SANDFORD Cricket Club’s First Eleven continued their good start to the 2024 season with another excellent excellent win last Saturday at Tiverton Heathcoat by 59 runs.

A steady start of 40 for the first wicket got the Sandford boys heading towards an all out total of 201 in 46.5 overs, which was somewhat disappointing as they had been 200 for seven.

Aryan Lakra with 22, Lawrence Walker with another excellent 67 (nine fours and a six), a brisk 24 from skipper Jackson Thompson, and a steady 32 from Ryan Glass (four fours and a six) guided the visitors to their eventual score of 201 all out.

Jamie Drew with 4-50 and Jesse-James Albanie 3-25 did the damage for the home team.

However, Heathcoat appeared to be well set to reach their target when they were well placed at 128 for three.

Enter the skipper and Byron Knowles who demolished the middle and lower order as the home team crumbled to 142 all out in only 30.2 overs. 

JT was the main instigator of the downfall with 5-38 (9.2 overs), well supported by Knowlesy with 4-24 (5).

The 19 points gained kept Sandford at the top of the Premier Division and slightly extended their lead as Bradninch only achieved 18 points in their win at Exeter.

The Seconds were involved in an excellent game at Creedy Park v Yelverton Bohemians.

They, unfortunately eventually lost off the last ball of the match.

Sandford batted first and scored what appeared to be an excellent 250 for seven, led by veteran opener Jon James with a superb chanceless 107 (14 fours).

He shared a Third wicket partnership of 109 with skipper for the day, Pete Steer (45 - six fours) and a fourth wicket partnership of 73 with Tom Williams 31 (four fours). So at 208 for three the home team would have been hoping for an even bigger eventual total, but in the end had to settle for 250 with a return to form of 20 not out by Brian Leach.

Part of the problem for the Seconds this season has been their lack of control when bowling, together with dropped catches, and last Saturday was a classic example of how things can go horribly wrong when defending a good total.

Yelverton’s opening bat M Lemmings was dropped in the first over their innings, and subsequently went onto smash a quickfire 49 in only 38 balls (nine fours).

Together with his skipper Dave Ackford they plundered 103 for the first wicket in only nine overs, including a generous supply of wides and other extras.

Ellie Bishop’s introduction saw Lemmings depart, and together with skipper Steer, they put the brakes on the scoring rate.

Ellie bowled her nine overs for a good two for 43. However, the wicket they needed was the Yelverton skipper.

He remained undefeated and eventually guided his team to victory with nine runs needed off the last over.

In the process he brought up his own excellent century (104 not out), hitting the last ball of the day for four to guide his team home at 254 for seven.

A total of 42 extras, including 29 wides, didn’t help Sandford’s cause and something they must put right sooner rather than later.

It’s cost them many of the defeats they have suffered this year. Young Ollie Knight bowled a superb second spell to finish with 2-56 (9).

The Thirds must have been hopeful of a win after batting first. They notched up 195 for eight in their 40 overs against Woodbury and Newton St Cyres Seconds with the innings built around an opening partnership of 81 between skipper Alex Stevens (35) and 14 year-old Johnny Handley (44).

A further 20 from Steve Lyon and 34 from Jemima Vereker saw the home side reach 195.

Again extras became an issue, as the Sandford bowlers managed to bowl 23 wides and 41 extras in total.

The visitors gradually eked their way to a win with B Baskaran (41), P Dale (27) and S McDonald (22) guiding their team to 199 for seven in 37.3 overs.

Jemima Vereker 2-26 (5.3) and Liam Gardner 2-36 (7) did their best to arrest the position for Sandford, but in the end the number of extras killed them off. 

This Saturday the Firsts are home to Exmouth with a 12.30pm start with the Seconds and Thirds at Ashburton and Shobrooke Park Seconds respectively – 1pm starts.

The Seconds also played a game on Wednesday, June 26, when they entertained Ottery St Mary in their second round of the Ivor Dewdney Corinthian Cup T20 competition unfortunately losing by 14 runs.

Phil Matten