Coin fall so crucial as Sidmouth’s title hopes fade
THE fall of a coin has almost certainly destined Sidmouth to be among the also-rans in the Francis Clark Devon Cricket League Premier Division, writes John Goodwin.
Faced with a rain curtailed 35-over game at Heathcoat, it was imperative Will Murray won the toss to give his side a chance of maximising points by chasing whatever total the Tiverton side set.
It was doubtful whether there would be sufficient time to bowl out a side batting second, although Sidmouth did take nine wickets, using an extra over that they donated by not using up their full allocation when compiling 152.
North Devon’s maximum points haul from the match against Paignton puts Sidmouth 35 points behind. Wins for Bovey Tracey and Exmouth saw them push the Fort Field side down to fourth.
Starting at 2.45pm, Sidmouth knew they had to push on and openers Anthony Griffiths and Josh Bess put 46 on in eight overs until they were parted, the former caught for 24.
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Bess followed next over for 21 and when Ben Gledhill fell for a single the need for runs was replaced by the requirement for some consolidation.
Neil Hancock, with 25, and Zach Bess, with 19, provided this and 22 from Saj Patidar’s 22 helped the cause.
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The tail included some accomplished batsmen, but only Jamie Wardrop with 10 not out prevented the visitors from posting a highly vulnerable target.
With the home openers making 59 in 17 overs, 152 started to look insufficient, but a brace of wickets for Hancock and one for Murray as the score reached 60 gave Sidmouth a foothold.
A run out made it 75-4 but as the score passed 100 without further alarm Heathcoat were back in the game.
Four overs from Miles Dalton, in which he took 5-17, changed all that. His first over was something of a curate’s egg - he conceded a couple of singles, bowled a dot ball, had Sam Smith caught by Josh Bess and then was deposited for a four and a six by Tom Frankpitt.
His next over saw Jack Menheneott stumped, James Williams bowled and a four struck.
That left Heathcoat needing 34 in five overs for victory, but with only three wickets left.
Consecutive maidens from Dalton and Hancock put a Tiverton win beyond the bounds of probability, but two wickets in the last over, including Frankpitt for 29, gave Sidmouth one ball to take the 10th. Dalton delivered a wide but his final legitimate delivery was safely negotiated.
Plympton, struggling to remain their premier division status, face Sidmouth tomorrow at the Fort Field.