Bubbling with confidence

BUBBLING after their convincing start to the Francis Clark Devon League Premier Division campaign, Sidmouth tomorrow travel to Plymouth, the side promoted with them from the A Division.

BUBBLING after their convincing start to the Francis Clark Devon League Premier Division campaign, Sidmouth tomorrow travel to Plymouth, the side promoted with them from the A Division.While Sidmouth were making short work of passing an Exmouth total of 133 on Saturday, Plymouth failed to make 87 required for victory at Budleigh Salterton, mustering just 58.So, while Sidmouth must be confident of returning along the A38 with a good points haul, they need to guard against a Plymouth attack that patently can cause problems.Exmouth found Sidmouth's attack more than a handful after being asked to bat first at the Fort Field.They crawled along and, although at 40 overs only two wickets were down, just 90 runs were on the board. Five of Scott Barlow's first six overs were maidens and he finished with 4-37 off 15 overs. Next day he was equally effective in his first competitive match for Devon, taking 3-22 in the victory over Wiltshire at Exmouth.When Exmouth realised they needed to push on, wickets fell and they finished on 133-8 off their 50 overs, Will Murray taking 3-31.The reply was dominated by Neil Hancock, who made 101 of the 134 runs required, with 105 coming in a first wicket partnership with Anthony Griffiths who was content to play second fiddle.Sidmouth approached victory in the 35th over with the score on 127 and Hancock requiring 11 for his century. He sent the fourth ball of Somerset player Arul Suppiah's ninth over soaring past the boundary to take his score to 95 and tie the totals. The fifth ball similarly disappeared for the double satisfaction of a Sidmouth victory and a centurion.l Sidmouth 2nd XI made it a double over their coastal neighbours, scoring 222-6 after being asked to bat first at The Maer.For the second week in succession James Macey was out on 95. He produced some splendid strokes against the seamers and fully deserved a century.During his stay at the wicket he enjoyed substantial stands with Saj Patidar, Miles Dalton and Graham Munday. His dismissal brought Sean Priestley to the crease and his unbeaten 19 featured a six hit to the longest part of the ground.From back pageBack on the field after tea, Priestley was soon in the action to give his side an important breakthrough with the wicket of home skipper Stuart Rintoul.Rintoul was tucking into the juicy fare offered by Nick Gomersall and put his full weight behind a back foot drive that threatened Priestley's life until he caught the ball.Gomersall's new ball partner, Mark Jasper, also struggled with his line until he induced an edge, smartly held by Patidar at slip to put Exmouth at 20-2.From here the innings subsided as the two seamers adjusted their radar and picked off wickets. The introduction of Charlie Dibble's spin hastened the end with Exmouth all out for 84 in 29 overs. Jasper finished with 4-32, Gomersall 3-40 and Dibble 2-9. Sunday's match against Mortimer looked destined to be a fiasco with Sidmouth mustering only seven players, but the visitors provided reinforcements and an exciting finish ensued with Sidmouth winning by six runs in a high-scoring 35-over game.John Goodwin, with 78, and Louis Talay, with 68, top scored in a home total of 225 which looked vulnerable as the visitors' Richard Wright passed a century. He benefited from being dropped twice in three balls by Goodwin and Murray.That pair had the last laugh, however, when Wright hit Murray to point where a diving Goodwin held on to the catch. That was 219-6 and the remaining three wickets fell without the score being added to. Murray finished with 4-28.

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