IPPLEPEN make the short trip to Barton for their A Division debut still wondering how they got there.

Plymstock looked odds on to go up with Chudleigh at the end of last season with Ipplepen a likely third.

As the Pens had just been promoted from the C Division, they would have been happy to finish third.

Plymstock only needed seven points to be sure of going up – even if Ipplepen won their last game against relegated Axminster.

On a day Plymstock will want to forget they were bowled out for 96, picked up three bowling points when Chudleigh batted and then learned Ipplepen had a full 20-pointer against Axminster to go past them.

“No one was more surprised than us to be going up,” said Pens’ skipper Keith Wakeham.

“Promotion wasn’t an ambition and having lost seven games we hardly expected it.

“The club’s aim is to play the best cricket we can with the players we have – and now we are in the A Division we will give it our best shot.

“If we aren’t strong enough we aren’t strong enough, but we will do our best to stay in the division.”

Pens’ new overseas player is Kiwi Ethan Keller, who hails from Taranaki. A left-arm seamer, he replaces Nick Fairbank.

Mawgan Penrice, who finished last season captaining Abbotskerswell, brings batting and another keeping option,