James Horler - top scored for Exmouth against North Devon

NORTH Devon have slipped even further adrift at the bottom of the Premier Division table after going down by 162 runs to visiting Exmouth.

North Devon skipper Tom Popham asked Exmouth to bat first and they responded by totting up 263 for five.

Openers Chris Metters (64) and James Horler (87) gave Exmouth a 135-run start and Horler carried on until he was fourth out on 221. David Lye made 41 and Alvin Pollard 22 not out.

North Devon’s reply soon ran in trouble as they dipped to 16 for three then 41 for seven. Metters (3-17) was backed up by Sid Fereday (2-27) and George Greenway (2-25).

Jack Moore (28) and Jack Popham (34) delayed the inevitable before Ben Ellis (3-11) came on to bowl-out North Devon for 101.

North Devon are now 25 points adrift at the bottom with only two wins all season, one against Bovey Tracey, whom they visit this Saturday.

Captain Popham said he was at a loss to understand how his side failed to badly.

“It was a bad loss and hard to take, particularly after we almost chased 330 at Torquay last week,” sad Popham.

“Two-sixty was definitely gettable on that deck, but we lost early wickets which put us in a difficult position. When chasing you ideally need a solid start early on. 

“We have to stick together and keeping working hard. That’s all we can do at this stage and we all demand that from each other.”

Winning captain Andrew Buzza said his side were good value for a ‘deserved’ win.

Buzza added: “Really surprised to be put in on a flat, dry wicket. 

“I felt 240 was par, yet in a pressure game anything over 200 could be defendable. 

“Horler and Metters set a fantastic platform. It allowed our middle order to be aggressive and post a decent target. 

“We got off to a great start bowling by taking key wickets early.

“I didn't feel anyone was going to play a Horler-type innings for North Devon and the game was ours very early.

“To be honest North Devon didn't get much luck. However, we still deserved all 20 points.”