SANDFORD put some distance between themselves and the A Division drop zone when the defeated visiting Ipplepen by 177 runs.

Pens are already adrift at the foot of the table, but it is seriously congested immediately above them with Sandford one of four sides a defeat away from the second drop spot.

Defeats for Hatherleigh and Plympton, by Lewdown and Bradninch respectively, helped Sandford cash-in on beating Ipplepen by giving themselves a 12-point safety cushion.

Matt Hopkins was the Sandford anchorman in a total of 241 for seven with a patient 60 off 103 balls,

Skipper Ryan Glass (24) and Russ Discombe put on 43 at the top – and when Glass fell to Joe Abbott (2-58) Discombe and Hopkins put on another 66 for the second wicket.

Paul Thomas – easily Pens’ most effective bowler with one for 27 from 10 overs – got Discombe out for 36 with the score on 109.

Hopkins just kept going, adding another 67 with young Aussie Pat Rowe (43).

Fifteen year old Rowe, keeper batter, is over from Australia for a month to play cricket.

After Hopkins finally departed to Sam Wakeham (2-40 off 4) Matt Theedom (20no) and Jamie Palmer (17no) kept he board moving in the final five overs.

Ipplepen were roughed up early on by Discombe and Palmer (6-21), who reduced them to 19 for four in the ninth over.

Mawgan Penrice lasted half an hour for a top score of 13 until he was run out with the score on 26 for five.

Palmer, who bowled nine overs straight through took his next four wickets in 10 balls to hasten Ipplepen’s demise.

Simon Ashplant wrapped up the tail with two for nine as Pens were skittled for 43.

Having not won in their last four starts, it was a victory Sandford needing going into the second half of the season, which starts at Budleigh this Saturday.

“It was a well-needed win and, hopefully, we can kick on now for the second half,” said skipper Glass.

“We set up the innings really well and got a bit lucky with the rain when they batted as it was flat.

“Jamie Palmer was exceptional with the ball.”