Opening-day victories for both Paignton and Torquay

Torbay Weekly

Paignton and Torquay both sent out messages of intent for the Tolchards Devon Cricket League season with opening-day victories.

Paignton got their Premier Division campaign off to a solid start with a four-wicket win at Hatherleigh, while A Division Torquay were too good for Abbotskerswell at Two Mile Oak.

Skipper George Benton (4-28), Cole Harford (2-14) and new Sri Lankan pro Sehan Weerasinghe (2-32) skittled Hatherleigh for 119 and Harry Ward's 59 laid the foundation for a 19pt haul.

Paignton now face a Queen's Park 'biggie' this Saturday against champions Tiverton Heathcoat, whose opening game against Sidmouth was rained off.

Tom Drake's big-hitting 79 led Torquay to 226-7 before an eye-catching debut by Harry Baxendale (5-17 off 7.1 overs) dismissed the hosts for 89.

There wasn't such a good start for Barton, who lost their A Division opener to Tavistock by just ten runs.

Aussie newcomer Justin Saker took 3-12 in Tavvy's 153 all out and, although Greg Shelton (23no), Morgan Harford (17) and John Martin (17) did their best at the end, Barton never really recovered from 64-7.

B Division Ipplepen bowlers Ash Harvey (4-11) and Neil Hancock (3-13) accounted for Dartington & Totnes (81ao) on the way to a nine-wicket win.

Brixham dismissed South Devon for 119 (L Upham 4-18) to win the C Division derby by seven wickets, while Paignton 2nds posted 245-9 (O Woodcock 81, S Robbins 57) to beat Teignmouth & Shaldon 170-9 by 75 runs.

The Ashburton-v-Stoke Gabriel game fell victim to the rain.

Other fixtures this Saturday include: Premier - Bovey Tracey v Exeter; A Division - Torquay v Bradninch, Budleigh v Barton, Tavistock v Abbotskerswell; B - Dartington/Totnes v Bovey II, Kilmington v Ipplepen, Thorverton v Chudleigh; C West - Stoke Gabriel v Bridestowe, South Devon v Plymouth II, Teignmouth/Shaldon v Ashburton, Cornwood II v Brixham; D West - Barton II v Kingsbridge, Babbacombe v Yelverton, Chelston/Kingskerswell v Whitchurch, Ipplepen II v Plympton II, Abbots II v Plymstock.