Harris and Butterworth see Cornwood to another nail-biting win

CORNWOOD’S tail-enders dug them out of a hole to clinch a one-wicket win over Hatherleigh that keeps the promotion bandwagon rolling along,

The Corns bat a long way down, which is just as well as they needed their lower-order to get them home more than once this season.

At 105 for seven chasing Hatherleigh’s total of 212 all out, the odds on a Cornwood win looked slim.

Cornwood had time on their side though – almost 20 overs in fact – and with Craig Harris in charge they got over the line with three balls to spare.

Victory keeps Cornwood second in the table, five points behind leaders Brixham and 28 ahead of third-placed Budleigh.

Cornwood don’t want Budleigh to get too much closer between now and the last Saturday of the season when they face Brixham.

Budleigh are pinning their promotion hopes on Brixham beating Cornwood to let them in by the back door.

Cornwood can’t afford to lose between now and August 29 to maintain their safety net, although a Budleigh loss between now and then will change everything.

Gareth Tidball cracked a high score of 90 in for Hatherleigh, who were bowled out with an over to go.

Tidball was seventh out at 172 having put on 76 with Danny Forrester (33) in the main stand of the innings.

Cornwood skipper Jason Hall (3-39) kept the Hatherleigh middle-order under control.

Chris James (1-25) bowled nine tidy overs and elliot Staddon (1-44) didn’t give much away.

Jackson Thompson bowled in the last 10 overs and picked up four for 30.

“Our bowling and fielding was excellent,” said Cornwood skipper Hall. “Craig James bowled well without much luck and the three spinners bowled well in tandem, putting the brakes on and taking the wickets along the way.”

Cornwood’s odds looked slender at 34 for six in reply after 16 overs, Sean Letheren (3-35) and Charlie Nielson (2-35) doing the damage, aided by a couple of run-outs.

Harris went in at 32 for five and dropped anchor for the rest of the match to make an unbeaten 74.

The first crucial stand was one of 71 for the seventh wicket with Elliot Staddon (52) that got Cornwood back in the match.

Matt Butterworth and Harris added another 65 for the eighth wicket, which put the game back in the balance.

The returning Letheran picked up Butterworth for 29 and added James almost immediately.

Last man Adam Goodliffe went in at 179 for nine with 33 needed and five overs to go. He kept his wicket intact while Harris whittled away at the deficit from the other end.

Hall said Cornwood were the architects of their own problems at 34 for six, but he was impressed by the way the lower order applied themselves.

“Poor shot selection and two poor runs outs in the top order left us on the ropes,” said Hall.

“Elliot Staddon played an excellent counter-attacking knock to get us back in the game.

“Craig ‘Ice Man’ Harris, then played an outstanding innings full of composure, timing and shot selection to see us through.

“Good contributions from Butterworth, and nerves of steel from Adam Goodliffe allowed us to pick up a vital win in the promotion race and keep us in contention with Brixham at the top.”

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