PAUL Tweddle stroked a crucial 84 off 67 balls as Bradninch beat the weather to win at Budleigh Salterton.
Budleigh had made a respectable 229 for eight in their 50 overs with Bob Dawson making 54 and Charlie Morris 47 not out.
Dawson and James Burke (21) had Bradninch chasing leather as they put on 55 in the first 10 overs.
Pick of the Bradninch bowlers with two for 35 from 10 overs was Eliot Acton.
Bradninch were 173 for three after 28 overs when rain stopped play and had done enough to win the game on run rate.
Tweddle’s 84 was vital as he got Bradninch ahead of the required rate.
Tim Piper (22), James Street (26) and Matt Godling (23no) all chipped in.
Budleigh skipper Joel Murphy, a former Bradninch captain, said Tweddle was the difference between the two sides.
Opposite number Gary Chappell wasn’t entirely in agreement with his former leader.
“After the first ten overs when Dawson and Burke got off to a flyer, we dominated the game,” said Chappell.
“It was a great wicket and we were happy to restrict them to 230.
“Eliot, on his return to the side, bowled superbly.
“Tweddle saw us home with partnerships with Piper, Street and Golding.”
Murphy said he was unconvinced run rate was the way to settle rain affected games, not that he had any complaints.
“We knew the rules before we went out there and did our best to slow them down, ” said Murphy.
“They had to bat 25 overs for run rate to be used and once they saw the weather closing in they took a few risks and played a few shots.
“All I would say on run rate was had Bradninch been 159 for nine when it was called off they would still have won, which isn’t realistic at all.
“The trouble is there are serious cost implications about using Duckworth Lewis, which clubs can’t afford.
“I thought 230 was defendable, but Tweddle was the difference between the two teams in the end.
“Perhaps we could have bowled better. Although we bowled a fuller length, some of our bowlers still went the distance.”
SIDMOUTH put their defeat at Torquay behind them with a run-rate win over previously unbeaten Bovey Tracey.
Liam Lewis clattered a top score of 79 as Sidmouth motored along to 255 all out with three overs to go.
Josh Bess and Will Murray then took two wickets each as Bovey were behind the clock on 141 for six when the heavens opened.
Sidmouth captain Will Murray said he was pleased to get back to winning ways, but there remains room for improvement.
“Had anyone offered me 18 points at the start of the game, I would have gladly taken it,” said Murray.
“We needed a win and hopefully this will kick-start our attempt to win the Premier title back from North Devon.
“With the ‘war on the shore’ coming up against Budleigh this Saturday, a win over the leaders was just what we needed.”
Sidmouth’s batting was solid all the way through with all the first nine reachingt double figures.
Bovey’s seamers struggled for accuracy at times, although Neil Hancock gave little away in his 10 overs.
There were three wickets each for Chris Bradley and Ryan Bougourd.
Bovey got off to a flying start – they were 71 for two when Peter Bradley got out for 39 in the 15th over – then started to decline as Murray(2-32) and Sam Anderson (1-28) slowed them down.
Hancock (35) and Dilon Mullins (22) were the only scorers of note in the Bovey innings.
EXMOUTH’S David Lye will be looking to maintain his early season form with the bat in Saturday’s trip to Heathcoat.
Lye slammed 109 from 107 balls, which included 12 fours and two sixes, as Exmouth reached a hefty 283 for five against Sandford last time out.
That took Lye’s total for the season so far to 302 runs in five games, which includes a previous ton against North Devon.
No one has scored a thousand runs in a Premier Division season since playing times were reduced from 55 to 50 overs in 2008. No one has scored a thousand runs in the Premier Division since 1999 when Barton’s Andy Pugh got to 1003,
When Pugh did it the league season was four games longer – 22 as opposed to 18 now – as divisions were larger but games only 46 overs long.
While Lye was savaging the bowling there were stands of 85 with skipper Richard Baggs (35) and 75 with Trevor Anning (38).
After Lye was dismissed at 197 for five, Anning and Akeal Hosein put on 86 un broken in the last nine overs
Hosein’s 56 off 27 balls with seven fours and three sixes made Lye’s quickfire ton look positively pedestrian.
