BOVEY Tracey’s lead at the top of the table has been trimmed to nine points after they lost by two wickets to second-placed Exmouth.

Exmouth moved within nine points of Bovey Tracey at the top of the table going into the second half of the season.

And with Bradninch only six points further behind in third place, the title race is heating up.

Luke Jongwe cracked an unbeaten century as Bovey rattled along to 247 for eight in their 50 overs.

Sandy AllenJosh Mailling (36) and Andy Fairbairn (34) laid the foundations as Bovey reached 70 for three.

Jongwe, firstly Fairbairn then with Tom Andrew (19), put on  46 and 39 for the fourth and sixth wickets as the score climbed.

Three run outs – all affected by Billy Rudolph – slowed Bovey in the last  five overs.

Jongwe hit six fours and six sixes in a 114-ball knock for 108 not out.

Exmouth were anchored from the off by skipper Richard Baggs (20) and David Lye (65) – they put on 68 – then Sandy Allen (64) moved the score up to 143 for two with Lye.

At 188 for three with Allen and Dan Pyle (22) in residence, Exmouth looked odds on.

Four wickets went for six runs added – Allen among them to Hugo Whitlock (3-30) and when George Greenway fell Exmouth were 42 runs short with two wickets to go.

Callum French (27no) and Alvin Pollard (15) knocked off the deficit with nine balls to spare.

The game was billed as  test of Exmouth’s batting against Bovey’s bowling. Winning skipper Baggs felt is side showed their mettle.

“Alvin and Callum showed some real character to put 46 on for ninth wicket,” said Baggs.

“David Lye and Sandy Allen played beautifully, Sandy found the gaps with ease and showed what a fine player he is.

“It was a fantastic win that will give us so much confidence moving forward.

“Bovey played really hard but  we all had a beer after, which is what it's about. “

Bovey captain Peter Bradley shared some of Baggs’ views but not all of them.

“Both teams had chances to win it and both teams let the other one back in it,” said Bradley.

“Luke batted well, to get us up to a par score, but four run outs didn’t help us.

“We didn't bowl badly. Exmouth just played their shots and they came off.

“Lye was dropped in his 20s and we had some close decision go against us.

“The learning point for us is to take out chances, which we have been doing most of the season.”

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