Joyce's 'fivefer' helps Upottery

PUBLISHED: 10:00 22 July 2009 | UPDATED: 23:51 15 June 2010

Mark Salter was one of Feniton's top scorers against Exmouth in a winning draw.

Mark Salter was one of Feniton's top scorers against Exmouth in a winning draw.

Week 12 of the Francis Clark Devon Cricket League is traditionally the two thirds of the season completed mark, when hopefully sides contest their games in glorious sunshine and contemplate, at stumps, how they are going to finish off the campaign.

Week 12 of the Francis Clark Devon Cricket League is traditionally the two thirds of the season completed mark, when hopefully sides contest their games in glorious sunshine and contemplate, at stumps, how they are going to finish off the campaign.

Sadly, a week after a washout, our local players had to endure another soggy Saturday leaving another 26 matches either cancelled or abandoned.

The cancellation count this term is now 180, which is still favourable against last season's depressing statistic of 390 games lost to the elements. However, it is already well past the figures for 2003 (152 off) and 2004 (116 off).

Axminster managed to get a complete game in but came out of the meeting with promotion-seeking Plymstock with a point less than they got for the previous week's washout!

The visitors batted first and registered an imposing 220-8 with the Cloakham Lawn bowling honours going to Robbie Prior (3-67), Joel Seward (2-41) and Alex Wraight (2-43). The home reply never got going and was done and dusted with only 115 on the board. Paul Miller and Robbie Prior both hit scores of 25 and Ben Fuzzard chipped in with 17.

So Axminster head into the final straight of the 2009 season in one of the two relegation berths. They sit five points above basement side Clyst Hydon and a single point behind third bottom Kingsbridge. Next up is a tough game at leaders Alphington on Saturday afternoon.

C Division Feniton have probably kissed goodbye to their hopes of promotion for another season after they got the worst of the conditions at Stoke Gabriel where they batted first, limped to 119-9 and then saw the home side win by four wickets. Graham Tucker (30) and John Pyle (22) were the pick of the batsmen and then Pyle completed a fine all round individual effort with 3-34 as the South Devon side boosted their own promotion hopes. On Saturday Feniton welcome Bridestowe to Acland Park.

Seaton were denied action for a frustrating third time this term when not a single ball was bowled in their game at Ivybridge. That leaves Seaton going into this weekend's home game with Tiverton & Bickleigh knowing that a home defeat and they will be dragged into a relegation battle.

D Division did not produce a single positive result as all the games were hit by the weather.

Ottery had a mighty frustrating time as they drove all the way to Whitchurch only to sit and watch the rain falling before making their way home and the same fate befell Kilmington who travelled across the county to Lewdown where the two sets of players waited until 3.40pm before conceding to the elements. This coming weekend the Otters host Ipplepen and Kilmington entertain bottom of the table Whitchurch in what now looks a massive game for the home side.

Uplyme and Lyme Regis did get a game in when they played at top-of-the-table Thorverton, but they struggled in the post tea session to such an extent that they were unable to secure the brace of points afforded to a side batting second if they can muster two thirds of the first innings score. In a game reduced to 33 overs, the Mid Devon team plundered a whopping 224-1 before declaring after 26 overs. Uplyme then limped to 125-7 in 40 overs as only Derek Wellman (24) and Andrew Dare (25) had any joy with the bat.

There were more positive results in the E Divisions than any of the Devon leagues lower sections with three of the four games all won by the sides batting second - they used the bowler friendly conditions to skittle out their opponents.

Sadly the one game in the section with a local flavour - the East Devon derby between Whimple and Honiton - didn't see a single ball delivered. This weekend Whimple visit Halberton whilst Honiton host Exeter Civil Service.

Just one of six games in the F Division managed to produce a conclusive result and it was played at an unusual venue for Devon League cricket.

With Upottery's regular ground taken over by the annual village fete, it meant a switch to nearby Luppitt where Upottery managed to inflict only a second defeat of the season on Kingskerswell.

The visitors batted first and closed on 134-9 after their 40 overs of a rain-hit contest. The home reply got to just four overs remaining, with still some 26 required but that proved no problem for Dan Broome (30no) and skipper Stuart Drew (33no) as the pair put bat to ball with great effect to seal a three wicket win. Earlier, Mark Joyce was a fivefer hero with figures of 5-32, whilst batting heroes Broome and the skipper both bagged braces. The home reply made steady progress until the coming together of Broome and Drew, who added 65 runs for the unbroken eighth wicket to take their side to victory. Phil Lacey picked up 3-24 for Kingskerswell.

Rex Helston had a fine game for Yarcombe as they took a losing draw from their trip to Newton St Cyres. Newton batted first and posted a healthy 184-8 with Helston claiming 3-50. He then hit 37 in support of top scorer John Rich (52) as the reply closed on 159-9.

There was major disappointment at the top of the Division East 2nd XI table when the much anticipated 'title decider' between Whimple and Honiton at Otter Moor Lane was effectively decided by the toss of a coin.

Home skipper Andrew Lapping called incorrectly, saw his side invited to bat and, in conditions that certainly favoured the bowlers, saw his team skittled out for 70 with only Tom Hemery making any impression with 22.

Richard Hill picked up three visiting wickets, but Whimple got home with five wickets in hand and the win effectively seals them the Divisional top honour.

A disappointed Lapping said: "It is a cruel way to determine what was effectively a title shoot- out. It is always difficult on days like this when the toss so dominates the proceedings as it showed on Saturday."

There was only a couple of overs possible in the Axminster II game at Plymstock II where the home side were 8-0 at the premature end of the game.

Axminster III got a losing draw from their meeting with Kentisbeare II. David Gadsen (3-16) and Steven Wakeley (2-34), combined to leave the Kents bowled out for 191 and then Wakeley top scored with 28 as the reply closed on 120-9.

Feniton II had a winning draw in their game with Exmouth III. Ben Allen (32), Francis Pyle (30no) and Mark Salter (31) all made contributions in a total of 170-7, Pyle then claimed 4-42 and Allen bagged a brace as Exmouth dug deep to finish on 141-7.

Graham Watts top scored with 76 as Kilmington II scored a decent 199-5. Dan Prettejohn claimed 4-52 for Upottery II who made the draw on 174-9 thanks to a top score of 31 from Dave Inglis. David Lavender was the star of the Kilmington bowling, registering figures of 4-28.

Brian Rattenbury picked up a couple of wickets as Uplyme II drew their meeting with Tiverton & Bickleigh II.

T&B posted an imposing 224-7, answered by Uplyme with 203-8 in which Eddie Clarke top scored with 65.

Axminster IV were denied action owing to a waterlogged pitch in North Devon.

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