Sidmouth 2nds closing in on yet another league title

PUBLISHED: 11:17 11 August 2017 | UPDATED: 11:17 11 August 2017

Josh Bess batting for Sidmouth at home to Torquay. Ref shsp 23-17TI 3903. Picture: Terry Ife

Josh Bess batting for Sidmouth at home to Torquay. Ref shsp 23-17TI 3903. Picture: Terry Ife

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Clubs across the Tolchards Devon Cricket League are faced with a real headache over selection on matchday 15 of the 18-game league campaign.

As well as the second Saturday in August being the start of the local football season – Sidmouth Town, Exmouth Town and Budleigh Salterton all begin South West Peninsula League terms – it is also the Boardmasters Festival in Cornwall that seems to have drawn plenty of young cricketers!

Sidmouth have 1st and 2nd XI fixtures against neighbours Exmouth (the Maer men have a dozen players out - see www.exmouthjournal.co.uk), while champions-in-waiting Boveuy Tracey have some 20 players unavailable!).

Sidmouth 1sts are at the Maer ground while the 2nd XIs go head-to-head at the Fortfield.

Sidmouth go into the game with a 35 point lead at the top of the 2nd XI premier Division table. This is the final year of the 1st and 2nd XI split league – a new all-through league begins next season – and so Sidmouth are homing in on a 10th title in 13 years.

Since 2004, the only teams to win the 2nd XI top flight title have been Plympton II (2007), Plymouth II (2011), Bovey Tracey II (2012) and Exeter II (2015).

It has been a remarkable period of dominance and perhaps explains why Sidmouth are one of the clubs sop looking forward to an all-through league with their 2nd XI going head-to-head next year with 1st XI teams.

Tomorrow, the Sidmouth III XI are in B Division East (2nd XI) action when they entertain Alphington II.

There’s also league cricket for Ottery St Mary with the 1st XI – who had their relegation confirmed last week – entertaining Thorverton.

Ottery 2nd XI head for Sandford 2nds looking to make up the 25 points that stand between them and fourth bottom Abbotskerswell 2nds. The two teams meet next Saturday (August 19) so an Otters win at Sandford and defeat for the Abbots in their game at home to promotion Bideford Littleham and Westward Ho, would make that game at Abbotskerswell next week very interesting!

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