Heathcoat make it two wins on the spin

HEATHCOAT made it two wins on the spin at the top of the Premier table when they defeated Plympton by 74 runs.

Heathcoat made 205 for eight in the full 50 overs – South African Brad Barnes top scoring on 46.

Plympton tumbled to 24 for four in reply – Jamie Drew doing the damage – recovered to 99 for five thanks to David Wrench (35) and Fraser Smith (47), them nosedived to 131 all out.

Six wickets went for 32 runs, which won’t have impressed skipper James Carr.

Plympton had hoped to be a bit more competitive on their return to the Premier Division after three summers in the A Division.

Carr said there were some tough lessons to be learned from the defeat and the manner of it.

“I was disappointed with the result as I felt Heathcoat were beatable but they played better than us,” said Carr.

“The bowlers learned very quickly the difference between A and Premier Division - you bowl a bad ball and it gets whacked for a four or six.

A good score would have been 175, so Heathcoat getting 200 put us under pressure - and they started better than us in both innings.

“The plus was we fought back both times and know now that we can definitely compete and win matches at this level.”

Sam Smith, the Heathcoat captain, said his side showed their fighting qualities in difficult batting conditions.

“We felt 205 was slightly above par on a difficult track,” said Smith.

“I had said to the boys 180 would be ok at the beginning of the day.

 “It was good to see Brad Barnes get a score in tough English conditions.

“However, If we are to beat the top sides this year one of our top five must convert a start into a big score more regularly.”

Jamie Lee nipped out Toby Lochead caught behind in the first over, but there was nothing for Plympton to celebrate again until the score reached 73.

A stand of 69 between Dylan Penberthy (34) and Sam Smith (32) ended when the former was run out by Josh Mailling.

Smith went soon after – caught behind off Matt Gregory – and at 80 for three Plympton were back in the game. But not for long.

Dinesh Raheja (24) and Barnes (46) hoisted 65 for the fourth wicket.

Raheja and Barens went 10 runs apart – Craig Donohue and Carr responsible  -and in the last 10 overs Heathcoat slowed up with Carr, Mailling and Gregory keeping them in check.

Plympton’s problems stared in the first over when Olly Mulberry was stumped four balls in.

Drew took three in a row and Paul Elliot the other wicket in a running total of 24 for four.

Wrench and Smith stopped the rot and at 99 for four with 19 overs to go Plympton had a toe hold in the game.

Losing Smith to Jack Menheneott and Wrench to a run-out in the space of six runs was the beginning of the end for Plympton.

Only Gregory reached double figures after that as Menheneott (3-20) finished Plympton off.

Smith said it looked comfortable by the end, but only because the bowlers put the work in.

“I was chuffed with our bowling performance,: said Smith.

 “Only using five bowlers is rare, but they all put in top spells and made it easy for me.

“At four down David Wrench and Fraser Smoth put a good partnership together, but scoring at any decent rate was difficult on a damp track and slow outfield.

“ When we broke that partnership we always felt it was ours to lose.”

Smith has some interesting selection choices to make for the visit of Torquay as there is a clamour from the 2nd XI of players wanting a 1st XI place.

Exeter 3rd XI were trounced by a whopping margin of 201 runs after Heathcoat piled up 357 for five – Justin Williams making 105 on top of half-centuries from Ned Menheneott and Will Thompson.

Dan Copp’s four wickets and three for Martyn Williams as Exeter were skittled out for 156 in reply are bound to feature in the selection discussions this week.

“There were two or three big 2nd XI performances putting pressure on first team places,” said Smith.


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