Stags of South Molton report another excellent number entry again this week albeit slightly back on the last few weeks.

Trade was better than expected as all buyers were keen to secure lambs and the Qurbani lambs were surprisingly wanted again, having been told the previous week we would be too late in the week.

Trade, if anything, got slightly dearer as the sale progressed with buyers definitely receiving orders throughout the sale.

Overall we were slightly dearer than last week with the SQQ even with the lesser quality of lambs on offer, proving that the festival lambs were very much wanted again.

All well bred lambs 42-47kgs sold well with not many heavy lambs on offer this week which were slightly easier in trade.

As mentioned before there were again a number of lighter, leaner lambs forward with a good number of grazing buyers looking for such lambs.

Best pens today at 225ppk to 43.9kg Charollais and Texel crosses from Messrs J & H Searle of Ash Mill with 224ppk to 43.6kg Texel crosses from Mr R Frankpitt of Chevithorne.

223ppk three times; the first to 41.7kg shapely Charollais crosses from Mr RP Williams of Winsford; the second to 42.3kg Dorset crosses from Messrs MJ & DM Lake of South Molton and the third to 42kg Charollais crosses from Messrs GF & PJ Warne of Umberleigh.

222ppk twice; the first to 45.1kg Texel crosses from Mr ME Snell & Son of Knowstone with the second to 43.1kg Suffolk crosses from Mr B Elston of Rose Ash.

221ppk three times; the first to 42.3kg Charollais crosses from Mr RD Middleton & Son of Riddlecombe; the second to 44kg Charollais crosses from Mrs FE Tucker of Twitchen and the third to 46.1kg Charollais crosses again from Mr RP Williams.

A double at 220ppk; the first to 45kg Texel crosses from Messrs Grayer & Murray of Chulmleigh and the second to 44.6kg Texel crosses from Mrs P North of Umberleigh.

219ppk four times; the first to 44kg Charollais crosses from Mr AD Bulled & Sons of Filleigh; the second to 43.9kg Suffolk crosses from Messrs PJ & BJ Millman of Chulmleigh; the third to 43.4kg Texel crosses again from Messrs Lake and the fourth to 43kg Texel crosses from Messrs CJ & SJ Dart of Bishops Nympton.

Top of the day at £107 to 58kg Charollais crosses from Mrs PA Stentiford of Whiddon with £105 three times; the first and second pens to 50kg Charollais crosses from Messrs DJ & RA Woollacott of Yarnscombe and the third to 52kg Charollais crosses from Messrs RJ & MS Radford of Mariansleigh.

£103.80 to 47.6kg Texel crosses from Mr ME Snell & Son of Knowstone with £103 twice; the first to 48.4kg Charollais crosses from Mr JWJ Milton of West Anstey and the second to 54kg Suffolk crosses from Mr M Bray of Knowstone.

£102 to 46.1kg Charollais crosses from Mr RP Williams of Winsford with £101.80 to 50.2kg Suffolk crosses from Messrs AD & SM Bray of Knowstone.

£101.20 to 48.3kg Charollais crosses from Mr AA Milton of Chapelton with £101 three times; the first to 51kg Suffolk crosses from Mr A Richards of Kentisbury and the second and third pens to 46-47kg Texel crosses from Messrs FG & FM Saunders of Templeton.

£100.80 twice; the first to 47.8kg Charollais crosses from Messrs RD, EN & RC Skinner of Eggesford and the second to 49.1kg Texel crosses from Mr G Dart & Sons of Molland.

A similar number of cull sheep to last week and definitely a dearer trade.

Buyers very keen to secure ewes prior to the festival especially the bigger, stronger ewes.

The strong but leaner ewes still look the dearest sold and the grazing ewes also were in keen demand with those eager grazing men looking to fill up.

Best Suffolk Mules all £92-£97 and best Mules £75 plus.

Topping the ewes at £96.50 for a super pen of Texel crosses from Mr FR Chave & Son of Cruwys Morchard closely followed at £96 three times for Suffolk Mules from Messrs RJ & AR Snell of Burrington, Mr FC Reed of North Molton and Mr SG Lethbridge of Eastleigh.

£95.50 to Texel crosses from Messrs D & G Phillips & Partners of Chulmleigh with £94 to similar ewes again from Messrs Snell.

£93.500 to further Suffolk Mules from Mr Lethbridge again with another two pens of blackfaces from Mr G Mills & Partners Ltd of Witheridge and Messrs A & S Hoskin of Bishops Nympton at £93.

£92.50 to Suffolk crosses from Messrs DJ & RA Woollacott of Yarnscombe with similar sorts from Messrs JC & ME Barnes & Son of North Buckland.

£90 twice; the first to Texel crosses from Messrs MR & LJ Govier of Thelbridge and the second to Suffolk Mules from Messrs HJ & RH Mildon of Brayford.

£89.50 twice; both again to Suffolk Mules from Messrs Temuka Ltd of Meshaw and Mr JE Cole of Bridgereeve.

Two further pens of Suffolks from Mr AW Fisher & Son of Oakford and Messrs Snell again at £89.

Best rams to £90.50 for a Dorset from Mr JR Wescott & Son of Willand with a young Exmoor Horn from Master G Snell of Knowstone at £77.50.