Chardstock celebrate first win of slow starting season

PUBLISHED: 10:00 04 June 2008 | UPDATED: 21:53 15 June 2010

P4406-23-08AW Axmin V Barns Ckt. Joel Seward. pic by Alex Walton

P4406-23-08AW Axmin V Barns Ckt. Joel Seward. pic by Alex Walton

Copyright Archant Ltd

The rains failed to destroy too many of the Devon League cricket matches but it certainly made for some testing batting conditions.

The rains failed to destroy too many of the Devon League cricket matches but it certainly made for some testing batting conditions and, in many cases with wickets drying rapidly, many a skipper was left ruing the fact that he had not called correctly at the toss!Axminster were denied the chance to return to winning ways after the previous week's defeat at Abbotskerswell when they were held up by visiting Barnstaple's last pair at the wicket, Gary Larcombe (53), Johnny Hurford (24), and a fine unbeaten 40 from Joel Seward helped the side to 189-9. Then, despite three wickets for Alex Beighton and a couple for Larcombe, Barum held on to deny the hosts. Axminster skipper Danny Larcombe rued Barum's apparent lack of desire to chase down the runs saying: "With 20 overs to go they had eight wickets in the locker and only wanted 90 odd so I found it very frustrating that they made no apparent effort to win the game. That said we bowled well, young Alex (Beighton) is going to be a 'good un' as he gets more games under his belt, his spell was very controlled, and potent too."Larcombe's side are third going into Saturday's visit from Plymouth Civil Service, a game the skipper feels needs to be won. "We beat them twice last year and I will be looking for more of the same this time round." Axminster will be without the absent Paul Miller but welcome back Raul East who missed the game with Barnstaple. Axminster II saw their game at Paignton washed out but the club's 3rd XI managed to start their game at Yelverton and had reached 74-8 when the heavens opened to bring an untimely halt to the proceedings. The IVs went down to a 106 run defeat at home to Tiverton.Seaton skipper Mike Wheeler had suggested the week before that his side's biggest 'problem' this term might be the unknown. They would not have played too many times at Kingsbridge in recent years, and didn't enjoy Saturday's visit to South Devon as they went down by four wickets. Matt Hewer (37), Paul Strawbridge (20), Ben Morgan (20) and the skipper himself all got themselves 'in' but couldn't build on that and, in what were difficult batting conditions, the total of 157-9 was probably about 20 runs less than were needed to force the win. Despite Ben Copp and Pete Lawson both bagging braces in decent spells of bowling, the hosts got home for the loss of six wickets. Wheeler said: "We were 20 runs light and then did not bowl or field very well. It was a disappointing afternoon and we need to show some form of response next time out." That next outing is on Saturday when they host a Clyst Hydon side who three years ago, whilst Seaton played in the Premier Division, were contesting matches in the regional D Division. How times have changed.Wheeler says: "We need to bounce back and I will be looking for a big improvement, especially in the bowling and fielding department. I still believe this section is going to be very close and the way the rules stand the toss is very important to win. I've only called correctly once this term and so hope for a change of fortune with the coin on Saturday."Seaton 2nds were beaten by six wickets by Cullompton 2nds.Kilmington and Feniton usually serve up entertaining encounters and Saturday's meeting was no exception although, in terms of the form book, the game's outcome was something of a surprise as Feniton won by six wickets. Skipper Ian Gooding provided the hosts' top score with 56, a knock that included a couple of sixes, and there was very nearly a maiden half century for Tristan Wakeley (45), whilst Ralph Stonex chipped in with 31. Jonathan French, with a brace, that seasoned campaigner Russell Whitton, with a four wicket haul, and two more wickets in only his second outing at this stage for young spinner Ben Allen, saw to it that Kilmington were all out for 164. The reply saw Dave Haysom (36) and skipper Mark Kingdom (51) set the pace of the reply with a 58-run second wicket partnership and the game was finished off by an unbeaten 39 from Alex Frankpitt. So defeat for Kilmington, who still hold onto second spot whilst for Feniton that first win, albeit at the fifth time of asking, sees them onto 31 points and that, in a very tight section, is actually just 24 points shy of table-topping Clyst Hydon with Feniton sat second bottom! Feniton skipper Mark Kingdom is simply happy to see his side get their season up and running."It's very Feniton-like for us to make hard work of the early season exchanges but it is also Feniton-like for a belated first win to set us off on a run. That's what I am looking for now."Kilmington skipper Ian Gooding countered: "We probably didn't get enough runs on the board but let's credit them for they made the best of the conditions and, sadly for us, it's another case of the 'curse of Feniton'."On Saturday, Kilmington host bottom-of-the-table Chagford whilst Feniton go to Babbacombe with both Stuart Bright and Adrian Pullen, who missed the game at Kilmington, back available. Kingdom says: "I