Axminster face battle to beat the B Division drop

PUBLISHED: 05:49 13 August 2015

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Axminster's hold on a Tolchards Devon League B Division is becoming more and more tentative as the season draws to a close.

A 64-run defeat to an overseas player-inspired Ivybridge combined with yet another win for Braunton, leaves the Axemen in a bottom two berth with just three games to play.

Ivybridge batted first and were restricted to 195-8 with Gary Larcombe claiming a superb fivefer. Larcombe finished with figures of 5-31 and Dave Field bagged a brace of wickets for 32 runs.

Not for the first time this season Axminster made a slick start to the run chase and they were, at one stage, 80 without loss thanks to Brad Cross (42) and Gary Larcombe (38), before the Bridgers overseas star was called into the attack to deliver his ‘mystery spinners’ and he swiftly knocked over the top half of the Axminster batting order. After that it was just a case of how many runs the reply would close out on and it was 131.

Axminster skipper Paul Miller said: “What we saw in this game was the power an overseas player can hold over proceedings. He scored 30 per cent of their runs and then, when given the ball, wiped out the top of our order.”

As for his team’s chances of beating the drop, Miler says: “We are intent on battling until the last ball of the final game. It’s still not all over and we just need a break and some inspired performances from the team and who knows. Braunton’s run seems to have got them out of it which means we are effectively now looking to be the odd one out in a group of three teams with two going down. We’ll do all we can to try and avoid being one of those two sides heading for the C Division East.”

On Saturday Axminster travel to Shobrooke Park. They’ll head to the picturesque Mid Devon venue sitting second bottom in the table, two points better off than basement side Abbotskerswell who entertain table-topping Chudleigh. The other teams in the relegation battle, South Devon and Braunton face Plymouth at home and Thorverton away respectively.

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