Strawbridge takes 6-31 in Seaton cricket victory

PUBLISHED: 10:00 12 August 2009 | UPDATED: 23:57 15 June 2010

Kilmington's Dave Cook

Kilmington's Dave Cook

Axminster may well regard the five points they took from their meeting with promotion-seeking Tavistock as priceless when the campaign ends in three week's time, writes Stephen Birley.

Axminster may well regard the five points they took from their meeting with promotion-seeking Tavistock as priceless when the campaign ends in three week's time.

Tavistock have lost just once this term and the Axminster bowlers did well to restrict them to a closing total of 164-9. Alex Wraight claimed 5-43 and Joel Seward took 2-30. But, despite knocks of 24 from Robbie Prior and 20 from Paul Miller, the reply floundered when the first batting point was reached at 100.

Axminster now go to Bideford sitting two points behind third- bottom Kingsbridge and just 10 behind Bideford in the next slot up the section.

Seaton retain a glimmer of hope in their bid for promotion out of the C Division after a 19 point haul over visiting relegation-threatened Bridestowe on Saturday.

Raul East and Ben Morgan both claimed three wicket hauls as the visitors were restricted to 140-9 and then Steven Pritchard (44) and an unbeaten 40 from Matt Hewer, saw Seaton home.

Three to play and it is going to need three max points wins and favourable results elsewhere for Seaton, who go into Saturday's game at Dartington sitting four places and 27 points behind second-placed Chagford.

Feniton can thank their lucky stars that the bottom two are cast adrift in the C Division for, after a seventh defeat of the campaign, they have slipped to third bottom and it is only the fact that second bottom Bridestowe are 28 points adrift, with 60 to play for, that the Acland Park outfit can plan for C Division action again next summer.

They were beaten at promotion-chasing Chagford who plundered a hefty total of 253-9 and then bowled Feniton out for 157. Russell Whitton and John Pyle both took three wickets, whilst the best of the batting performance from Feniton came from Alex Frankpitt (47) and John French (29). Next up for the side is Saturday's trip to bottom of the table Tiverton.

Kilmington are back in all sorts of trouble at the wrong end of the D Division table after they slipped to a two wicket defeat in the East Devon derby at home to Ottery St Mary who bowled the hosts out for 140 and knocked them off with a couple of wickets to play with. Kilmington have slipped back to the bottom of the table, 10 points adrift of 2nd bottom Whitchurch.

However, salvation for Kilmington is still possible as Whitchurch are one of four sides separated by just a single point from sixth-placed Babbacombe down to the second bottom side and so the final three games promise many thrills and spills in the battle to avoid the drop. Tom Gooding's men are at Yelverton next, with a visit from promotion-seeking Hatherleigh the week after, and then a final day trip to Babbacombe.

In the E Division there was an incredible game played out at Honiton where table-topping Ashburton were the visitors.

The hosts batted first and skipper Pete Matravers despatched the very first delivery clean out of the Otter Moor Lane ground on his way to 21. However, the home skipper was to be one of just four players to make runs, as no fewer than seven ducks were recorded in the face of a stunning spell of bowling from Tom Durman who finished with 4-7 as Honiton were shot out for 81.

The home side would have been humbled for a lot less but for 15-year-old George Meadows, who came in at number six and scored a cultured 35. With Neil Pullman chipping in with an unbeaten 11, Matravers and his men trooped off probably fearing the worst.

However, if the Honiton batsmen had found facing Durman a daunting prospect, then Ashburton's batsmen were dealt similarly by the combination of Kev Kelly and Phil Tansley as they ran riot, each claiming fivefer hauls as the visitors were shot out for 56 giving Honiton victory by 25 runs!

Matravers said: "That was most certainly one of the most bizarre cricket contests I have been involved in. To think that the opening delivery went for six and thereafter 20 wickets fell for 137 runs and our offering of 81 proved to be a comfortable match winner!

Young George Meadows batted very well indeed and it was the combination of he and Neil Pullman that gave the bowlers something to go at. Phil Tansley and Kev Kelly certainly needed no second invitation to strut their stuff."

Tansley picked up 5-20 from 11.2 overs and, at the other end, Kelly sent down a dozen overs and returned figures of 5-28.

