Full-strength champions back on track with eight-wicket win
Defending Francis Clark Devon Premier League champions North Devon bounced back from their defeat by Bovey Tracey with a crushing eight-wicket win at Torquay.
At full strength, North Devon's bowling attack operates with Somerset's Overton twins – Craig and Jamie – as well as Mashonaland and Unicorns pace man Glenn Querl – and it was Torquay's bad luck all three were available.
Querl took four for 16, Jamie Overton three for 21 and Craig Overton one for 19 off nine overs as Torquay limped to 119 all out in the 41st of 44 overs. Matt Thompson top-scored with 23 and when he was fourth out at 65, a combination of Joe Thompson (17) and Ben Passenger (19not out) kept the bowling at bay for a while.
Dan Bowser (52no) and Craig Overton (50no) put on 92 unbroken for the third wicket as North Devon cruised home.
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The winners moved up a notch from fifth to fourth while Torquay's one-point return means they drop to one above the relegation zone.
North Devon skipper Matt Dart had only won one toss all season before arriving at Torquay and said being able to dictate the game made a massive difference.
"It was nice to be able to put Torquay in on a pitch that offered a lot to the seamers – and against our attack they were always going to struggle," said Dart.
Exmouth won a thriller a Sidmouth by two wickets when Akeal Hosein hoisted a six off Sam Anderson to clinch victory with three balls to spare.
Sidmouth were all out for 205 in the last over – Anthony Griffiths top scoring on 61.
Exmouth looked dead and buried at 147 for seven, but West Indian Under-19 star Hosein would not be moved and saw Exmouth to victory.
Skipper Richard Baggs admitted it was heart-in-the-mouth stuff at times and he had not always expected to come out on top.
"I thought we were gonners at 147 for seven," said Baggs. "Akeal was outstanding, but huge credit to the lower order as well for sticking in there with him."
Time is running out for Heathcoat to dodge the drop from the Premier Division after yet another defeat, this time by seven wickets on run rate at the hands of leaders Bovey Tracey.
Sam Smith's 37 was one of just two double-figure scores – Tom Frankpitt's ten was the other – as Heathcoat staggered to 108 all out
A rain break forced the teams off while Bovey were batting, and meant a revised run-rate calculated target of 104 to win. Neil Hancock made 53 not out and it was game over.
"If we don't start putting complete games of cricket together and winning in the next couple of weeks, we are going to get relegated," said Heathcoat skipper Chris Small.
James Street and Matt Golding both hit half-centuries as Bradninch chased down 130 to win against Sandford.
"We have not always batted too well, but this time Street and Golding got it right," said Bradninch captain Gary Chappell. "They waited for the bad ball to come along, then put it away."