Richard Baggs, who rediscovered his scoring touch with 78 for Exmouth II in their win over Barnstaple && Pilton

BARNSTAPLE & Pilton missed a chance to gain ground on D Division East leaders Exmouth when they lost to them by 39 runs on the Maer.

Fourth-placed Barnstaple & Pilton could have narrowed the gap by winning at Exmouth, but defeat has dropped them 36 points behind.

Exmouth opener Richard Baggs thumped 76 and there were chip ins from Oliver Pugsley (35) and Greg Marks (27) in Exmouth’s 45-over total of 197 for eight.

Pick of the bowlers were Jack Moore (2-25) and Lee Cole (2-18). Steve Moore took one for 17 from nine miserly overs.

Barnstaple had plenty to do after slumping to 28 for three then 78 for six. Only Jack Moore (32) hung around long as Sean Day (4-13) wreaked havoc.

Cole (54) and Steve Moore (43) gave B&P hope with a stand of 77 for the seventh wicket and at 153 for six Exmouth had to break the stand.

Luke Davies did the job by bowling Cole and it didn’t take long for Alex Craib (4-28) to knock over the tail-enders as B&P lost four for five on their way to 158 all out.

NORTH Devon 2nd XI slipped back into relegation danger when the lost by five wickets at Upottery.

Rob Are (29) and Jack Hockin (50) hoisted 62 for North Devon’s second wicket and contributions from Dom Ford (31) and Matt Dart (39) helped post a total of 211 for nine.

Ryan Pulman (4-42) took the bowling honours for Upottery.

North Devon seamer Jay Rothery (2-33) picked up a wicket in the first over after tea and had both men out in a running total of 38 for two.

A stand of 77 between Jack Larcombe (44) and James Mitcham (40) pointed Upottery in the right direction.

A double strike by Hockin (2-47) briefly slowed the chase, but Mark Joyce (35no) and Ryan Pulman (35no) polished off 67 unbroken to win the game with more than four overs to spare.

Mark Joyce, Upottery’s captain, said: “We were certainly back to our all-round best, though we did give them 20 more than I’d have liked with wides being the problem! 

“That said, I was very confident at tea that we’d see the chase through on another ‘road’ prepared by Nigel [grounds man Nigel Wyatt] with a glass-like outfield, and so it proved.”

North Devon are only two place and nine points off the drop spots. They are at home to struggling Countess Wear on Saturday.

SANDFORD gained ample revenge for an opening day embarrassment against Chardstock with a six-wicket win in the away leg.

Sandford were bowled out for 28 in the first encounter but second time round it was a different story.

Harry Blake bagged five for 26 as Sandford held Chardstock to 101 all out. Ed Pyman (74) top scored.

Chris Blake (59), Shaun Hawkins (58no) and Tom Williams (35no) sped Sandford to victory and out of the bottom three in the D Division East.

CLYST St George dropped back into the D East bottom three after losing by two runs at Uplyme.

Bruce Maltby hit a hundred for Uplyme – he shared a stand of 191 for the third wicket with Steve Batey (84) – in the hosts’ total of 268 for six.

Andrew Donovan (4-47) was Clyst’s prime wicket taker. Sam Read (9-3-27-0) the most economical.

Clyst galloped off in hot pursuit with Chris Ferro (31), Freddie Creer (29), Jayak Nallala (50) and Dan Takle (24) showing the way.

A stand of 71 between Read (39) and Donovan (40) took Clyst to the brink of victory at 250 for six.

Clyst reached the last over from Charlie Moss (2-28) needing 10 win with two wickets in hand – and got to the last ball needing four to tie with their last pair in. They only managed two.

Clyst are making an unhappy habit of losing nail-biters having lost last-over finishes to Sandford II, Exmouth II, Countess Wear and now Uplyme this season.

“Too many close loses for us this year,” mused skipper Harry Attwater.

D DIVISION East promotion hopefuls Heathcoat were awarded 20 points for a walkover when Countess Wear were unable to raise a side.