Axminster slip closer to drop after Chudleigh defeat

PUBLISHED: 17:53 02 August 2015 | UPDATED: 17:53 02 August 2015


Axminster are staring down the barrel of relegation to C Division East after a 68-run home defeat to Chudleigh.

Not for the first time this season, the Axemen served up a Jekyll and Hyde performance with ball and bat.

The bowling and fielding was of the highest order as Chudleigh, who opted to bat first on what looked a superb Cloakham Lawns wicket, were bundled out for 160.

However, the home batting was described by skipper Paul Miller as: “Diabolical, it was certainly nowhere near what we’d like to except. There were no demons in the pitch, it was all simply down to application and rank bad shots.”

He continued: “The frustrating thing is that we all know we are better than that. Hopefully we’ll see the real Axminster batting effort over the remaining games of the season.”

Nick Taylor bowled superbly to return figures of 4-29 from a full shit and Gary Larcombe bagged a brace of wickets for 19 runs as Chudleigh wickets fell at regular intervals.

The run chase was led by Dan Murnane and, at 70-1, the home side were well on course for victory. However, a bizarre wicket led to a collapse with the last nine wickets falling for the addition of just 22 runs!

Murnane was in control of proceedings with 24 to his name when the ball hit the edge of his bat, leapt up to hit him in the throat before rolling over his shoulder and down onto his wicket!

That sparked a mini-collapse with three wickets falling with the score on 72 and another three fell with the total 80 after which the end followed soon after.

A defiant Miller said: “That game has gone now and what we have to do is regroup and go into the last four looking to bank as many points as we can. We’ll play, as ever, to win each game and, in the event that we can’t win the match, we must turn our attention to eking every available point out of the contest for that might just make the difference at the end of the season. As I see it we are in a four-way scrap to avoid being in the bottom two. That give us a good chance of avoiding the drop, but we are going to need to be fully focussed and very determined.”

Miller and his men could not have a tougher run-in as they face three of the top four in their remaining matches starting with this Saturday’s trip to Ivybridge. What adds to the mix is that the only two teams to sit below them, Abbotskerswell and Braunton, meet in North Devon on Saturday so, if points are not banked from the Ivybridge outing then the Axemen may well sit in the bottom two at stumps on Saturday!

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