Ross Acton - firing on all cylinders again for Bradninch

BRADNINCH defeated title-chasers Sidmouth by 50 runs to enhance their prospects of dodging the drop.

Victory put 19 points between the Ninch and Hatherleigh in the second drop spot. It did them a huge favour that Hatherleigh lost ground by losing to bottom side Sandford.

Bradninch play Hatherleigh at Holsworthy Road this Saturday where a win would go a long way towards ensuring their safety.

Losing won’t drag Bradninch back into the bottom two immediately, but with Exeter (top), Exmouth (5th) and Plymouth (4th) to come it would ramp up the pressure.

A solid batting effort all the way down took Bradninch to 252 for six and maximum batting points.

Rory Thomas (46) and Tim Piper (23) got the ball rolling, Tendai Maruma (23) added a few more then Charlie Walker stroked 74 not out off 69 balls and put on 65 with Leon Horn (23).

Sidmouth lost county captain Josh Bess to Ross Acton (3-26) in the first over, but recovered as Dec Lines (34) and Luke Bess (39) settled into a stand of 55.

Another stumble, this time from 88 for three to 102 for five, left Sidmouth plenty to do.

Nick Gingell (41) and Henry Gater (44) had a stab at turning things round, but weren’t together long enough. The last four wickets went for 13 runs as Sidmouth were bowled out for 202.

Tallan Burns had two for 38 and Maruma two for 49.

Tim Piper, who has skippered the side for a fortnight in the absence of Gary Chappell, said although winning the toss was a factor there was more to winning than the flip of a coin.

“Rory Thomas and Charlie Walker both batted brilliantly in completely different ways and everyone else chipped in well around them,” said Piper.

“It is a relief to have Ross Acton back bowling seam and Tallan Burns bowled a hell of a spell at the back end of the game.

“We have a good thing going now. It has taken a while to gel and work out the best roles for players as we have a lot of new faces this year. But now we've got there we will be a much stronger opponents.”

Losing skipper Luke Bess said: “ Bradninch deserved to win, but we didn’t help ourselves by bowling 22 wides and dropping Walker on eight.

Bradninch move on to Hatherleigh this Saturday and have another win in their cross-hairs.

“We have our strongest team available to us with Chaps and Charlie Sheen both back and Dan Hardy being around in Devon for a change,” said Piper.

“If we can't beat Hatherleigh with that team, then we've had a pretty bad day.”