ONE more win should be enough for Barton to clinch their return to the A Division after an absence of two years.
Barton and Seaton were neck and neck at the top of the table before last Saturday’s Cricketfield Road showdown between them.
Barton emerged as 58-run winners in a low-scoring affair, which put them 12 points clear of Seaton, who dropped down to second place.
Third-placed Tavistock, who won in a hurry at Babbacombe, are a further 17 points behind.
If Barton beat Ipplepen this Saturday it is hard to see how Tavistock can stop them going up. The real fight now is between Seaton and Tavistock for the runners-up spot.
Barton were all out for 130 against Seaton – more than they looked like making when they were 32 for four after a battering from Ben Libby (3-21).
Adam Parker (35), Greg Shelton (15), Morgan Harford (24) and Jon Martin (13) all made handy contributions in the context of a low-scoring game.
Robbie Prior (4-19) didn’t give the Barton batters much to hit.
Seaton’s top order performed a similar vanishing act – they were 46 for five – but had no one to bale them out.
Man of the match Parker (5-8), aided and abetted by Matt Crampton (2-15) and Martin (2-20) had Seaton all out for 72. The last five wickets went for just eight runs.
Beaten skipper Ben Morgan said: “It’s so frustrating and a big opportunity has gone begging.
“The stark truth about the result is Barton bowled better than we did deserved to enjoy the spoils of success.
“We were happy to have them 32 for four and 70 for seven – and from there they should not have got to 130.
“However, we have played some great cricket this season so far and this is a first defeat in 10 weeks and the fact remains that if we can win our last two games then we will be promoted.”
Seaton entertain Plymstock this Saturday before they visit Cullompton on the final match day of the season a week later
Promotion rivals Tavistock host Thorverton this Saturday and they wrap their campaign up with a visit to Ipplepen on September 1.
TAVISTOCK didn’t hang about en-route to a five-wicket win over Babbacombe at Walls Hill.
Skipper Shaun Daymond led the bowling effort with four for 17 as Babbacombe were skittled for 87.
James White (3-23) and Charlie Barriball (2-38) were the supporting acts. Skipper Steve Broad (22) had Babbacombe’s only score of note.
Tim Goodwin (4-31) made life difficult for Tavistock, but Charlie Barriball’s unbeaten 24 settled the issue.
Tavistock stay third in the table, but have narrowed the gap on Seaton in the second promotion place to five points.
Leaders Barton defeated Seaton by 58 runs to open the door for Tavistock to make a late push for promotion.
Said Daymond: “It is going to be a good run in.
“We just have to win our last two games and keep the pressure on.
“It's a shame we have had a couple of games rained-off as we could have been in the top two with it in our own hands.
“Either way, a big two wins could make for an interesting finish…”
It looks like relegation is almost inevitable now for Babbacombe, who are 15 points adrift at the bottom.
A win over Cullompton in the basement battle this Saturday is a must to avoid an immediate return to C Division cricket.
IPPLEPEN effectively banished their relegation fears in the B Division with a 62-run win over Shobrooke Park.
Opener Dave Harris (78) played anchorman for Pens – he was fifth out at 205 – and shared stands of 80 with Mawgan Penrice (34) and 69 with Ashley Harvey.
Harvey (82) and Sam Wakeham (35no) totted up another 65 in the final overs towards a total of 285 for six. There were two wickets each for Tom Youngman and Andrew Codling.
Shobrooke’s chase got them to 223 for nine before their overs ran out – no one making more than tail-ender Ben Trenaman (45no).
Plenty of batters got in – Dan Robbins (21), Neil Branton (29) and Codling (30) for example – but no one went on to make a score to hang a chase on.
Wickets were shared with two apiece for Seb Powell, Steve Bowden and Tom Durman.
The Pens are 36 points clear of the bottom two now.
PLYMSTOCK probably need one more win to steer clear of the B Division relegation places after they slipped up by seven wickets at Thorverton.
Plymstock were all out for 136 with more than eight of their 45 overs to – Josh Hocken holding a collapsing innings together with 48 not out of 100 balls.
Hocken and Tom Mitch (31) shared a 58-run stand for Plymstock, easily their best of the match.
Jake Choules (5-25) and Gillam Couch (3-31) were the bowlers who did the damage for Thorverton.
Calem Cuureen (41) and Alistair Chilcott (48) put on 85 for Thorverton’s second wicket to kill the game as a contest.
Plymstock’s Syed Ali took two wickets in two deliveries – Dave Baldock the hapless first-ball casualty.
Plymstock are 15 points clear of the relegation places with two games to go. A win over Seaton this Saturday would end any fears of being sucked into danger.
CULLOMPTON gave Filleigh a run for their money before losing a low-scoring affair by two wickets.
Cully got to 99 for three with Darren Paul (26), Kenny Vos (34) and James Blackmore (24) all chipping in. Then they collapsed in a heap.
Four wickets went for 13 runs added and from 112 for seven it was a short hop to 128 all out.
Jon Hickman (3-25) and Justin Saker (3-9) did the damage with the ball for Filleigh.
Filleigh got a start through Saker (22) and Jas Kalsi (38) and at 101 for four were odds-on to win.
Brendon Parr (3-26) ad Alex Clist (2-12) changed the complexion of the match by reducing Filleigh to 120 for eight and Filleigh were glad of Connor Nash’s nine not out for getting over the line.