Civil Service at Cloakham Lawn by 59 runs.The victory was made all the sweeter as leaders Abbotskerswell were held by Clyst St George and Danny Larcombe's side sit second in the table just 13 points behind the Abbots.It was the spin combination of Gary Larcombe and Raul East that saw Axminster to the win. The pair were brought into the attack after the seamers found it difficult to entice the batsmen to play shots. The spinners did just that and reaped the dividends as Larcombe claimed four and East three wickets and the Civil Servants were bowled out for 140. Earlier David Murnane (49), Gary Larcombe (29) and Raul East (22) all chipped in to help their side to a close of 199-9. A delighted skipper said: "We played well in all departments. The seamers were bowling well it's just that we felt a change was needed and it did the trick. We are where we want to be but let's not lose sight of the fact it's only one third of a long season. There's plenty more cricket to be played and no doubt there will be lots of twists and turns. For us we have to play disciplined cricket, game by game, keep our focus and, if we can stick where we are now, we'll be reaping the benefits come September."It's Plymstock away for Axminster this weekend: "We must go there and play the brand of cricket we are capable of. Do that and we will be okay."Seaton are another East Devon side with promotion in mind as they seek to begin the climb back to their former heights and get out of the C Division at the first time of asking. They did their chances no harm at all beating the morning's leaders Clyst Hydon, who stay top but the gap between Mike Wheeler's side and the Mid Devon outfit is now down to eight points. After Ben Copp, Peter Lawson and Mike Cottam, the latter in his first outing this term, had each taken a couple of wickets to restrict the visitors to 152-7, the home side were in a spot of bother at 22-4. Then Dave Cottam (54) and Matt Hever (42) added a century partnership for the fifth wicket and it was left to Mike Cottam to hit an unbeaten 16 to see the side home.Wheeler said: "It's another case of us doing a decent, allround job on a side who are going to be much of a muchness with many others in this section. It remains a bit of an unknown quantity because, with the weather doing its worst, the season has been stop start but we are in the mix and need to show good levels of consistency from here on in."Wheeler welcomes back Greg Foxwell for Saturday's short trip to Feniton.Feniton were hit by the weather when the heavens opened to wash out their game at Babbacombe where they had already accounted for two of the home side who were on 70-2 after 22.3 overs of a 30-over-a-side contest. Jonathan Pyle had claimed both wickets to fall. Skipper Mark Kingdom said: "It's frustrating. Here we are saying the season is one third done and we hardly seem to have had much cricket. We need some sunshine and quickly, and then it might begin to feel like a cricket season." On Saturday, Kingdom's side host Seaton: "That should be interesting. They are a decent side but, when we are allowed to play, so are we." Feniton had their strongest XI of the season on duty at Babbacombe and hope for the same this coming weekend.Feniton 2nds drew at home to Countess Wear. Jonathan French, Daniel Clarke and Chris Hayden each took three wicket hauls as the Exeter side just made maximum batting points at 201-9 and then Jamie Easterbrook (58), Pete Avery (21), skipper Steve Haysom (22) and Hayden (25no) helped the side to a close of 177-7.Kilmington skipper Ian Gooding was very pleased as his side bounced back from the previous week's defeat to see off visiting Chagford, who were beaten by four wickets. Gooding said: "That was just about the perfect response. We spoke pre-match of the need to put the previous week's defeat behind us quickly and we did just that. I thought Ben (Noble) did well as he carried the added burden of knowing we were without his regular strike partner Maurice Bevis, but Tristan (Wakeley) stepped in and did a great job in support."Noble and Wakeley both took four wickets as the visitors were bowled out for 173 and then, after early runs from Andrew Parr (24), and from 90-4, Wakeley top scored with 57. He and the skipper (30) took their side to a four wicket win. It's Clyst Hydon away on Saturday and, with