Barrow ton and Hancock ‘sixfer’ see Sidmouth to emphatic home success

North Devon wicket keeper Richard Screech with Alex Barrow the Sidmouth batsman. Picture GERRY HUNT

North Devon wicket keeper Richard Screech with Alex Barrow the Sidmouth batsman. Picture GERRY HUNT - Credit: Archant

Ahead of his sides game at home to Bovey Tracey, Sidmouth club captain Nick Gingell had said, when interviewed by Conrad Sutcliffe of the Devon cricket website: “the league is probably out of reach’.

However, a matchday 10, 151-run victory together with a surprise defeat for table-topping Heathcoat at bottom four side Torquay may just have changed his thinking!

It was another imperious innings from opener Alex Barrow that provided the foundation for this latest Fortfield success. Barrow hit 143 from just 153 deliveries hitting 13 fours and two sixes as Sidmouth, who won the toss and opted to bat first, closed on an imposing 314-6.

Josh Bess, with a 76-ball, 10 boundary 70 - helped Barrow put on 168 for the second wicket following the fall of opener Matt Cooke (24). Others to bat - and be out - were skipper Zach Bess (11), Rory Thomas (0) and Will Murray (4) with Elliott Rice (16) and Cameron Evans-Grainger (13) the not out batsmen at the end of the Sidmouth innings.

The Bovey Tracey reply was hit by the fall of their first wicket with the run chase on 37 and a second fell with the score on 66. A third was lost with 92 and, with the Fortfield score board showing 103 runs, wickets four and five were claimed to effectively end the match as a contest. It was teenage spinner Max Hancock, introduced as fourth change, who took the bowling honours as he span his way to figures of 6-29. Three other bowlers; Josh Bess, Tom Simmons and Zach Bess, each claimed one wicket.

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This Saturday (July 13) sees Sidmouth make the short trip across to Exmouth. They head for the Maer ground sitting third in the table, 20 points behind leaders Heathcoat and 15 behind second placed Paignton and, with first meeting second next, the table at stumps on matchday 11 may well show the Fortfield men as 'very much part of the title race'!

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