Frustratingly, for Matravers and his men, they have to sit out next weekend as they are the odd side out in the section so, the week after, they play their final home game when they take on Roborough at Otter Moor Lane before bringing the curtain down on the season on the last Saturday of the month at Countess Wear.

In this incredibly close E Division season they currently sit just seven points above the drop zone and yet only 17 points off the top of the table.

Whimple's challenge is probably at an end after they became the latest side to lose to upwardly-mobile Roborough. Batting first, Whimple were hurried out for just 91 in 30.2 overs with Chris Palfrey (34), the only batsmen to make much of an impression.

However, the South Devon side were three down with just 13 on the board before they steadied the ship to win by six wickets.

Whimple have slipped into the bottom two and will need to bank a decent haul of points this weekend at home to Kentisbeare to ease their woes at the wrong end of the E Division table.

Yarcombe became the latest side to feel the full force of unbeaten Filleigh, who beat them by 10 wickets. John Rich (25) was, again, his side's top scorer in a total of 89, passed with ease by the all conquering North Devon outfit.

Upottery are very much in the thick of the E Division promotion race after they dented the hopes of one of their main rivals, Topsham St James, beating the Bonfire Field outfit by four wickets, and on their own patch too!

The hosts were bowled out for 126 as Matt Frost (4-18 from 12 splendid overs) and Gary Kennard, with 3-28, claimed the wickets.

The run chase did not go totally smoothly, six wickets were lost along the way, but the winning post was passed at 128-6 thanks to contributions from Dave Woolacott (29), Thomas Wyatt (25) and Matthew Button-Stephens (24).

There is now a very real chance of a glorious end to the season for the village side who host Hemyock and Newton St Cyres and go to Shaldon, to complete their season.

l In 2nd XI cricket D Division East leaders Uplyme II were beaten for only the second time this season when humbled at home by Kentisbeare II in a low- scoring affair but the East Devon side stay top although their lead over second-placed Clyst Hydon is just three points and the two sides meet on the penultimate match day of the season!

Feniton won the East Devon derby with Kilmington thanks to a fine all-round performance from Francis Pyle. The Acland Park outfit batted first and were bowled out for 155. Pyle top scored with 33 whilst Dave Lavender claimed the umpteenth fivefer of his career with splendid figures of 5-27 from 12.3 overs. Graham Watts (35) and Ashley Cook (20) then did their bit for the Kilmington cause in a run chase that just ran out of steam, the final wicket falling with the two scores just three runs apart. Pyle was the pick of the Feniton bowlers with 3-28.

Upottery went into their home game with Tiverton and Bickleigh having won just two games all season, but they can lay claim to three victories now after Alex Fensome's side beat the Mid Devon outfit by four wickets.

The visiting side were restricted to 218-5, Dan Prettejohn bagging a brace of wickets and then Mike Arscott (72) and an unbeaten 33 from Fred Drew as Upottery won on 219-6.

Axminster III pushed Woodbury II nearer to the foot of the table after inflicting a five wicket defeat on their hosts. Mike Beer (22) and John Ingham (19) were the main scorers for a Woodbury side who had been 35-8 when Beer strode to the wicket! Josh Singleton took 4-29 for Axminster, who then chased down the total for the loss of just five wickets as Steven Read hit an unbeaten 52. Woodbury skipper Kev Miller, took 4-24.

Whimple II march on at the top of E Division East after a six wicket win at home to Topsham St James who they bowled out for 101, as Matt Richards (5-12) and Tim Treais (3-18), claimed wickets. Matt Hammond then hit an unbeaten 37 and Steve Palfrey chipped in with 18.

Honiton II matched the leaders with an 18 point haul thanks to a seven-wicket win at Kenn where Richard Hill with four wickets, and Zac Johns, with three, helped shoot the home side out for 90. Tim Strawbridge (31) and Nigel Foster (29no) were the principle run getters for Honiton.

Seaton II got the better of Axminster IV, defeating them by nine wickets thanks to Paul Strawbridge taking 6-31 as the basement dwellers were bowled out for 79 and then James Wheeler hit 39 to seal victory.

David Harris top scored for the home side with 30 and there were a couple of fine efforts from the youngest two Rocketts as Matt (20) and Jimmy (10), both made runs.

James Legg was the one home wicket-taker as Seaton continued their relentless pursuit of the Division's top two.

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