SANDFORD Cricket Club managed a clean sweep of victories last weekend with all three teams winning their respective matches. 

The First team travelled to Instow to play bottom of the table North Devon. Having won the toss the hosts decided to bat first, but were soon in trouble at 17 for three, with Sandford’s young opening bowler Matt Jeacock removing both openers. 

Two small recoveries to 55-4 and 112-5 saw the North Devon batters put up some resistance with Jack Moore 35 and James Tyson 44 leading the way. 

Upon their departures though, the lower order crumpled to an all out total of 146 from only 35 overs. 

For Sandford, Matt Jeacock, ended up with 2-42 from seven overs, Jamie Palmer, back in the team following an injury, 2-23 (8), Dikshu Negi 2-24 (9) and skipper Jackson Thompson 2-9 (1).

In Sandford’s reply opener, Dan Ward, was dropped in the first over of Sandford’s reply, and made North Devon pay for it. 

Despite losing his fellow opener Ciaran Gray for nine and no 3 Adam Small for 10, together with Dikshu Negi they pushed the score to 92 before Dikshu eventually fell for 28, including six fours. 

Dan followed at 106 for a valuable 43, four fours and two sixes. 

Lawrence Walker, fresh from his midweek half-century for Devon Lions against the Somerset Academy, steadied the ship, together with Somerset Academy player and local lad James Theedom. 

Together they added a further 22 before James departed for 13. 

Lawrence saw the game through, together with Ryan Glass 7no, with a patient 32 not out, including five fours.

Sandford reached their eventual target of 147 in the 33rd over for the loss of five wickets, to claim a five-wicket victory. 

The 19 points gained extended their lead at the top of the Premier Division to 24 points, with second placed Cornwood and third placed Bradninch both suffering surprising defeats. 

Sidmouth now move up to second having trounced Bovey Tracey, who now fall into the relegation zone.

The seconds needed to win at home to Ipplepen to give themselves any chance of avoiding relegation after one season in the B Division. 

A recent run of poor results saw Sandford propping up the rest, and in danger of losing touch with the rest of the league. 

A welcome 20 points, 83 runs win was just what the doctor ordered. 

Batting first, Sandford soon found themselves in trouble at 11 for two, but then a recovery between 15-year-old Joe Hopkins 27 (five fours) and the slightly older Shaun Hawkins 46 (seven fours), gave the Sandford boys a hint of recovery. A score of 90-3 soon became 106–6 and another defeat looked imminent. However, Archie Osborne and Pete Steer had other ideas, putting on an excellent 94 for the seventh wicket, before Archie was run out for a well made 37 (five fours) with the score on 200 and maximum batting points having been achieved.

Steery however, saw the innings through until the end, finishing on 68no (10 fours and one six), and guiding his team to 214 for seven from their 45 overs. 

Ipplepen got their reply off to a brisk start putting on 39 for the first wicket. However, after that there was a steady fall of wickets and the Sandford bowlers wrapped things up in the 38th over bowling their visitors out for only 131 to record an 83 run win.

Sandford spinners Tudor Morgan-Huggett 3-25 (nine overs) and Shaun Hawkins 3-12 from his miserly nine, did the bulk of the damage. 

Greg Lewis picked up the last two to finish with 2-45 from 6.4 overs, having taken a bit of stick early on from the Ipplepen openers. 

This enabled the Ford boys to complete the double over their visitors, who they had met for the first time this year, in any form of cricket.

Although this victory still leaves the lads needing a couple more wins to secure their B Division status for next season, at least this welcome win gives them some semblance of achieving the unlikely. 

They now sit next to bottom, but still 11 points from safety.

The Thirds continued on their merry way to taking the H Division East title. Having been unbeaten all season, Culmstock Seconds offered very little resistance, especially early on. 

Batting first they found runs difficult to come by and were restricted to 92 for seven in their 40 overs, with extras being their top scorer with 33 (25 wides). Veteran Danny Knight was unplayable and finished with three for 11 from his eight overs. 

In reply Sandford, who only had nine players, rattled along to victory in only the 16th over, with openers Alex Stevens 35no (seven fours), and Devon U18’s all star Ellie Bishop 52no from only 51 balls (nine fours) unbeaten, and so saw their side to a 10-wicket victory. 

With Devon Medics not playing, this leaves the Thirds 35 points clear with only two games to play (the Medics have three to play). Both teams will meet at Creedy Park in the last game of the season. 

This coming weekend, Saturday, August 19, sees the Firsts at home to Plympton with the Seconds travelling to Chudleigh, both 12.30pm starts. 

The Thirds don’t have a game as it’s their turn to have a free week due to having nine teams in their division.

Phil Matten