Most of the Sandford bowlers suffered, although Simon Ashplant’s two for 36 off 10 stood out among the wreckage.
Sandford had it all to do after slipping from 47 for one to 76 for four and were soon behind the clock.
Anning, George Greenaway and Hosein made sure there was no wriggle room for Sandford, who were 132 for five when the terminal downpour arrived.
Exmouth skipper Baggs said it was the best batting display of the season so far.
“David Lye played beautifully then Akeal and Trev Anning batted really well,” said Baggs.
“Akeal’s was some of the cleanest hitting i have seen. He is a real talent.
“The game played in great spirit, all credit to Sandford,.
“Simon Ashplant has grown into an excellent young bowler and the Lions should be looking at him.”
Sandford are at home to Plymouth this Saturday.
HEATHCOAT got off the mark in the Premier Division after four false starts when they beat Torquay in rain-hit game.
It was a close-run thing for Heathcoat as the run-rate differential was just 0.11 in their favour.
Heathcoat skipper Chris Small felt his side would have won the game anyway had it been played to a conclusion as Torquay were relying on the bottom half of their order to make nearly 80 to win in 15 overs.
That will remain a talking point, but Small added there was one thing about the performance which was not disputable.
“The side we had out against Torquay was the strongest one we can field – and we showed we can live with one of the best sides in the division,” said Small.
“We were never outplayed in anyway, which is a good sign. If we had been then I would have been worried.
“A win was vital for us, otherwise we were in danger of being cast adrift at the bottom.
“Now we have shown what we can do we need to do it a bit more often.”
Small did his bit with the bat, hitting a top score of 59 and putting on 72 for the fourth wicket with Joe Smith (41) in Heathcoat’s 240 for nine.
Guy Bucknell (30) and Tom Frankpitt both chipped in.
Torquay lost Tim Western and Brandon Handley with the score on 32, then got to 102 without incident as Justin Yau (49) and Matt Thompson (26) applied themselves.
Small (3-36) broke the stand had followed up with two more wickets as Torquay slowed to 112 for five.
Joe Thompson (23no) and Scott Baldry (22) had reached 164 for five when the game was called off.
Disappointed Torquay captain Justin Yau said: “It was a strange way to lose especially when the game was in the balance.
“I have never been a fan of the run-rate rule as if we were 168 for nine we would have won the game despite it being in Heathcoat’s favour.
“In the end that scenario is completely irrelevant and we must give credit where it's due.
Heathcoat played well and probably just edged it. Small played very well with both bat and ball and Joe Smith batted very sensibly as well.
“We must pick ourselves up for Bovey's visit and go back to basics: bowl patiently, bat with a purpose and take our chances when they come as you cannot get away with bowling a bad ball an over at this level.”
NORTH Devon skipper Matt Dart said Plymouth had his sympathies after they lost at Instow by seven hundredths of a run!
Rain affected games are now decided on run rate after the Premier Division ditched win-lose-draw cricket as an experiment this summer.
Defending champions North Devon made 229 for nine in the full 50 overs – Rob Gear making a top score of 76.
After Tom Ansell (24) and Gear gave North Devon an 87-ruu start, Chris Barr struck twice to sent back Ansell and Dan Bowser, who was caught at long leg sweeping.
Gear went next – Andy Birkett (3-26) accounted for Ansell as 87 without loss became 1119 for three.
Birkett then picked off Rob Ayre lbw and Matt Westaway to a catch at mid-off by Sam Stein as North Devon slumped to 136 for five.
The rot stopped with Glen Querl and Warren Miller, whose stand of 71 took North Devon safety past 200.Rob Bennett finally snaffled Querl for 68 them bowled Miller for 24.
Plymouth lost wickets regularly once Paul Heard removed James Toms with a catch behind.
Ben Stein (18), James Bryant (20) and Chris Barr (34no) all got set, but only Barr hung around while the teams were taken on and off a couple of times before the rain set in for good.
“We were very lucky,” said Dart.
“Although Plymouth missed a trick by not taking the power play before we came off for rain, our bowlers did a great job containing them.
“Rob Gear again showed his class with bat and ball and Glen Querl came good with bat even though he had a quiet day with the ball..”