Abbotskerswell v Torquay - Abbotskerswell batting Credit: David Hammond.

Cricket with David Hammond: Ebb and flow for local clubs as halfway approaches

Torbay Weekly

Unseasonably breezy conditions on Saturday, accompanied by sporadic showers, helped blow the A Division’s landscape wide open in the gallery of the Devon Cricket League.

A tense game at Two Mile Oak went down to the penultimate over.

Audible delight greeted Nick Watkin trapping Harry Baxendale leg before to secure a nine-run win for Abbotskerswell over local rivals Torquay, their third win in as many weeks.

Abbots posted a respectable 173, on a pitch which offered plenty for the bowlers.

Torquay’s attack was steady, although lacking any speedy penetration, with Chris Kelmere taking 5-28.

The reply saw most batters getting a start without going on, before Torquay came up ten short of their target with eight balls to spare.

Barton welcomed back Justin Saker and enjoyed a morale-boosting, 98-run home win over Kilmington.

They had Siddhesh Veer’s 127 not out to thank for a total of 256-6.

Callum Crocker led with the ball. His 5-10 was significant in bowling out the opposition in the 39th over.

Exmouth won again, for the seventh straight week, to strengthen their lead at the top.

Jason Niemand’s third century (145 not out) steered them to an eight wicket over Thorverton.

They are 27 points clear of Torquay, who are in turn three clear of Exeter in third – only a beguiling 18 points now separate second place (Torquay) and sixth (Abbotskerswell).

Week nine sees Torquay at home to Plympton. Barton at Exeter and Abbotskerswell visit Kilmington.

Luke Medlock’s gallant 61 brought Paignton frustratingly close to pulling off a famous win at blustery Instow in the Premier Division.

Paignton were chasing down a revised target of 193 from 38 overs but came up five short.

North Devon are top after this win, opening up an intriguing race for the Premier title as we approach the half way point of the season this weekend, with Sandford beating Heathcoat, only four points now separate the top three.

Sixth place Paignton are back at Queen’s Park in week nine for the visit of eighth place Bovey Tracey.

In B Division, Clyst St. George swapped places with Ipplepen thanks to their three wicket win at Moor Road.

Dartington and Totnes lost at Chudleigh.

Will that elusive first win come at home to Ivybridge this weekend?

Ipplepen are ‘up north’ against Bideford, Littleham and Westward Ho!

Also still winless are South Devon in C Division West, losing for the eighth time at Cornwood 2nds.

Stoke Gabriel are the form team, rising to fourth, courtesy of a third straight win – Andy Ball’s 4-13 helping to bowl Kingsbridge out for 119.

Teignmouth and Shaldon got back to winning ways, and stay third, with a solid 58 run win over league leaders Plymstock.

They go to Yelverton this week while South Devon play Stoke at Marsh Road.

In D Division West, Brixham comfortably notched up their seventh win out of eight. In form Tom Hopper hit 72 in a total of 277-7 against Whitchurch Wayfarers, who were bowled out for 85 in reply.

Babbacombe are strong at Walls Hill this year. Ipplepen 2nds were the latest team to lose there.

Similar journeys down the A38 this week see Brixham go to Ivybridge 2nds and Babbacombe to Plympton 2nds.

Chelston and Kingskerswell have climbed to fourth in E Division West, following a six-wicket win at Lustleigh.

They next play Plymouth 3rds at home.

Lastly, a reminder of the Brockman Cup Final tomorrow evening (Friday). Cup

specialists and defending champions Lustleigh take on Bovey Tracey at Torquay’s Recreation Ground, with a 6pm start.

And Sunday sees both semi-finals of the Aaron Printers Cup at Marsh Road, Newton Abbot.

Abbotskerswell play Torquay before Bovey Tracey clash with Stoke Gabriel for a place in August’s final.

You can hear more local cricket on my radio show South Devon Sports Scene, broadcast on Riviera FM (107.9FM) and via every Wednesday from 6pm