BRADNINCH dipped to a second successive defeat when they went down by 132 runs to visiting North Devon.
North Devon recovered from losing Devon opener Tom Ansell first ball – bowled by Tallan Burns (2-49) to make 269 for six in their 50 overs.
Aussie all-rounder Adrian Isherwood slammed an unbeaten 112 for North Devon, sharing a stand of 119 for the third wicket with Dan Bowser.
Bowser had a bit of luck but was a perfect foil for his more aggressive partner.
Eliot Acton spun out Bowser on 176 for three, which brought Somerset’s Jamie Overton out to bat. He clubbed 27 off 11 balls – three fours, two sixes – then got out lbw to Burns.
Isherwood kept going, facing 122 balls and hitting 15 boundaries in his 112.
Keeping the runs down was a challenge for the Bradninch bowlers, although skipper Gary Chappell (0-41) and Will Greig (1-33) suffered least in their 10-over spells.
Overton was using the game to test his fitness after an injury lay off, which meant he got to take the new ball.
Chappell went in the first over, followed by Tendai Maruma and Kian Burns in quick succession. Overton’s three for 19 in six overs ended any hopes of a Bradninch win.
Charlie Walker (24), hung round for a while, but Isherwood (4-12) and Steffan James (2-19) built on Overton’s early work to run through the middle order.
Tail-enders Acton (16), Greig (17) and Tallan Burns (18) helped add 51 for the last three wickets to make the total of 137 all out a shade more respectable.
Winning captain Matt Westway said: “The batters delivered first up.
“Adrian’s 100 was well timed and his partnership with Dan Bowser allowed us to get to a very competitive total.
“Having Jamie Overton able to bowl is a massive plus and he duly delivered by removing the danger men in the top three.
“Jamie and Jack Popham delivered a hostile opening spell that proved to be the difference in the game.
“A J (Isherwood) then demonstrated his all-round ability by taking four wickets with his left-arm spin.”
After the defeat by Exmouth seven days earlier, Westaway said it was a ‘much-improved performance’ but he added a caveat.
“We must put it into context as we won't have the luxury of 10 overs from Jamie to factor in as now his rehabilitation is nearing completion he will be back bowling for Somerset.”
Bradninch skipper Chappell said he had mixed feelings about running into Overton on a Saturday afternoon, but stressed that wasn’t sour grapes.
And Chappell admitted he had a game plan that hinged on winning the toss, which he lost.
“It was a big toss to lose as, ideally, with our spinners we would have defended on a used wicket,” said Chappell.
“Realistically, when Jamie is bowling you stand little chance of beating them given they already have some decent players.
“We never face that kind of pace, so facing him on a club wicket is a bit ridiculous - he is one of the fastest bowlers in the country and has played England Lions.
“I have watched him hit pros in the head on a flat track, let alone amateur players with no armguard or chestguard, and questionably safe helmets.
“Personally, I think second team and Minor Counties cricket where these guys should return to fitness and form against better players, where they will be tested.
“I know Jamie is a North Devon lad and loves playing them. His opening spell ended any hope we had. “
Chappell agreed Bradninch were outplayed but said they could have made it closer.
“From our perspective we gave them about 30 in the field which released any pressure we built up, as the bowlers actually bowled quite well,” he said.
“Areas to improve as we move on to next week.”
Bradninch make the short trip to Heathcoat this Saturday.