BRADNINCH have changed captains for the last lap of their A Division promotion push with Gary Chappell taking over from Tim Piper.
Piper was reappointed to the job at the start of this season in succession to Dan Hardy. He had been captain in 2013 and 2014 before leaving for a brief stint with Torquay.
Under Piper the Ninch have topped the A Division table since week two and have only been beaten once
Saturday’s 134-run win over Barton at Cricketfield Road pushed Bradninch 37 points clear of Lewdown and Paignton, who share second place.
Lewdown lost ground on the leaders by losing to Chudleigh.
Piper, who will carry on playing and keeping wicket for the 1st XI, is happy to pass the mantle on.
“Being captain is a time-consuming task off the field and with more responsibilities at work and other commitments I have been finding it increasingly difficult,” said Piper.
“The right man for the job now is Gary Chappell, who has been captain at Exmouth before coming back to us and has good experience at higher levels of the game with Devon.”
Piper – freed from the responsibility of being captain against Barton – batted with freedom to score 104 not out in a Bradninch total of 294 for eight.
Chappell stroked 42 off 44 balls as Bradninch reached 80 for three, then Piper took over.
There were stands of 50 with Lautro Masini (23), 48 with Andy Buzza (25) and 33 with Cameron Suidgeest (16) as Barton’s bowlers were made to toil.
There was a brief lull in proceedings before Pipe and tail-ender Mark Ashplant got stuck into the bowling.
They added 68 in six overs for the eight wicket. Ashplant was run out for 22 off the last ball of the innings.
Andy McVeigh and Mark Gilmour were the only bowlers to stay below five a over, although Tom Drake and Jamie Peters (2-50) were only fractionally above.
Barton were all out for 160 in reply – and did well to get that many after slumping to 87 for seven.
Gilmour made 21 and Scot Baldry 25, but most of the rest didn’t last long against Suidegeest (2-43), Chappell (2-22) or Buzza (2-23).
Jared Seiffert – 49 of 70 balls – and Greg Shelton (12) stopped the carnage with a stand of 38 across ten overs.
Sieffert was the last man out to Chappell, having helped Barton earn three bonus batting points during his stay.
Bradninch are at home to Paignton this Saturday in a top-of-the-table clash.