the Mid Devon side topping the table, two places and five points better off, a win and, come stumps, Gooding's men may well find themselves top of the pile.Whimple and Ottery St Mary served up a thrilling contest, one that was in the balance until the final over of the day. Batting first, Whimple were indebted to wicketkeeper Kevin Thompson for his knock of 68 that included seven fours and two sixes, which was the mainstay of a team total of 169 after 45.2 overs. Skipper Simon Van Grudgings chipped in with 22 and there were 26 extras from a set of visiting bowlers for whom Robert Bradshaw-Smith and Brian Burns stood out. Bradshaw-Smith claimed 4-16 from 4.2 overs whilst Aussie Burns bowled his 13 overs straight through to return figures of 4-41. The Ottery reply was led by that man Bradshaw-Smith (39) whist the next best score came from the 'in form' Sam Tennent whose 27 included five fours. Phil Hope took 4-29 from a 13-over session and there were also wickets for Jono Burden (2-21) and the Whimple Aussie, Tom Saker (2-52). Ottery, who host Uplyme on Saturday, remain uncomfortably in the bottom two whilst Whimple, who are at Dartington this weekend, sit fourth, nine points off the summit.Uplyme and Lyme Regis skipper Ashley Caddy had a big influence in his side's winning draw against D Division leaders Bridestowe. Caddy and Jerry Sims both scored 34 and Bruce Maltby chipped in with 29 as the home side closed on 190, this something of a recovery after they had been in some trouble with half the side out for just 96.Caddy bagged a couple of wickets in support of Phil Norris (3-45) as the North Devon visitors were restricted to 170-8. Caddy's side sit sixth but are only 16 points behind the leaders and another positive result this weekend at Ottery St Mary and they may well find themselves tucked comfortably into the promotion scrap.Honiton were beaten again, this time going down by four wickets at Halberton. At 64-6 the Honiton innings was in trouble but, led by Steve Rampaul (44) and Andy Brinsford (41), the pre-tea session closed with the total on 184-9, but that was not enough to stop the Mid Devon hosts who got home with wickets and overs to spare. Andy Brinsford was the most successful bowler for Honiton, taking 2-49 to go with his earlier innings-rescuing runs, but the defeat leaves the side second from bottom of the section just nine points better off than basement dwellers Cullompton. It's high flying Exeter Civil Service next on the agenda at Mountbatten Park for Pete Matravers' side. Yarcombe and Stockland took their G Division 100 per cent record to Shaldon but they were unable to extend their advantage at the top of the table as the heavens opened with the hosts on a laboured 105-3 with just 14 overs of their innings remaining. Frustrating for Yarcombe who later learnt they lost their top spot to Upottery who completed a nine wicket win at Newton St Cyres. Both sides should win this weekend, Upottery host winless Chardstock and Yarcombe entertain Newton St Cyres.Chardstock had finally ended a run of three straight defeats the previous week with a losing draw and they repeated the process, closing at 144-9 in reply to visiting Topsham St James's 180-8. James Hayden (4-42) and James Trott (2-59) claimed wickets for Chardstock and then, with regular captain Fenton Day missing the game, 'stand in' skipper Phil Strawbridge top scored with 33 and Tom Eames chipped in with 19. It was left to tail end charlies Jack Larcombe and James Trott to play out the final over and secure a second successive unbeaten game for Chardstock, leaving Strawbridge to say: "Another game without defeat is a step in the right direction and that is a big plus for us but, as games go, I am afraid this one was rather boring."Kilmington II's Craig Seward produced a stunning spell of swing bowling to leave Honiton II, who won the toss and chose to bat, bundled out for just 83 at Mountbatten Park on Saturday afternoon. Seward finished with figures of 6-13 and the remaining home wickets to fall were taken by Tom Wallis, Steve Morris and Les Baker. Giles Dixon hit an unbeaten 32 as Kilmington strolled to an eight-wicket victory, leaving skipper Graham Watts to say: "In conditions that were made for swing bowling, Seward was at his most merciless.

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