SACH Galhenage struck a maiden Premier Division century to speed Torquay to a four-wicket win over Exmouth on the Recreation Ground.

Exmouth totted up 274 for eight in their 50 overs – left-hander Callum French going in at one for one in the second over and batting through for an undefeated 118.

Torquay paced their reply to perfection, helped by a stand of 99 for the second wicket between Galhenage and Mitch Pugh, which meant they were always up around the asking rate.

Galhenage went with ten need to win, which Torquay got with more than an over to spare.

Victory lifts Torquay up to fifth in the table, 12 points behind Sidmouth, who took top spot off Bovey with a crushing nine-wicket win over lowly Brixham. Exmouth sit third, nine points behind the leaders.

French went in when opener Sandy Allen was dismissed in the second over by Pugh (2-22) and there he stayed for the next three hours.

David Lye went for 23 and Exmouth skipper Richard Baggs came and went to Pugh for seven in a running total of 39 for three.

A stand of 52 with Bob Dawson, who made just nine of them, used up 12 overs as Torquay’s bowlers kept the lid on in mid-innings.

When Exmouth were 125 for six in the 34th over it seemed Torquay had done the hard bit.

Enter John Evernett to flail the bowling to all parts of the Rec and out of it as he and French added 131 in 15 overs for the seventh wicket.

While French was accumulating at one end, Evernett was smashing it at the other. He made 80 off 44 balls with seven fours and six sixes.

Galhenhage (1-72) and Matt Petherbridge came in for some treatment, as did Sam Carpenter. Ben Francis got him out in the penultimate over.

Torquay lost George Allen in the third over with the score oon 23 to George Greenway on his return to the Exmouth attack after a stint with Exeter.

In came Galhenage and off went Torquay in hot pursuit.

Galhenage and Pugh (56) put on 99 on exactly 20 overs, then Ben Francis (29) kept an end going in a further partnership worth 88.

Francis and skipper Justin Yau went in quick succession to Lye (3-48) and Shorn Bobb, but a 51-run partnership between Galhenage and Joe Thompson (20no) killed off Exmouth hopes.

A double-strike by Lye – Galhenage then Nick Watkin – came too late to make a difference.

Said Yau: “Sach's innings was as good as I've ever seen from him and Mitch was brilliant up top.

“Ben Francis showed great maturity to put on 99 with Sach to get us in a great position, then Joe batted very sensibly to see us home.

“It was a great chase after the onslaught by Evernett.

“There was one six which I think hit a car in the road.

“Callum French played a top innings too but we timed it perfectly.

“A great game played in a great spirit.”

Exmouth skipper Richard Baggs said he was disappointed to lose having scored so many runs, but far from downhearted.

“I was disappointed to lose after brilliant batting from Callum and Evo got us a very decent score.

“We bowled with too much width at Torquay, where it is crucial to bowl full and straight.

“The two Torquay lads batted well on the best Torquay wicket I have seen for seven or eight years.

“It is one defeat and we are only nine points from top with 11 games to go.

‘What’s important is how we bounce back this Saturday against Bovey Tracey.”