Sandford v Belstone
Belstone collapse throws away great chance of win
Belstone plunged straight into Division One action in the North Devon League away at Sandford without any friendlies or warm-up matches and found themselves in a very strong position towards the end of the game, needing just 26 runs to win with six wickets left. Earlier they had bowled well to reduce Sandford to 94 for five and then 120 for seven with Dan Fogerty taking three for 40 from his eight overs. Neil Bettiss held the top of the innings together scoring 53 in an hour before he was fifth out to Arden Frew-Smith. Unfortunately the visitors could not push home their advantage as the Sandford lower order of Richard Foan (27), young 15 year old Adam Small (48 not out) and Liam Gardner (34) took the score on to a more respectable 205 for nine at the end of the 40 overs.
Belstone struggled to 29 for three after nine overs but then a partnership of 111 in 19 overs for the fourth wicket between Ryan Dennis (8 fours and 3 sixes in 98 minutes) and Phil Hatton (a more cautious 43 scored in 88 minutes) put them back in the hunt. After Dennis was caught on the boundary by Gardner off Pete Steer, Dan Fogerty joined Hatton to add another 40 runs to take Belstone to 180 for four. Sandford struck back as skipper Richard Drake was run out for a duck without facing a ball, precipitating a lower order collapse which saw Chris Simpson take the last three wickets in eight balls to give the home side an 11-run victory.