Beaford v Belstone

BELSTONE'S latest North Devon league fixture saw them visiting Beaford for the first time.

Put in to bat by skipper Richard Drake the home side reached 29 before Ali McMillan (16) drove to cover fielder Phil Woods off the bowling of Ryan Dennis.

Beaford skipper Peter McMillan had only made a single at that stage but then opened up to hit seven consecutive boundaries as Harry Bushin conceded 17 runs off his first over.

McMillan reached his fifty in 73 minutes before edging Bushin to first slip where Drake hung on to a crucial low catch at the second attempt to make the score 108-4 after 20 overs.

From then on Belstone gained the upper hand as the next six wickets fell for the addition of only 41 runs with Callum Mallett (9-1-28-3) causing problems with his well-flighted off-breaks and Dan Fogerty (8.5-0-38-3) polishing off the tail with good length deliveries on or just outside the off-stump.

Apart from the openers, only Nigel Lake (17) and Andrew James (10 not out) reached double figures as Beaford finished on 149 all out with 11 overs left unused.

Bowlers on both sides had trouble adjusting to the slope of the pitch – 57 wides were bowled in a match that generated 303 runs – so Belstone's reply was soon accumulating wides as George Whitmarsh (16) and Woods (39) put on 55 for the first wicket.

Drake then hit 26 in a quarter of an hour's mayhem, followed by a useful 18 from Matt Dennis. Andrew James (6-1-26-3) almost brought Beaford back into the match but they were left to rue all those unused overs as Belstone ran out victors by four wickets to consolidate their third place in the division.