STOKE Gabriel rediscovered their winning touch when they defeated Ipplepen by four wickets in the B Division.

Jake Robinson, the Stoke captain, was looking for a bounce-back to compensate for the defeat by Barton last time out that cost his team the divisional leadership.

Despite a recent downturn in their own form – this was Ipplepen’s third defeat in a row – they are no mugs and Robinson said beating them was hard work.

“It was just a really gritty effort,” said Robinson. “There were quite a few points when the game could have got away from us, but everyone kept at it.”

Ipplepen had one of those days when several batters got in, then got out without putting a big score together.

Nathan Forde and Jono Colegate both made 23 for Pens, whose top score in an all-out total of 163 was Reuben Stanley’s 37.

Stoke’s seamers kept Pens’ batters quiet at the top of the order. Spinners Dan Bullock (3-27) and Kyle Lardner (2-23) dealt with what came later.

“I thought we bowled very well, but could have done with taking some catches though,” reflected Robinson.

Stoke’s reply looked a little wobbly at 58 for four after some harsh treatment from the Harvey brothers, Forde and George Tapley. Only Abhishek Anand (30) stuck around long.

The game was won and lost by Stoke batters Bullock (55) and Isaac Withington (25no), whose unbroken stand of 62 won it with more than seven overs to go.

Victory keeps Stoke in second place behind leaders Barton, who thrashed Budleigh by 148 runs.

Devon Cricket League B Division. Ipplepen versus Stoke  Gabriel. Stoke's all-rounder Mike Smith
Stoke's all-rounder Mike Smith (Steve Pope/MDA)

Elsewhere, Cornwood 2nd XI crushed South Devon by seven wickets in a C West encounter that was not as one-sided as it appears.

South Devon’s batting had a collective off day – Danny Duke (25) excepted – as they flopped to 88 all out in the 39th over.

Skipper Richard Beaumont (12) and 16 extras were the next-best totals in the scorebook.

South Devon were spun out by Jason Hall (4-18) and Jacob Caunter (3-8).

Losing three wickets getting from 42 to 43, and four in the 80s, summed up South Devon’s day.

Cornwood lost wickets at 43, 45 and finally 70 on the way to winning the game in the 18th over.

Matt Butterworth (42) was the last man out before Hall (10) and Josh Goodliffe (11) took Cornwood to victory.

Kalen Warne, South Devon’s 2nd XI captain, took two of the three wickets to fall.

Cornwood (106pts) stay third in the table behind frontrunners Paignton 2nd XI (128) and Ivybridge (127).

Robin Dart, the Cornwood skipper, said despite the scoreline, it was a win that had to be earned.

“It was a good contest as South Devon dug in and made it hard for us to take wickets,” said Dart.

Devon Cricket League B Division. Ipplepen versus Stoke  Gabriel. Stoke 'keeper  Abhishek Anand happy at the day's outcome
Stoke 'keeper Abhishek Anand happy at the day's outcome (Steve Pope/MDA)