BOVEY Tracey slipped within one more defeat of the Premier Division drop zone following a four-wicket defeat at home to Heathcoat.

Defeat leaves Bovey two places and 12 points ahead of Plymouth, the side currently occupying the second relegation place.

Bovey, who were 55 for six after a middle-order batting failure, recovered to make 140 all out in the 43rd over of a 50-over game.

When Heathcoat were 37 for three in reply it was wide open. But the middle order ground out the runs to wrap-up a win with 12 overs to spare, despite a scare or two along the way.

Victory keeps Heathcoat in third spot, but they have closed the gap in second-placed Sandford down to two points.

Bovey drop one place to seventh in the table of ten and are just 12 points clear of the second relegation place.

Leg-spinner Jack Menheneott (4-20) was the Heathcoat bowler who posed most of the problems for Bovey Tracey’s batters. He took out four of the top seven.

At 87 for seven with Will Christophers just out to Menheneott, Bovey’s Seb Ansley was joined in the middle by Toby Codd.

Ansley, caught in the country for 32 going after James Onley-Gregson, and Codd (16) put on 24 for the eighth wicket. Chris Bradley hung around to make 14 not out at the end.

Heathcoat lost Ed Butler, Simon Sobczak and Liam Kitch (25) by the time they reached 37. A stand of 54 between Jack Dart (20) and acting captain Liam Lewis (30) dispelled a few fears in the Heathcoat camp.

Losing Dart and Lewis on 91 and 93 respectively could have tilted the game Bovey’s way. It didn’t.

Jamie Drew batted through for 19 not and out and had Malcolm Cloete (11no) with him at the end.

Lewis Hammett, the Bovey captain, said the same problems that led to defeat at Sandford seven days earlier were apparent again.

‘We didn’t give ourselves enough of a chance by finishing 50-70 runs short when we batted,’ said Hammett.

‘We gave Heathcoat the chance to just block out our best bowlers and bat on to win the game.’