IN my last report I recorded that the Sandford Cricket Club had just gained 60 points from three wins from their three games three weeks ago.

The Firsts had beaten Exmouth, the Seconds had won their first B Division game against Barton, and due to the Thirds game being cancelled against Exmouth Thirds because Exmouth couldn’t raise a side, we were awarded the full 20 points.

The good news was that the following weekend the Club again gained three wins, but none of the wins achieved maximum points.

However, a total of 19 for the Firsts, 19 for the Seconds and 17 for the Thirds made it another very enjoyable weekend.

The Firsts travelled to Bradninch to play last year’s champions, on a pitch they traditionally never do too well on. However, this time they came home with the bacon.

Bradninch won the toss and decided to bat first.

Harrison Jones soon had them on the back foot getting Bradninch skipper Gary Chappell caught behind by Adam Small for six, and shortly afterwards dismissed Bradninch’s overseas Yuvraj Singh in similar fashion for five. This left the home team reeling at 22 for two.

However, a stand of 118 between opener Tim Piper (72) and Mitchell Pugh (90) turned the tide in Bradninch’s favour, or so it seemed.

Piper’s dismissal though, bowled by Sandford’s overseas Dikshu Negi caused a steady fall of wickets, and eventually Bradninch were restricted to 255 for eight in their 50 overs. Still a decent score, but not as bad as it could have been in mid-innings from a Sandford perspective.

Bowling wise Harrison Jones bowled tidily for his 2-26 (eight overs) and Matt Jeacock again showed great promise in his first season in Premier Division cricket, with another excellent return of 3-50 from his 10 overs.

In reply Sandford got off to a steady start with Dan Ward (22), Ryan Glass (29) and Adam Small (33) all getting it, but not being able to go further. However, at 122-3 Sandford appeared to be in control.

Thanks to Dikshu Negi (93) and one of the previous week’s heroes, Lawrence Walker (59no), they steadily wrestled the initiative away from the hosts in a stand of 121. Dikshu fell just short of his century, but victory was achieved at 258-4 in the 46th over, and 19 points in the bag. A great win to make it three wins on the bounce.

The Seconds were at home to Seaton, who before the game started were lying third in the league. Seaton won the toss and elected to bat first, and at 85 for no wicket it seemed a good choice.

However, gradually Sandford pulled themselves back into the game, and eventually restricted Seaton to 211-9 in their 45 overs.

Good bowling by 15 year-old James Theedom 2-38 (9), 14 year-old Ollie Knight 2-45 (8), Shaun Hawkins 2-26 (9) and skipper Chris Jelley 2-50 (9) kept the visitors in check, and in doing so gave the Sandford boys what appeared to be half a chance of a win.

However, the early Sandford order came and disappeared very quickly, and they found themselves 20-4 in next to no time.

Enter Shaun Hawkins (60) and James Theedom (52) which saw them piece together a solid stand of 107 before they were both out shortly after the drinks break. Again it appeared the initiative had been lost.

But then Archie Osborne (41no) and Tyler Morgan-Huggett batted excellently and patiently to guide their team to victory (212-6) in the 44th over, and a remarkable victory along with another 19 points was achieved.

A truly great result for the seconds with their aim to stay in the B Division this season following their promotion from C Division East last year.

The Thirds were just pleased to get out on the field of play following cancellation of their previous two fixtures due to the opposition not being able to put out sides.

Initially their start did not go well. Having been put in to bat against Axminster they quickly found themselves 5-2, but young 15 year-old Joe Hopkins (87no) and Jonno Hawley (114) to follow up his 90-odd in the one game they had played previously, pulled things around with a stand of 183. Their eventual score of 242-4 from their 40 overs was a good score for Axminster to chase down.

Despite losing an early wicket, Axminster opener Owen Enticott (66) and no. 3 bat Daniel Larcombe (96) kept the Sandford players concerned as they shared a stand of 156 before Enticott departed. Larcombe carried on but fell four short of his century, and with that his team’s chance of victory went with it, as they were restricted to 188-5 from their 40 overs.

For Sandford, only Colin Blick, with 2-36 (7) managed more than one wicket. However 17 points was a nice return, but more importantly, the game was actually played.

And so for the weekend before last. I’m pleased to say the good news continued, with yet another three wins, and only dropping two points in the process.

Coincidentally, all three teams were playing the bottom team in each of their respective divisions. The Firsts were home to North Devon, the Seconds at Ipplepen and the Thirds travelled to Culmstock to play their seconds.


Before the North Devon game got under way, players from both teams stood in silence for a minute as a tribute to former Sandford legend Don Glass, who had passed away at the age of 92 in the previous week.

Don was a regular supporter at the Club, as well as being one of the oldest surviving playing members.

Ironically, he had visited Creedy Park only two weeks before with his daughter Bridget and son-in-law Nigel Ashplant, to watch what was to prove to be his final game.

He will be sorely missed by everyone at the Club, and our condolences go to Don’s family - Andy, our new Club President, Bridget his daughter – former scorer and tea lady, Pete his youngest son and former player, and all his Grandchildren and Great Grandchildren including Grandson Ryan who is one of our current First team players, as well as all Don’s other relations.

