Barlow takes four in four as Sidmouth claim second straight Francis Clark top flight win
- Credit: Archant
Sidmouth powered to a second successive Francis Clark Premier League win with a 32-run Fortfield success over the side many think are the biggest rivals to another top flight title, Exmouth.
Sidmouth lost the toss and were put into bat on a pacey green wicket. Exmouths’ opening bowlers took full benefit of their early advantage with first Matt Cooke chopping on, Anthony Griffiths being bowled and Josh Bess schnicking off behind – leaving us sprawling at 16-3 (despite an enormous counter attacking six hit by Liam Lewis into the seafront car park). As the drama built the clouds blackened and a rain delay halted proceedings. An half an hour break kept the sides from sparring further. Upon resumption Liam Lewis and Luke Bess dug in to begin the re-constucting of a somewhat fragile foundation. The wicket was making the going tough with prodigious seam movement and steepling bounce both batsmen were never 100 per cent in on this type of surface. Disaster then struck as 52-3 became a perilous 71-7.
Scott ‘Deidre’ Barlow and Will Gater put on a sensible and assured partnership of 27 – not a great deal in terms of cricket partnerships but in these circumstances a massive step forward. With every run came a little more belief that a defendable total was being created. Gater was dismissed by a good catch on 15 taking the score to 98-8. This brought skipper Will Murray to the crease to join Barlow and the pair began to edge the side toward s a target they could bowl at. Barlow was very aggressively measured and scored with a controlled flurry of shots all around the ground, including a six into the pavilion. The score board was finally growing at a decent pace as the score cruised the the 120’s, 130’s and into the 140’s. With eight overs remaining – five of which a powerplay – the skipper momentarily lost concentration and was trapped leg before. Last man Miles Dalton was dismissed the next ball also leg beore leaving Barlow unbeaten on 43 and the total 148.
Black clouds hovered above Fortfield during the intreval and the drama continued after the resumption !
Exmouth opener Seb Benton was caught smartly by Josh Bess at slip off Scott Barlows’ second ball. Josh Bess was running in hard from the Belmont End and both Exmouth batsmen were treating the conditions with understandable respect. The next few overs were a collection of punches and counter punches, the batsmen playing and missing, yet hitting a few boundaries and even a dropped catch kept the game on a knife edge – who was going to strike next?
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At the beginning of the sixth Exmouth were 20-1 and ominously placed – by the end of the over they were 20-5 and in disarray !
In a quite unprecedented, and highly skilful set of four deliveries Scott Barlow blew away David Lye, bowled between bat and pad, Richard Baggs coaxed into an away swinging delivery which he nicked behind, Lawrence Greenway played around the next delivery and was leg before and finally Trevor Anning was brilliantly yorked !
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Barlow, having taking the first five Exmouth wickets had ripped out the heart of their batting.
Exmouth opener Sandy Allen was joined by Gary Chappell and the the pair began to play their side back into the contest.
However, skipper Murray introuduced himself to the attack and saw the end of both, Allen caught at slip and Chappell trapped leg before.
He then had George Greenway caught at short cover, even eight down Exmouth carried on fighting and it took the hosts deep into the 37 over to finally take the last wicket to begin the celberations. Josh Bess and Adam Dibble grabbing the last two scalps one a piece.