East Devon cricket hit by rainstorms

PUBLISHED: 10:00 15 July 2009 | UPDATED: 23:49 15 June 2010

Matchday 11 of the Francis Clark Devon Cricket League was savagely hit by the weather with not a single game across the 15 Divisions managing to produce a result.

Matchday 11 of the Francis Clark Devon Cricket League was savagely hit by the weather with not a single game across the 15 Divisions managing to produce a result.

It takes the season's cancellation count to 152 weather hit matches to date, but that is still way off the totals suffered by local cricketers in each of the last two summers. Last year, the total number of games lost to the weather was 384, whilst the year before the number claimed by the elements totalled 347.

This coming weekend sees the two thirds point of the campaign reached and so clubs will be hoping for more favourable weather because, when such a wash out happens, many sides can lose vital ground in promotion or relegation battles.

With no side managing to bank more than half the maximum of 20 points available on a matchday it leaves the tables in the respective 1st and 2nd XI Divisions unchanged.

B Division Axminster did better than most as they banked 9 points from their meeting with Clyst Hydon, who they had at 73-7 with Robbie Prior bagging a brace, when the rains washed out any further play. This weekend Axminster host promotion chasing Plymstock.

In the C Division, Seaton had made their way to 95-2 when the elements intervened in their meeting with Chagford, but there was no play possible at Dartington & Totnes where Feniton were the visitors.

This coming weekend, Seaton, who find themselves currently fourth bottom of the table, travel to Ivybridge and, with the hosts starting the day third, four places and 19 points better off, it really does make the visit to Erme Valley a must win game for Seaton.

Feniton head into their game at Stoke Gabriel knowing that only a win in South Devon will keep their promotion hopes alive.

In the D Division, Ottery won the toss at Hatherleigh, invited the home side to bat but, after sending down one over declined to continue with the falling rain playing havoc with their bowlers' glasses.

The score board was left at 11 without loss as the players beat a hasty retreat to the pavilion, leaving it only to get into their cars and make their respective way home. Next up for Ottery is a trip to Whitchurch to face the division's basement side.

The day's most significant D Division action came in the East Devon derby at Uplyme where Kilmington, or rather, Hal Cook, managed to get enough time to claim sufficient points from the four wickets he took to take his side out of the bottom two.

Kilmington's eight point haul proved to be a brace more than that managed by Babbacombe and that was enough to take Tom Gooding's side out of the bottom two.

On Saturday, Gooding takes his side to promotion-chasing Lewdown who have been beaten just twice this season and, of course, Kilmington have yet to register that elusive first success since dropping down from the C Division at the start of the campaign.

Honiton were in some trouble when the heavens opened to wash away their meeting in Mid Devon with hosts Halberton. Only skipper Pete Matravers had been able to resist the weather- aided home bowling attack with a solid 35 as his side were 102-8 when the rain took charge. Next up for Matravers and his merry men is a local derby game at promotion seeking Whimple.

Adam Holmes, Dan Van Grudgings and skipper Jono Burdon, were the single wicket takers for Whimple who had visiting Woodbury three down with 61 on the board some 18.4 overs into their meeting. Whimple host Honiton on Saturday.

They managed to play as many as 33 overs in the F Division game at Upottery where visiting Yarcombe had managed to make their way to 140-2 led by John Rich (58) and Simon Durrant (29). Mark Frost and Gary Kennard were the home bowlers to claim wickets. Next up for Willow Drew and his side is a home meeting with Kingskerswell.

Axminster II were grateful for the rain which eventually washed away their game at a soggy Bradninch where the Mid Devon side were well on top, with the visitors 56-8 at the premature close.

Axminster III were going along okay in their D Division East game with Clyst Hydon at 64-2 and Martin Enticott unbeaten on 23 and Steven Read already back in the pavilion for 20, when the rain took charge of proceedings.

Axminster IV were in trouble against visiting Cullompton II who had moved smoothly onto 150-3 thanks to Chris Grant's 71 and an unbeaten 39 from Dave Maunder, when the heavens opened.

The game was abandoned, thus denying the Mid Devon side what would have been, possibly, a morale-boosting third successive victory.

Honiton II's Richard Hill produced the day's best performance with the ball as the rain eventually ruined the game with Topsham St James II.

After winning the toss, Honiton skipper Andrew Lapping invited the visitors to bat and gave the new ball to Craig Lapping and left arm seamer Zak Johns. In his second over, Lapping dished up a splendid in-swinging Yorker to claim the first wicket of the game and John quickly got in on the act as the visitors fell to 14-2. A magnificent 30-yard throw aimed at a single stump by Adam Thompson made a direct hit, but the batsmen had just made his ground.

Lapping produced a couple of full length deliveries with bags of swing to whip out two more before Nick Hartnoll, with the help of a fine catch from Johns, claimed a wicket to leave Topsham on 35 with half their side back in the pavilion.

At this stage the forecast drizzle arrived and the biggest handicap to the game at this stage was to those players wearing glasses! Both sides battled on but the wickets continued to fall. Lapping served up a leg cutter that accounted for another wicket before Richard Hill was introduced to the action. Almost immediately, he struck with a full length delivery and then he held a smart return catch to remove another visiting batsman and the innings closed with the score board showing just 53. Hill finished with 4-7 from four overs, two of which were maidens, Lapping closed with 3-22 from 11 overs and the other wicket takers were, Hartnoll (2-14) and Johns (1-5).

Home skipper Lapping was left slightly frustrated, but happy with the extra points (Honiton claimed 11 from the game): "With the weather they forecast we did well to get any play, so the five points extra are a bonus. Fair play to the Topsham lads who were happy to stay on during the rain to give us a chance of starting our innings, but it was never going to be and we'll settle for the 11 and look forward to next week's game with Whimple, and just hope the weather isn't a deciding factor, as it was earlier in the season".

The longest game in the lower Divisions of the Devon League came up in North Devon where Whimple II spent much of the early afternoon trying to stem the flow of runs from the North Devon III batsmen and the home side were 202-5 when the rains took charge.

lHoniton go into tonight's (Wednesday) game at Hemyock looking for the win that would seal their place at the final's day of the Freeman and French Mid Devon Twenty20 competition.

Should Whimple fail in Mid Devon, Honiton can jump in and claim the last remaining place for the Sunday July 26 event, to be held at Keynsham Park, Bradninch.

Whimple put themselves into pole position to join Bradninch, Heathcoat and Thorverton at the finals with an overwhelming victory over Honiton, who they bowled out for just 52 as Will Cleal returned the stunning figures of five wickets for just the one run!

Adam Holmes took 2-7 and then an unbeaten 22 from Ben Silk ensures that Whimple claimed victory inside 11 of their 20 overs.

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