A new picture of the 'imperious' Rob Holman<br>credit: Gerry Hunt

HEATHCOAT defeated Exmouth by 116 runs at Knightshayes to keep the pressure on Paignton at the top of the Premier Division table.

Opener Rob Holman top scored with 66 in Heathcoat’s total of 205 for nine in 37, rain-reduced overs.

Malcolm Cloete (2-12) and Jackson Thompson (2-15) had a lot to do with Exmouth slumping to 46 for five in reply. After a brief full in the collapse, Christian Cabburn took four in a row as Exmouth nosedived from 68 for five to 89 all out.

Opener James Horler made 20. Next best was George Greenway with 12.

Victory keeps Heathcoat second by 11 points behind Paignton at the top of the table. Exmouth are resigned to another week in the bottom two.

Winning skipper Thompson said after a shaky start, Heathcoat put an imposing total on the board for a shortened game.

“We lost an early wicket but Rob and Callum French (34) held it together to set us a platform to launch from,” said Thompson.

“Rob Holman showed us why he oozes class with the bat in tricky conditions and was his imperious best. 

“Unfortunately, Liam Lewis and myself were unable to capitalise, but Malcolm Cloete (41) injected much-necessary impetus with some calculated strokes and clever hitting to get us to a more than competitive total.”

Thompson said Cloete’s opening salvo, winch included snaring David Lye first ball, set the tone for the rest of the bowlers.

“We all know how dangerous David Lye can be and to get him early was key,” said Thompson.

“Joe Hancock made a steady debut and bounced out Chris Metters, which was also very satisfying to see.  

Christian Cabburn returned to his usual self with mopping up the middle and lower order with some very good death bowling figures.”

Exmouth skipper Andy Buzza said: “Once again we underperformed. 

“On a track with indifferent pace we didn't bowl enough balls in the right area.

“The chase was ... interesting. We never really got started. Heathcoat bowled well and we played poor shots. Myself at the top of the list! 

We took some points and we move on to Exeter this Saturday with the same attitude of enjoying playing cricket.”

Heathcoat make the short trip to Sandford this Saturday.

RIVAL captains Jackson Thompson and Andy Buzza were united in praise for Heathcoat groundsman Pete Woodman and match umpires Paul Dawe and Rhys Calllicott.

“Pete Woodman worked tirelessly from 7am to get us playing under very poor conditions due to heavy rain on Friday and Saturday morning,” said Thompson.

“Water had got under the covers and delayed the start, but it couldn't have been possible without Pete. 

“Both the umpires Paul Dawe and Rhys Callicott were fantastic in their approach to the day and ensured that a game was played in 'fair' conditions for both sides. “

Buzza agreed, adding: “I would to praise all involved getting the game on. 

“The pitch was very wet but because of hard work both side were able to play a fair game.”