IPPLEPEN 2nd XI won by a three-figure margin for the third game in a row when they smashed lowly Barton by 101 runs.

Pens went into the game on the back of big wins over Abbotskerswell (199 runs) and Dartington & Totnes (161).

Their run of wins has taken Pens to joint third in the log jam at the top of the D West table, where just four points separate Plymstock, Plymouth Civil Service and Roborough, Babbacombe and Ipplepen.

Chris Needham – Mr Runs as far as Pens are concerned this season – top scored with 72 against his former club in his current side’s total of 279 for six.

Ross Kennard (54) pressed his case for a 1st XI recall and there were chip-ins from Jeff Heath (36), Noah Sutton (28) and Hugo Denman (22).

Denman and Needham put on 85 for the second wicket. Heath and Kennard added 66 for the fifth.

Barton’s reply got to 178 for five before they ran out of overs.

Skipper Chris Stubbs opened with a patient 42 off 96 balls and Sreejith Sankaranaryanan was next best on 37. Tom Porter was 24 not out in the final tally.

Kennard (2-50) was the sole Pens’ bowler with more than one wicket. Needham’s figures were an impressive one for 15 from nine overs.

Next up is a trip to the aforementioned PCSR, who are just two points ahead of Ipplepen in second place.

After that, Pen’s will clash with an Ivybridge side that just overcame a struggling Abbotskerswell, as they latter were skittled out for 118 and crashed to an eight-wicket defeat.

With just one win from 10 starts so far, Abbots are anchored to the foot of the table and are 16 points away from eighth-placed Dartington and Totnes.

Abbots were showing strain from the time they slipped to 14 for three. George Kershaw (25) made some headway and Gary Caunter (32) hunkered down for the rest of the innings. He was the last man out.

Chris Northmore (3-14) took wickets up front, Bishan Kuruppu (2-24) kept the heat on and Owen Howard (3-7) went through the stragglers.

Ivybridge got off to a 74-run start thanks to Alfie Lewis-Frost (24) and Ayash Upamal (45). Kershaw got both of them out.

Sam Kidd (22) and Sam Northmore (12) were the not-out batsmen who sealed the win.

Ivybridge’s next meeting is with Hatherleigh who are one place below them but a whopping 30 points behind them at the same time.

For Abbots, a trip to mid-table Kenn who still have an outside chance of throwing their hat into the promotion ring.