CORNWOOD’S 138-run defeat at Exmouth dealt a severe blow to their chances of winning the Tolchards DCL Premier Division title this season.

Exmouth racked up 307 for eight in 50 overs – opener James Horler top scoring on 86 – then bowled out Cornwood for 169.

Although Cornwood stay third in the table, the top two, Sandford and Bradninch & Kentisbeare, did both won and so extend the gap. The Wood trail the leaders by 32 points, which skipper Elliott Staddon fears could be too many to make up.

“It looks like the top two may battle it out together as we are a fair distance behind,” said Staddon.

“However, now we are at the halfway point of the season it’s the chance to start again and aim to play our best cricket in the right manner, making sure we enjoy it.”

Horler opened up for Exmouth and by the time Jack Ormsby (2-52) dismissed him he had been involved in stands that put on 252. Only one of them was worth more than 50.

Support came from Louis Morison (37), Brendon Streather (20) and Billy Reed (46). Fifty-nine extras helped.

Ormsby was the only Cornwood bowler to take more than one wicket. Staddon and James Richardson were the only ones to operate below four an over.

Cornwood were out of contention on the chase after slumping to 54 for five in reply. Ollie Dawe (2-16) and Lawrence Greenway (2-27) posed most of the questions.

Staddon initiated a fightback of sorts with 75 off 72 balls – 13 fours – to take Cornwood into bonus-point territory. He was the ninth man out having had backing from George Thompson and Chris Parker earning two batting points.

Cornwood CC stock
Cornwood CC stock (Club website)

Five Exmouth bowlers took two wickets each. Cam Kidd and George Greenway chipped away at the lower order. Jason Niemand took two in two at the end to close out the game.

Staddon had no complaints about losing to a better side, although there were things the Wood could have done to mitigate the damage.

“The amount of extras and mistakes cost us in our first innings,” said Staddon.

“James Horler allowed others to bat around him and 300-plus was always going to be a tough chase.

“It did not feel the game was completely gone at halfway if we could get a good start.

“When wickets fell early into the second innings, the chase was never really on.”

An upcoming clash with a struggling Bovey Tracey side offers Cornwood the chance to put some points on the board and then the week after, they will go toe-to-toe with second-place Bradninch, meaning all is still to play for.