Larcombe ends season in style
PUBLISHED: 12:00 27 August 2008 | UPDATED: 22:15 15 June 2010
Copyright Archant Ltd
The penultimate Saturday of the cricket season summed up what the 2008 campaign has been all about - indifferent weather! Saturday began with plenty of sunshine but as the day progressed the clouds gathered, writes Stephen Birley.
The penultimate Saturday of the cricket season summed up what the 2008 campaign has been all about - indifferent weather! Saturday began with plenty of sunshine but as the day progressed the clouds gathered and, on top of a chilly mid summer wind, conditions were more suited to winter sports than the willow, leather and whites that adorn cricket squares the length and breadth of the county every summer. What's more the rains arrived later on Saturday to ruin a number of the contests.With the previous two match days being washed out, it left the entire season down to a 'two match shoot out' with many sides' hopes in terms of promotion and relegation hanging on the outcome of the final matches of what should have been an 18-game season. Axminster's campaign had come to a close a couple of weeks ago and so they were left playing for pride and as high a finish as possible. Their final Cloakham Lawn game of the season ended in a draw as Clyst St George scored 243-9, answered by the hosts with 193-7. Gary Larcombe signed off from the home games this term with a stunning performance with ball and bat. He first took a 'fivefer' finishing with figures of 5-48, and then smacked a superb century, carrying his bat to the finish for an unbeaten 108.Kilmington were the side with much to gain, and plenty to lose as they made the short trip to Seaton where they really needed to bank some points and then hope for a neighbourly favour from Feniton.Fenny were entertaining the Chagford side which provided a real threat to Kilmington staying in the C Division for another season. Ian Gooding's side batted first and laboured their way, in difficult batting conditions, to 150. It would have been a lot less but for some hearty batting from number nine Ben Noble (26no) and Ralph Cook (24), the pair adding 26 for the eighth wicket. Ben Copp (3-23) and Pete Lawson (2-57) provided excellent back up to Greg Foxwell (4-31) as the Seaton bowlers plied their trade to great effect. Steven Pritchard top scored with 67, Foxwell completed a fine all-round personal effort with 28 and Dave Strawbridge hit 25 as the home side got home with four wickets to spare. Ralph Cook was the most successful of the bowlers with 3-49, but Kilmington must now beat Kingsbridge in Saturday's final game, and hope for salvation in the form of Chagford failing to beat Ivybridge, if they are to survive.For Seaton, the final home engagement of their season merely gave further credence to the belief that, had they shown any form of consistency, and been allowed a decent rub of the green with the weather, then they would surely have been one of the two sides to step up. As it is, Mike Wheeler's team will spend the winter reflecting on what might have been and know that come the start of the 2009 campaign, they will be hot favourites to begin the long climb back to the top flight that they graced just four summers ago.Feniton could not do Kilmington any favours, indeed the opposite applies as they slipped to an Acland Park defeat at the hands of Chagford and that result may yet save the South Devon side and condemn Kilmington to a season back in the D Division. Batting first, visitors Chagford laboured to 122 all out but that was sufficient to win the contest with Feniton's home campaign ending in disappointment as they were bundled out for 97 to lose by 25 runs. Feniton complete their season with a visit to Tiverton.In D Division, Ottery St Mary lost at Thorverton, beaten by 57 runs despite another fabulous spell of bowling from Brian Burns. The Aussie claimed a six wicket haul (6-32) as the Mid Devon hosts were bowled out for 182. Then only Martin Miller (57) could make any impression as the Thors produced a bowler who claimed seven wickets and with it the win. The season ends for John Tierney's side on Saturday with a home game against relegation threatened Dawlish & Teignmouth.Uplyme look set to finish the season with a flourish. Their final away game of the season was a show case for the Caddy boys to lay their talents on the line. Skipper Ashley Caddy took 6-38 as hosts Dawlish were bundled out for 101 and then Adam Caddy top scored with 68 in a smoothly executed run chase to an eight wicket win. Saturday brings the curtain down on the Uplyme season when they host Hatherleigh, one of four sides who go into the last day of action looking for one of two promotion places.Whimple go into Saturday's final game at home to Thorverton knowing that only a win will do if they are to survive in the Division. Their penultimate engagement of this soggy season took them to the side who started the day at the foot of the table, Ipplepen. But a home win changed the dynamic of the table dramatically and Whimple now go into their final game a dozen points worse off than second bottom Lewdown who travel to promotion chasing Bridestowe. There is still hope for Simon Van Grudging's side, but they simply have to win on Saturday.Honiton have had seven games called off this season, at least two more than any of the top four sides and ultimately that is what cost them a place at the promotion party this term. They won their penultimate game beating whipping boys Cullompton by eight wickets at Landspeed Meadow. Andy Brinsford took 4-37 and Sean Ingram bagged a brace as the hosts closed on 180-9 and then Honiton were led to victory by Phil Tansley (68no) and skipper Pete Matravers (63). The tag 'best of the rest' behind the two promoted sides will belong to Matravers and his side if they beat Woodbury in the final game at Mountbatten Park this season on Saturday afternoon.l The G Division Plate final this coming weekend will be an all East Devon affair after semi-final victories for Upottery, by seven wickets at Shaldon, and Yarcombe, who made it through against eight-man Newton St Cyres. The Yarcombe game was switched to East Devon owing to the Mid Devon side's pitch being used for football. Nigel Parris's team had won a 20-over game at Topsham midweek and they put the 'three men light' visitors to the sword racking up a whopping 352-6, led by Simon Hovell's 131. Simon Durrant chipped in with 47, Rex Helston helped himself to 42 and the skipper also weighed in with an unbeaten 30. The visitors were bowled out for 80, Mike Barnes and Matt Barnacle both bagging braces. With Yarcombe and Upottery finishing the season first and second in the G Division, it is a fitting finale to the campaign that the two sides will now contest the Divisional Cup on the final Saturday of the season.