The final Saturday of August saw matchday 18 bring the curtain down on the 2021 Tolchards Devon Cricket League and there were very mixed emotions for clubs across East Devon.
Exmouth travelled to Hatherleigh knowing only a win would see them retain their Premier status, writes East Devon Sport editor Stephen Birley.
The home side won the toss, batted first, and closed on 260-6 after 50 overs.
Second change George Greenway was the most successful of the Exmouth bowlers with his return being 2-51.
The Maer men were given a century start thanks to James Horler (48) and Andrew Buzza (53), but then number three bat Dan Pyle saw wickets fall at the other end of the track.
The run chase arrived at the start of the 48th over with 18 balls to be bowled and Exmouth needed 11 runs with last man Ryan Schaufler at the non striking end.
No runs were scored off the first ball and Pyle was caught off the second to leave the Maer men all out for 250 and so beaten by 10 runs.
Pyle was out for 60, scored off 67 balls during which time he hit three fours and four sixes.
Seaton hosted Budleigh Salterton knowing that they simply had to match the result Tavistock achieved in their home meeting with champions Bradninch and, if they did that, they’d retain their A Division status.
After losing the toss and being put in, Seaton were bowled out for just 126 in 43.4 overs.
That score would have been far less had it not been a remarkable knock of 30 from last man Joe Berry who had come to the wicket with the home side a troubled 83-9!
Berry joined Stephen Pritchard and the tail end charlies added 43 before Pritchard became the 10th and final wicket, in his case for a 49-ball 11 while Berry was unbeaten on 30, scored off 36 balls, with four fours and one six.
Jack England (4-21) and Ed Doble (3-12) were the pick of the Budleigh bowlers.
In the reply, Budleigh lost seven wickets, but got over the line thanks to number four bar Henry Collison who top scored with a 24-ball, five boundary 34 and there were supporting knocks of 24 from Max Mejzner, 23 from skipper Lloyd Murrin and 24 from opener Harry Parkin.
Mali Marshall, Robbie Prior and Joe Berry each claimed a brace of wickets.
However, at stumps, news filtered through of a defeat at Tavistock that meant Seaton would stay up and start next season in the A Division again.
For Kilmington, at the start of the day their mission was clear, defeat Heathcoat II and they’d join Seaton, Exmouth and Budleigh Salterton in the A Division in 2022.
Heathcoat II had first go with the bat and they closed on 232-8 with Ollie Reed (4-29) and skipper Brett Garner (3-37) claiming the bulk of the wickets.
Matt Rockett then hit a century and Tom Gooding chipped in with 68, to see Kilmington to a comfortable five wicket win.
The Clyst St George promotion came about because of four wicket win for Ottery St Mary that not only scuppered the Sidmouth II bid for the one promotion spot but also saved the Otters from dropping down a division and they and Sidmouth II will meet again in the C Division East next season.
After winning the toss an opting to bat, Sidmouth II were bundled out for just 167 in 42-4 overs.
Number six bat Jash Patidar top scored for Sidmouth with a 35-ball 40 and the best of the rest was a 35-ball 33 from the bat of opener Dan Powell.
Jody Clements (3-22) and Will Harrison (3-33), did the bulk of the damage with the ball and then Alex Clements carried his bat from the opening berth to stumps, ending the contest unbeaten on 72, scored off 126 deliveries, hitting 110 fours as Ottery crossed the winning line on 168-4, four balls into the 43rd over.
The Ottery ‘final day survival effort’ sends Shobrooke Park down with Whimple, who had their final match of the season at Upottery, cancelled owing to covid issues – and so Whimple and Shobrooke Park will play in the D Division East next season while Upottery will once again be in C Division East.