LEWDOWN kept the pressure up on leaders Bradninch before Saturday’s top-of-the-table showdown between the two front runners with a 41-run win at Hatherleigh.

Opener Johannes Wessels had a rare failure – he was bowled by Sean Leatheren (3-46) for 17 – but there were runs elsewhere down the order.

Leon Horne made 20 – he and Harry Geering (31) put on 53 for the third wicket – and Billy Searle anchored the middle order with 58 off 72 balls.

Dan Fogerty clipped 30 in even time at the end as Lewdown reched 179 for eight, something of a recovery from 107 for six.

Matt Thomas and Jack Cherrington had two wickets each.

Hathereigh coughed-up early wickets to Wessels (2-18), Fogerty (3-23( and Nick Smith, whose two for eight off six really slowed them down.

There were outbreaks of run getting by Danny Forrester (20), Chris Jelley (25) and Ryan Davies (27), but no stand in the innings greater than 27.

Searle and Fogerty flushed out the stragglers as Hatherleigh were dismissed for 138.

Winning captain Tallan Burns said the game turned Lewdown’s way at 107 for six, but there was a way to go to win it.

“Last year we would have seen a collapse for about 120-130 all out, but Billy Searle and Dan Fogerty putting on 70 set up the result for us,” msaid Burns.

“We are starting to see a bit more quality in our team this year and a bit more fight.

“Defending scores is about stopping partnerships and once again our bowlers did that.

Our seamers bowled exceptionally well, Johan taking the big wicket of Matt Thomas, and Dan and Nick Smith taking wickets.

“We took our catches when they came, Harry Geering taking three in the slips.

“A quality partnership and our fielding and bowling won us the game.”

While Lewdown contemplate a promotion push, Hatherleigh are still stuck at the sharp end of the table.

Losing captain Mark Lake said his side got into a promising position, but couldn’t sustain it.

“We set out to get Wessels early - and we did - and at 106 for seven it looked good.

“But putting down six catches came back to bite us and Billy Searle batted well in the last few overs.

“I must give Lewdown credit they bowled very well and gave us nothing.

“It was poor from us because we got ourselves in a great position and threw it away.”