Friday, June 13, 2014
SIDMOUTH skipper Will Murray is playing down the significance of tomorrow’s top-of-the-table clash on the Fortfield with arch rivals Exmouth, writes Conrad Sutcliffe.
Defending champions Exmouth were top of the table prior to last Saturday, when they lost heavily to Exeter.
Sidmouth shot past Exomouth into top spot on the strength of an 80-run win at Plymouth, who were unbeaten before running into Murray’s men.
Victory hoisted Sidmouth 16 points clear of Exmouth at the top of the table – and a win this Saturday could double that advantage.
Murray said Sidmouth had three tough encounters with Exmouth last season and having lost two of them are by no means complacent.
“We beat Exmouth in the first game, but were beaten comprehensively second time and also in the Devon Cup final” said Murray.
“What we don’t want to do is get carried away at this early stage of the season.
“If Exmouth win they are right behind us or even back in front.
“We have to concentrate on winning a big game of cricket, not thinking about what may or may not happen.
“Exeter showed it can be done by putting Exmouth under pressure. We must try to do the same thing.”
Sidmouth had hoped to have fast bowler Adam Dibble available to play, but he is still struggling with a hamstring strain and Somerset won’t release him.
Matt Cooke will continue to deputise in what an unchanged team.
Saturday’s game starts as the earlier time of 11.30am to allow the Devon players in both teams extra time to get to Bury St Edmunds for Sunday’s Unicorns Cup game against Suffolk.
Sidmouth totalled 240 for nine at Plymouth with Will Sobczak top scoring on 60.
It wasn’t Sobczak who hurt Plymouth though, but Scott Barlow with a rapidfire 58 coming in at number eight.
Barlow’s 58 off 29 balls – which included six sixes and two fours – really got Sidmouth motoring. He signalled his intent by hitting the first ball from Sam Stein over the pavilion.
Sobczak finally went on 202 – caught at mid-on off Koopman – but Barlow carried on flogging the bowling until he was last man out in the penultimate over.
Plymouth reached 70 for two in 18 overs with James Toms and Koopman the men out.
The game got away from Plymouth in the time it took them to slip from 93 for four, when Ben Stein went, to 99 for six.
Murray (2-29) got Stein (45) and Dan Babula (2-36) followed up with Jake Luffman and Harry Stephenson in the space of six balls.
Steve Luffman hung around until Bess had him caught behind, then Hooper (24) and Rob Bennett (12) did what they could to salvage a batting bonus point at 150.
Lewis (2-4) broke the stand by bouncing out Hooper, who was caught behind as the last three wickets fell for just nine runs.