Friday, June 20, 2014
Sidmouth took a giant step towards winning the Francis Clark Devon League title when they put rivals Exmouth to the sword.
It was very much a case of into the unusual at Fortfield last Saturday as the game had an earlier than usual start with play underway at 11.30am - the idea being to get the eight players involved in the match who would do duty for Devon at Suffolk in the last eight of the Unicorns Cup – and, as it happened, the octet were on the road far earlier than anyone could have imagined!
Sidmouth skipper Will Murray won the toss and had no hesitation in venting Exmouth to bat first.
Ninety-nine minutes after Murray and his men began their stint with the ball they were trooping off for a mid-day drink with Exmouth bustled out for 62 in exactly 23 overs!
Exmouth would have considered the writing well and truly on the wall when they lost opener Sandy Allen – one of the eight set to travel to East Anglia – to the very first ball of the match. He was caught behind by Anthony Griffiths off the bowling of Josh Bess, one of four wickets to fall to the Devon skipper during his five overs that yielded just 18 runs. Scott Barlow was the other new ball bowler and he claimed a brace of wickets for 18 runs fro a full shift of ten overs. Daniel Babula picked up the other four wickets to fall with his figures being 4-21 in seven overs.
It took Sidmouth just 50 minutes to wrap up victory with the only blemish being the loss of Liam Lewis to the final ball of the second over for a rare failure with the bat this term. Josh Bess and Anthony Giriffiths both contributed knjocks of 29 runs.
The victory gives Sidmouth a 24-point lead at the top of the table with Plymouth sitting second.
What’s more the lead over reigning champions Exmouth is now a whopping 38 points and, although just seven of the 18 match days has now gone and there remains a lot of cricket to be played this term, it looks likely that Sidmouth are already in the driving seat with regard to the destination of this seasons top honour.
Tomorrow (Saturday) Murray and his men entertain a Heathcoat side who are struggling following promotion back to the top flight.
The Mid Devon side sit third bottom having won two and lost four of the six games they have completed this season to date.