In what proved to be a slightly reduced Premier Division game against North Devon, due to a drop of rain when the game should have started at 12.30pm, the game was reduced to 44 overs per side when play eventually got under way at 1.15pm.

North Devon won the toss and elected to bat. They made steady progress to 79 for two, before Sandford’s overseas start Dikshu Negi struck three times in one over to leave North Devon reeling at 81-5.

The score 81-5 was soon 105-7 before Jack Moore (72) batted well to push his side’s total up to 162 all out in the 41st over.

Dikshu finished with six for 24 from his nine overs ably supported by the impressive Matt Jeacock once again with 3-28 from eight.

In reply Sandford were soon rocked by the loss of both openers with 18 on the board, before Adam Small (23) and Dikshu started to pull things around.

Upon Small’s departure, Dikshu was joined by Lawrence Walker, and together they took the score to 162 before Lawrence holed out at deep square leg for 19, with only one run required for victory.

The winning run was achieved shortly afterwards in only the 25th over, with Dikshu unbeaten on 104 from only 75 balls, including 15 fours and four sixes, and in doing so, saw him complete an impressive all-round performance.

The 20 points gained saw Sandford move up to third in the table, behind leaders Cornwood and second placed Heathcoat, who Sandford still have both to play within the next three weeks. Cornwood at home on July 1 and Heathcoat away on June 24.

The Seconds were looking forward to their trip to Ipplepen, as Sandford had never played them before at any level.

Missing a few players due to unavailabilities to regular First and Second teamers, the boys travelled a little warily, especially as the Ipplepen skipper is former Devon all-rounder Neil Hancock, who the previous week had smacked 178 not out.

However, their concerns were somewhat unfounded, as luckily he was not playing.

Sandford batted first, having lost the toss, and steady progress was made by Jon James (36) and stand-in opened Pete Steer (23) before Steery departed with the score on 46.

After JJ fell on 89 the rest was quite processional with wickets falling regularly, and a steady 104 for three was soon 146 all out in the 39th over. Only Ciaran Gray (27) getting past 20. Again the game had been reduced to 40 overs due to rain delaying the start.

Ipplepen probably thought they were in with a shout of their first victory of the season. However, their world fell apart as Jake Griffiths, playing in the Seconds to get some match practice, took 2-16 in six overs, and Greg Lewis 4-31 in eight, backed up by Brizo Leach 2-29 (5.4), skittled the home side out for 97 in only 23.4 overs.

The 18 points achieved made it three straight wins on the bounce for the Seconds, and in doing so pushed them up to the heady heights of fourth in the league. An excellent effort.

The Thirds kept up their unbeaten record on their way to an easy victory at Culmstock. The main destroyer was Vice Captain Alex Stevens with 110, and together with 15 year-old Elliott Butterfield (53), they put on a rapid 100 run partnership in only 15 overs. With another 15 year-old Jack James cracking a quickfire 47 (he allegedly actually played a defensive shot, for which he was granted a round of applause from his teammates, together with much merriment), and veteran Jason Matten weighing in with 40 not out at the end, Sandford’s eventual total was 299 for seven from their 40 overs.

Culmstock struggled in reply, and folded to 94 all out in only 26.1 overs.

Emily Wilson playing only her second game for the Thirds, achieved a unique record by recording figures of 5-20 from 7.1 overs – the first female player to ever get a "five-for" for the Club in Devon League cricket. Well done Emily.

Two wickets each for Glyn Baker (2-19 off 8), and 2-9 off three from Jason Matten to devour the tail, saw victory achieved at a canter by 205 runs. This result maintains Sandford’s position at the top of H Division East.

By the time this report is read, the Firsts will have travelled to Plympton for another Premier Division game, with the Seconds at home to Chudleigh in the B Division, a game being sponsored by Sandford Football Club, and the Thirds playing a friendly against Plymstock thirds, as both teams would have been without a game due to the fact that they play in different H Divisions, and neither team had a game rostered. The firsts will also have played their T20 game against Exmouth on the Sunday.

This Friday night will see the official opening of our new second ground, with everyone welcome to attend. The bar will be open all evening and there will be a barbecue.

It will be a busy night as it is also Colts training night with the young All Stars (five-to-eight-year olds) in action between 5pm and 6pm, and the older 9-14 year-olds between 6.30pm and 8pm.

The opening will take place between 6pm and 6.30pm approximately.

This coming weekend will see the Firsts travel to Tiverton Heathcoat for a real top-of-the–table battle royale 12.30pm start, the Seconds home to Bideford (12.30pm start), and the Thirds away to Cullompton thirds (1pm start) (this is a change to what appears in the Club handbook, as this game has been swapped).

Remember also to make a note that this year’s Community League Finals Day at Creedy Park is on Sunday, July 2, starting at 11am. So lots of fun and frolics all day to keep you amused. The Final itself should be around 6pm.

Phil Matten