Champions Sidmouth suffer second successive home defeat

Sidmouth at home to Paington. Ref shsp 19 17TI 2354. Picture: Terry Ife

Sidmouth at home to Paington. Ref shsp 19 17TI 2354. Picture: Terry Ife - Credit: Archant

Tolchards Devon League champions Sidmouth suffered a second defeat in three outings in this season’s campaign when beaten by fledgling table-toppers Bovey Tracey.

On a day when the weather was always going to play a part in proceeding, Sidmouth skipper Luke Bess lost the toss and his opposite number needed no time to invite the hosts to bat first.

Opening pair Matt Cooke and Josh Bess were soon back in the Fortfield pavilion with just 22 runs on the board.

This bought brothers Luke and Zak Bess together and they began to rebuild the innings. Zak got away to a fast start scoring in a flurry of boundaries, which is often the way with the left handers new batting style.

At drinks, Sidmouth had moved to 102-2 with Zak having just powered a delivery from off-spinner Toby Codd into the croquet lawns.


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At this stage, with 30 overs and eight wickets I hand, a five-runs-per-over run rate suggested a healthy total would be posted for the home faithful to enjoy.

However, when a full toss was sent down by Codd, Zak Bess, needing one run to reach his half century, was unable to send the ball out of the, instead he chipped it back to the bowler who pouched the catch!

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The loss of Bess led to a flurry of wickets – something that has blighted the 1st XI before this early season – and, before they knew it, eight wicket s were down with the Fortfield score board showing just 140 runs.

Will Murray, batting at number nine, stopped the rot with a n un beaten 21 and Nick Mansfield displayed true grit as he resisted for 40 balls, but once he departed the end came quickly with Sidmouth 167 all out. That all meant the final eight wickets had fallen for the addition of just 65 runs.

Although the batting had not gone as hoped, at the halfway stage there was still plenty of confidence in the Sidmouth dressing room.

Josh Bess opened the bowling, but four balls into the innings, the weather closed in and, on resumption, a new target of 157 runs was set for the visitors.

Josh Bess, sending down a hostile spell, bagged the wicket of Andy Fairbairn and Scott Barlow picked up a couple of wickets, including that of Bovey captain Pete Bradley and the other via a smart stumping from Dan Powell and suddenly Bovey were 16-3.

A crucial moment came soon after when Nick Mansfield was introduced to the attack and, in his second over, he found the edge of Matt Golding’s bat. However, the ‘catch’ was spilled and Devon player Golding went on to top score with 55. Supported well by Bovey’s overseas player, the pair went took their side close to victory.

Sidmouth’s bowlers did strike back and managed to claim seven wickets in total, but Bovey were always ahead of the run rate and got home with eight balls to spare.

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