Palfrey family take control for Whimple II

PUBLISHED: 13:49 20 May 2008 | UPDATED: 21:50 15 June 2010

The weather made massive inroads into the weekend's cricket programme with many more games being cancelled without a ball being bowled than those that started, let alone finished. Raul East and Gary Larcombe each bagged a brace of wickets for Axminster be

The weather made massive inroads into the weekend's cricket programme with many more games being cancelled without a ball being bowled than those that started, let alone finished.Raul East and Gary Larcombe each bagged a brace of wickets for Axminster before the weather closed in and called a halt to proceedings in their Cloakham Lawn game with Heathcoat, who had scored 207-5 before the game's untimely end.Axminster Skipper Danny Larcombe was understandably disappointed that he couldn't unleash his batsmen into what should have been an achievable run chase. He said: "It's disappointing that the rain kicked in as it did because that was very much a score that we'd have fancied chasing down at Cloakham." Axminster may well have been chasing a much bigger total had it not been for a superb spell from Raul East and Gary Larcombe who both bagged a brace of wickets and combined to restrict the visitors to just 40 runs from the final ten overs, this after they had been a commanding 160-1!Larcombe also praised his side's ground fielding saying: "We were sharp in the outfield, some of the catching was awesome." Johnny Hurford dived full length and held on to a one-handed effort to get rid of the visiting opener and then Sean Perry produced an equally dramatic catch to see the end of the hard hitting Smith. Next up for Larcombe's side is a trip to Abbotskerswell on Saturday, a game that the Axminster skipper sees as being one of their toughest of the season. "No disrespect to any of the other sides in the Division but, for me, Abbotskerswell and Shobrooke Park are certain to feature at the business end and so this game against the Abbots will be a great indicator of what we might be able to expect this season."A similar tale at Kilmington where the Tiverton & Bickleigh batsmen were able to take their side to maximum batting points on 215-3, a wicket each for Tristan Wakeley, Ben Noble and Hal Cook, when the rain closed in and forced an early conclusion to the game. Home skipper Ian Gooding was very bullish about his side's chances had a run chase been allowed to get under way. "On what was a flat wicket , that was a score I'd have fancied us to chase successfully, but on the down side I felt we 'gave' them runs with some sloppy deliveries that, to be fair to them, they waited for and tucked away well. We also didn't help ourselves with four dropped catches and overall we didn't bowl as well as we had done the previous week."The Kilmington skipper did exonerate the unfortunate Maurice Bevis and new man Tristan Wakeley from the criticism of the bowling saying: "Maurice and Tristan both bowled very well but neither had much luck."Not a ball was bowled at Babbacombe where Seaton were scheduled to play their third C Division game of the season, nor was any play possible at Ivybridge where Mark Kingdom's Feniton were due to play. This coming weekend Seaton host an Ivybridge side who arrive one place and five points ahead of them in the early table whilst Feniton, yet to win, host Kingsbridge, who have yet to lose.Whimple's D Division game at home to Bridestowe met a watery fate as did the game in the same section for Uplyme & Lyme Regis who were due to play at Thorverton and it was a similar soggy tale of woe in the E Division game at Whitchurch where Honiton were due to play. This particular cancellation means that twice in the first three weekends of the new season Honiton have been beaten by the weather! Pete Matravers' side will be hoping for better fortune with the weather on Saturday when Countess Wear visit Mountbatten Park, whilst Whimple may well find themselves top of their Division come Saturday evening if they win well at Uplyme & Lyme Regis.Upottery's 1st and 2nd XIs both managed to get matches in on a damp Saturday but, whilst the second string played to a finish, the 1st XI game against Topsham St James suffered a premature end when the rain arrived with the contest finely balanced.Mark Joyce (2-31) and Dan Brown (2-65) were the main wicket takers as the Exeter side closed on 193-6 and then Seamus Machin top scored with 33 but only Gary Kennard (17) could provide much support and with the reply on 141-7 and the outcome of the game still poised, the heavens opened to leave the two sides having to abandon the game with the Exeter team taking 13 points, two more than the villagers. Upottery are the early leaders of G Division and they can cement top spot a little more with a win at Shaldon on Saturday.Upottery II were in derby action with a game at Mountbatten Park with hosts Honiton II. Batting first the visitors closed on 158-7, led by Dean Crabb (35), whilst Adam Pulman (28no) and Ollie Rice (28) gave solid support. Rob Ingram bagged four wickets for the home side and then scored a superb 68 as he and Kevin Slynn (69no) led their side to an eight wicket win. The successful Upottery bowlers were Matt Frost (1-18) and Duncan Kennard (1-21).In other 2nd XI cricket there was action for Axminster II who enjoyed a superb nine wicket win at Braunton, where they bowled the home side out for just 136 thanks to Ben Fuzzard (4-20), Dave Hayball (2-18) and Alex Rockett (2-35), and then Pete Hayball struck an imperious unbeaten 90, an innings that saw him smash five sixes and eight fours, to guide the side to a nine wicket success and also see them register a first win of the season after back to back defeats in their first two games.Whimple II secured a single wicket win at Tiverton in a contest that saw the father and son combination of Steve and Chris Palfrey grab a combined 'family fivefer' and then Palfrey Junior clubbed 29 in just nine balls to help lead the side towards victory, the win being confirmed with last pair Matt Richards and Adrian Whitton at the wicket. Whitton (3-38) and Chris Palfrey (3-11) together with the skipper (2-16) helped bowl out the home side for 115 and then, after Palfrey Senior was dismissed with just four runs on the board, son Chris took over at the crease and smacked his first ball for six and followed that with 4,6,4 off the remaining three balls of that over! Palfrey was eventually out after a nine ball stay at the wicket for 29 and it was that contribution, together with that of Tom Bornet (21), that saw Whimple to 100-9, still needing 16 to win the game. Last pair, 15 year old Richards and his more senior compatriot Whitton, both hit unbeaten 11s to lead the side to a thrilling single wicket win.A delighted Steve Palfrey said: "It was a cracking game of cricket. Had we batted first and got the 115 I'd have been pleased given the conditions. They (Tiverton) made a huge contribution to what was a thrilling game of cricket."Axminster III's skipper Pete Kiy led by example as he claimed a 'fivefer' but his heroics were in vain as this match also met a watery grave, with visitors Kenn on 208-8 when the weather closed in. Seaton III fell to a six wicket defeat at the hands of Clyst Hydon II after they were bowled out for just 85.

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