don't know too much about Babbacombe but we are up and running now and the skipper is simply saying 'more of the same please lads'."Ottery St Mary, fresh from a superb run-chasing victory the week before, travelled to early D Division leaders Bridestowe and on the long journey home from North Devon the Otters had time to reflect on another defeat.They went down by 68 runs, despite a fine effort from their Australian all-rounder Brian Burns who first accounted for four of the home batsmen with his off spin. Bridestowe closed on 209-9 and then Burns hit 31, bettered only by Rob Johns with 35 as the Otters were bowled out for 141. It's an East Devon derby this weekend for John Tierney's side as they make the short trip to face Whimple. Whimple go into that local derby with Ottery in excellent shape after they claimed a five-wicket win over visiting Lewdown.Lewdown were first restricted to 163-9, a total that was passed by a reply of 167-5, with Chris Palfrey striking a boundary that not only confirmed the home win, but also saw him register an unbeaten half century. Daniel Van Grudgings again picked up a brace of wickets, a feat matched by Phil Hope, but the main wicket taker proved to be Jonathan Burden with 3-23. Palfrey's half century apart, there was also a cameo knock of 34 from Kevin Thompson. Post-match Whimple skipper Simon Van Grudgings said: "That's more like it. We were lacking the confidence that early season wins foster and I have no doubt that we will kick on from here. This was an important win and to be fair we delivered a very competent all round effort to get the 19 points."There was no such winning joy for Uplyme and Lyme Regis who fell to a nine-wicket defeat at Dartington where they were restricted to 139-8. Adam Caddy top scored with 52, skipper Ashley Caddy the 'best of the rest' with 33, but the home side strolled to victory, the only Uplyme success with the ball coming courtesy of Phil Norris (1-50). On Saturday Uplyme host the new leaders Bridestowe. Honiton were left kicking their heels with no game to play for the third time in five weekends of League cricket to date. With this Saturday's game at Halberton seeing the league reach one third of its term, it's a case of 'any game please' for Pete Matravers and his merry men. Honiton make the relatively short journey to Halberton as one of a handful of sides throughout the Devon League who are yet to win East Devon staged another 'derby' meeting at Upottery where, to add spice to the mix, the home team, who began the day as the top XI in Division F were hosting a Yarcombe and Stockland team who, like the hosts, went into the contest with a 100 per cent winning record and so something had to give. Indeed it did, and in favour of the away side as Yarcombe & Stockland departed with a 10-run win and the leadership of the division. John Rich (56) top scored as the visitors limped to 143 in the face of testing conditions and some excellent bowling. Mark Joyce (3-32), Stuart Drew (2-17), Nigel Wyatt (2-14) and Mark Tucker (2-37) were all amongst the wickets for Upottery, who must have thought at tea time that they simply needed to bat out the overs. Sadly the top order all failed and it was left to Tucker (45) and Joyce (20) to score runs to go with their earlier wickets as the home reply slumped to 133 all out. Mike Barnes (4-43) and Richard Reed (3-17) did the damage for the new section leaders. On Saturday Upottery travel to Mid Devon to face Newton St Cyres whilst Yarcombe can look forward to a trip to the seaside and the delightful setting of Shaldon. Uplyme & Lyme Regis II and Upottery II played out a drawn game at Uplyme where the home side scored 214-6 thanks to an opening stand of 69 between Tim Daniel (47) and Mark Batey (42).Then Mark Brimmacombe, who was dropped first and fourth ball, made the 'butter fingers' fielders pay a heavy price as he thumped 65 to take the side to maximum batting points. Mike Kellow, who was only thrown the ball with four overs at each end remaining, finished with figures of 3-23 in four overs. The Upottery reply was dominated by an excellent half century from Bruce Inglis (65) with good support from both Duncan Kennard (27) and 15-year-old Ollie Rice (25no). In the face of some exceptionally tight home bowling, especially by Jamie Lamb-Wilson (1-26 in 12 overs) and Ali Rattenbury (0-29 in 13 overs) the visitors were left closing on 155-2 and the lion's share of the draw went to the home side. Chardstock were celebrating the first time this season that they had reached 'stumps' in a Devon league game and not trudged off the pitch a beaten side. They closed on 158-9, having faced the imposing 264-8 posted by visitors Shaldon. Robert Blackwell claimed two of the wickets and then starred as one of two 'tail-end charlies' to help see the side to a draw. Blackwell, and fellow last man Justin Mariner, managed to negotiate the final four overs of the contest to secure the draw, this after earlier runs from Phil Strawbridge (44). Home skipper Fenton Day said: "That's better. We needed to stop the losing sequence and, whilst I'll concede that there's bags of room for further improvement, simply not being beaten is a real landmark and now we can hopefully build on it."On Saturday it's more home comforts for Day and his side as they host Topsham St James.

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