NORTH Devon became the latest team to fall by the wayside against leaders Paignton, who handed them a 109-run hiding at Queens Park.
There was an inevitability about the outcome of the game as Paignton are six from six at the top and North Devon have lost five times in the six starts.
After a couple of stoppages for rain and the assistance of the Duckworth-Lewis System, North Devon were set 213 to win in 28 overs. After subsiding to 54 for five on the chase, there was only going to be one outcome.
Paignton’s batting has been nothing if not consistent this season and so it was again as Harry Ward (36) and Dan Wolf (33) made a 52-run start then Richard Ashworth (30), George Benton (31) and Connor Bryan (39) kicked on towards 209 for five.
Spinner Adrian Isherwood (3-31) was North Devon’s most effective bowler.
North Devon lost opener Dan Bowser to the first ball after tea – Benton (3-11) cleaning him out – and skipper Tom Popham soon after.
Best of the bits-and-pieces scores went to Ben Howe and Jack Moore with a brace of 24s as North Devon slid to 103 all out.
Winning captain Benton said: “It was a great team effort in a tricky game due to the constant on-off, on-off because of rain.
“We said 200-plus would be a decent score in 30 overs and we stuck to our game plan.
“We batted brilliantly and kept the scoreboard ticking.
“Getting Dan Bowser out first ball of their innings was handy as he's a very dangerous batter. That got us going and we didn't let off.
“A great result and the confidence is growing.”
Popham, the North Devon captain, said his side had their successes but not enough of them.
“We fought back well in the middle stages of the innings when Fred King and A J Isherwood bowled well to restrict and take wickets,” said Popham.
When we came back after rain the final time we bowled too many loose deliveries, which allowed Paignton to reach a very good total.
“With the bat we had to go fairly hard early on, which meant taking some risks so we were losing wickets trying to chase the game.”
Looking up the table from bottom position, Popham said: “We are in a battle to stay in the division so have to improve as individuals and as a team to get out of this spell.”