VETERAN Andy Procter answered a late-night call-up to lend Budleigh Salterton a hand and played a match-winning role in the four-wicket win at Ipplepen.
The former Devon and ECB Triple Crown XI spinner was talked into playing on Friday night as Budlleigh skipper Joel Murphy had a cry-off to deal with.
And the 48-year-old ex-serviceman responded with a four-wicket haul as Ipplepen were restricted to 146 for nine in 50 overs.
Budleigh can be a bit flaky on the chase and so it proved again. They lost five wickets getting from 108 to 139, but bits and pieces got them over the line.
Defeat leaves Ipplepen winless and rock bottom with leaders Bradninch due to pay a visit this Saturday.
Budleigh, who have a three-point lead over Paignton and Barton in joint third, are at home to relegation worriers Hatherleigh.
Opener Jack Lewis top scored for Ippelpen with 49. He was fifth out at 107, ending a stand of 56 with Mawgan Penrice (34).
The only other batsman in double figures was Marcus Green, who was 18 not out at the end.
Budleigh left-armer Sam Fereday had three for 38 in support of Procter. Murphy (0-24), Rob Craze (1-9) and Matt Junk (1-29) all bowled miserly spells.
Junk (57) and Elliot Rice (34) gave Budleigh a 108-run start before Seb Powell (1-230 broke them up.
Ethan Keller (3-37) and Pens skipper Keith Wakeham (2-15) made a game of it for a while, but not long enough.
Lloyd Murrin swished Wakeham for six to win the game with more than 12 overs to go.
Winning captain Murphy said his side made harder work of winning than necessary while admitting that is a recurring theme this season.
He added: “We are playing at 80 per cent of our capability and that has to improve if we are going to stay where we are.
“This division is amazingly close this season – less than 20 points between the top six – and we are only one defeat away from dropping four or five places.
“When you bowl a side out for 150 you expect to win, but you can’t afford to be complacent.
“We lost wickets too easily when we needed 20-30 to win and that’s not good enough.’
One thing that was good enough was the opening stand between Junk and Rice.
“That was the fifth time they have opened up and put on 50 or more and they seem to be working well together,” said Murphy.