Axminster enjoyed just about ‘the perfect day’ on Saturday.

PUBLISHED: 21:04 17 August 2015 | UPDATED: 21:04 17 August 2015

© Brian Jackson / Alamy

The Axemen began the day staring down the barrel of relegation from the Tolchards Devon League A Division and ended it with safety once again in clear sight!

First up, Paul Millers men were bowled out for 98 at Shobrooke Park and yet that win them the contest by 22 runs and then they heard that rivals to beat the drop Braunton had banked none, South Devon, six and Abbotskerswell, nine.

Batting first at a soggy Shobrooke where the game did not start until 2pm and was reduced to 41 overs, Axminster were led to what looked a losing total of 98 by a gritty 35 from Gary Larcombe and a knock of 19 from Brad Cross. The only other batsman into double figures was skipper Paul Miller with 12.

However, that proved enough to win the game and bank 15 priceless points as Nick Taylor returned the amazing figures of five wickets for two runs – and all this as the second change bowler!

Matty Pile and Ben Fuzzard began with the new ball and the later got a wicket in his second over. Pile, bowling superbly, picked up three wickets and, once Pile had bowled eight he was replaced by Nick Taylor.

Taylor’s second ball was short and wide, but the home side’s overseas player – who looked set to win the game for his team – slapped the ball straight to young Sam Farrow at point! Taylor then proceeded to wipe the home team out taking five wickets for two runs – and one of those was a wide!

Skipper Paul Miller said: “We were despondent at tea as we felt the very minimum would have been 120-140. Then their overseas player looked like seeing them home before Nick (Taylor) got him via that super catch by young Sam (Farrow). When I threw the ball at Nick to take over from Matty (Pile) I said, with tongue in cheek: “Four for 20 would be nice in this situation, to which he replied, I’ll see what I can do!” His spell was simply superb and it gives us a fighting chance in the battle to beat the drop.

The days results left Axminster with 161 points ten more than the basement side Abbotskerswell, two better than second bottom Braunton and just three fewer than fourth bottom South Devon!

With three going down it means only one of the four can survive.

This Saturday the Axemen host promotion seeking Plymstock. As for their rivals; Braunton entertain Ivybridge, South Devon travel to Shobrooke Park and Abbotskerswell host Ipplepen.

Miller says: “We can only keep believing and go into Saturday’s game with the same mindset we used at Shobrooke.”

There’s bound to be some more movement between the teams over the final fortnight of the season, but that thrilling win at Shobrooke Park has at least given Miller’s men a fighting chance of beating the drop!

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