Bess half century and Barlow ‘fourfer’ see Sidmouth to Torquay triumph

Sidmouth II's at home to Cornwood II's. Ref shsp 28-17TI 6821. Picture: Terry Ife

Sidmouth II's at home to Cornwood II's. Ref shsp 28-17TI 6821. Picture: Terry Ife - Credit: Archant

Sidmouth were emphatic 99-run winners when they travelled to Torquay in match day 13 of the Tolchards Devon League season.

After being invited to bat first, Dec Lines and Josh Bess opened the innings and took the total to 45 when Lines fell for a 34-ball knock of 19 that included two fours and one six.

Luke Bess joined brother Josh and they were only together for a short time before Luke became the second wicket to fall, out for a single scoring shot of four to leave the total them 55-2. It was soon 73-3 with the loss of Zach Bess, caught for 10. Josh Bess and Liam Lewis then added 51 for the fourth wicket before the innings of Josh Bess was ended, but not before he had hit another half century, scoring 64, with five fours and three sixes from an 89-ball stay at the wicket. Lewis was the fifth man down, out for 27 and two further wickets were lost – Henry Gater (17) and Scott Barlow (9). However, Matt Cooke, batting in the number six berth, stuck around to see the total past 200 and he was unbeaten on 48 from just 62 deliveries hitting six fours and, with Cameron Evans-Grainger, the other not out bat with nine to his name, Sidmouth were able to close on 218-7 after their 50 overs.

Torquay’s reply was hit by a terrific opening over from Scott Barlow that saw him send back both the free-scoring South African opener and George Allen – both to the second ball they each faced, and the reply was 0-2! It was quickly 19-4 as Barlow bagged a third and opening partner Josh Bess held smart return catch off his own bowling.

When Torquay skipper Justin Yau was caught by Josh Bess off the bowling of Zach Bess for 24, his team’s response to the visiting score was in tatters at 35-5. It was apposition from which they would not recover and, with Charlie Miles picking up three wickets, Barlow bagging his fourth and Henry Gater also claiming a wicket, the Torquay reply was all over after just 41 overs for 119 leaving Sidmouth comfortable winners.

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The Barlow figures were the pick of the bunch with his return being 4-24 from a full 10 overs while the Charlie Miles return was an impressive 3-17 from ten overs, four of which were maidens.

There remain four matches in the league season and Sidmouth currently sit fourth. What is extraordinary this season though for the Fortfield men, is that, with four games to go, and 8-0 points to play for, they sit nearer the relegation places than top spot.

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Going into Saturday’s game at Exmouth sitting fourth, but that is just 29 points above Exeter who currently occupy the second relegation berth – and a whopping 60 shy of champions-in-waiting Bovey Tracey.

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