League leaders at half way

PUBLISHED: 16:09 22 June 2010 | UPDATED: 16:09 22 June 2010

Axminster Ladies cricket XI enjoyed coaching from England's Anya Shrubsole and NZ Ladies' captain Aimee Watkins.

Axminster Ladies cricket XI enjoyed coaching from England's Anya Shrubsole and NZ Ladies' captain Aimee Watkins.

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Cricketers reach half way stage of season

Honiton are the new leaders of the F Division, replacing Shaldon, who they thumped on their own patch by 194 runs.

Honiton batted first and were sent on their way to a big total with a 191-run opening stand between George Meadows (105) and Brad Groves (86).

The innings eventually closed on an imposing 325-9. Shaldon were bundled out for 131 as Phil Tansley picked up another four wickets with his impressive figures being 13 overs, six maidens and four wickets for just 13 runs! Rob Ingram deployed his leg spin to great effect as he claimed four wickets.

Honiton now head into Saturday’s home game with Chelston leading the Division by nine points from Shaldon with Kenn a point further back in third.

Axminster slipped to a four-wicket B Division defeat at Shobrooke Park.

Danny Larcombe top scored with 34 and there were contributions from Robbie Prior (28) and Rob Walker (27) in a total of 175, answered by the Mid Devon hosts with 176-6. Both Prior and Alex Wraight bagged braces for the beaten visitors. The defeat was only the second of the season for Axminster who reach half way in their League campaign on Saturday when they entertain Plymstock.

Seaton’s C Division promotion hopes received a blow when they were beaten by 63 runs at table-topping Dartington, and then heard that the only three teams to sit above them in the table, all had big wins. The South Devon side powered to a close of 303-9. Skipper Mike Wheeler took 4-76 for Seaton, who made a decent fist of the run chase, but were eventually all out for 240. Charlie Cload top scored with 58 as he and Richard Warner got the reply off to a flyer. Mark Bray (39) and Matt Hancock (38no) chipped in, but, from a very healthy 150-3, wickets tumbled to 175-8. Skipper Wheeler said: “Hands up, or rather not so! I dropped a dolly at fly-slip. One of their openers was having a real go from the off and so I figured a fly slip berth might nab him. Sure enough, within four deliveries of the switch he skies one, I put it down and the die was cast”.

Next up for Wheeler and his men is Saturday’s game against Thorverton. Wheeler says: “It’s half way through the campaign at stumps on Saturday and that’s traditionally when you take a long, hard look at the table and see where you are and where you hope to be when the second half is done. I know precious little about Thorverton for, whilst we have been making progress down the Divisions, the Thors have been steadily upwardly mobile, so it will be nice to meet new opposition.”

Feniton’s woes continued as they slumped to a home defeat at the hands of Ipplepen. Batting first, the Acland Park men posted a respectable 220-4, with runs coming from the top of the order. Brian Cann, after a couple of recent first over dismissals, led the way with a fine 56 and there was a half century also from Adi Pullin. Graham Tucker, skippering the side in the absence of wedding attendee Mark Kingdon, chipped in with an unbeaten 46 and Toby Vine scored 39. John French and John Pyle both bagged a couple of wickets, but could not prevent the visitors successfully completing a five wicket win with seven overs to spare.

Tucker said: “It was great to see Canny back amongst the runs. We probably did not get enough as they are a powerful batting side.” On Saturday, Feniton need to bring back a decent haul of points from a meeting with Tiverton in a game that has been switched to the Halberton pitch at Sampford Peverell by Junction 27 of the M5.

Ottery St Mary had won just one of their opening seven games and that was on opposition soil when they won at Tiverton. They now have two victories under their belt after a three-wicket win at Whitchurch.

The home side batted first and were restricted to 214-9 with Rob Johns doing the bulk of the damage for the Otters with 4-28 and there were two wickets each for Robert Bradshaw-Smith and Will Harrison.

Johns completed a fine all round afternoon’s work with his side’s top score, unbeaten on 65. At the other end, when the win was sealed, was Nick Dowman (25no). Lewis Townsend had earlier made 35. The win was not sufficient to lift the Otters off the foot of the table, but they head into next weekend just seven points shy of being clear of the bottom two with Whitchurch and Feniton in their sights.

Next up is a meeting with Uplyme, who sit 12 points above the Otters, but have actually won only one game this term.

Uplyme went down to leaders Lewdown. Uplyme batted first and were shot out before the completion of the 27th over for just 88. Only skipper Ashley Caddy was able to make any impression, scoring an unbeaten 35 as the visitor’s overseas strike bowler bagged six wickets to make it 15 in his last three games! Steve Batey (2-15), took both visiting wickets to fall as the leaders sailed home comfortably.

Kilmington became the first team to deny E Division leaders Countess Wear when they left the Exeter side’s ground with the lion’s share of the points from a winning draw with a fine all-round performance. Batting first, Kilmington closed on a commanding 246-7. They were led there by Ralph Stonex (54), Dave Field (46no) and skipper Tom Gooding (35).

The hosts limped to 182-6 in their reply. Hal Cook and Dave Field both bagged a brace of wickets for Gooding’s side. Next up for Tom Gooding’s side is Saturday’s visit from a Roborough side who claimed their first win of the season last weekend.

Whimple maintained their challenge with a 172 run home victory over Kingskerswell. What’s more, Jono Burden’s men have won six of their eight games.

Chris Palfrey struck his second successive half century with the host’s top score of 71. Matt Hammond with 56 and Kevin Thompson with a jug-evading 49, were the other principle run scorers as Whimple closed their innings on 272-8. Kingskerswell were bundled out for exactly 100.

The reply was all over inside 37 overs as Matt Richards claimed 5-21. As well as his fivefer, Richards was also responsible for a run-out, and the other four visiting wickets were claimed by four different bowlers.

A delighted Burden said: “It was another comprehensive, and impressive, all round show. We are certainly playing with great confidence. We can travel down to Babbacombe for match day nine in a confident mood and look to close out the first half of our schedule with another good performance.”

Whimple travel sitting second, just eight points adrift of leaders Countess Wear and 13 points clear of third placed Kilmington.

Upottery turned the table on visiting Kentisbeare. The Mid Devon side have made a habit this season of taking on and, succeeding in big run chases, but this time, they got a dose of their own medicine.

Batting first, the Kents closed on 255-8, with Upottery skipper Stewart Drew and Gary Kennard both claiming three wicket hauls. Tom Wyatt led the run chase with another wonderful innings as Upottery got home on 260-3.

Wyatt was eventually dismissed for 92 and there was an equally impressive 67 from Matthew Button-Stephens. The win was sealed by an unbroken 45-run partnership between Dan Broom (30no) and Mark Joyce (25no). Next up for Willow Drew and his merry men is Saturday’s trip to basement dwellers Woodbury.

Yarcombe picked up a fourth win of the season at the expense of Newton St Cyres, thanks to an excellent all-round performance from Simon Hovell.

The all-rounder first claimed four wickets and then Rex Helston mopped the Mid Devon side’s tail up to finish with figures of 3-5, as the visitors were hustled out for 100. Hovell then hit an unbeaten half century as he and David Patch eased their side to an eight wicket win.

Skipper Nigel Parris said: “We were at full strength for the first time this season and it showed. We bowled and batted very well indeed, and here’s hoping we can kick on from here with this performance.”

Yarcombe next travel to a Kenn side who have in their line up a Sri Lankan batsmen who has played just three games for his new side, and scored centuries each time!

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