Sidmouth all but there!

PUBLISHED: 16:07 29 August 2008 | UPDATED: 11:03 17 June 2010

MANY cheers erupted at the Fort Field on Saturday as Sidmouth beat Exeter, but probably none as loud as that to greet the news that Budleigh Salterton had lost by a narrow margin to Plympton.

MANY cheers erupted at the Fort Field on Saturday as Sidmouth beat Exeter, but probably none as loud as that to greet the news that Budleigh Salterton had lost by a narrow margin to Plympton.

That meant that, barring complete annihilation in tomorrow's game, Sidmouth will be crowned Francis Clark Devon League champions.

For Budleigh to claw back lost ground, Sidmouth will have to take fewer than three points from the final game of the season at Plympton.

The cheers, however, dried up on Sunday when Sidmouth's quest for an unprecedented quadruple of league, 2nd XI league, cup and Twenty20 titles was derailed by Sandford.

This Sunday at Torquay the senior squad bid to land the Devon Twenty20 championship, meeting Plympton for the second time in two days in the first semi final at 1pm.

The victors at Torquay advance on to regional rounds which culminate in a national final at Cardiff on September 28 to be televised by Sky Sports.

Just before the rains came on Saturday, Sidmouth disposed of Exeter by 161 runs and, with that result in the bag, learned that nearest rivals Budleigh Salterton had lost by six runs to Plympton.

Now they have the comfort of knowing that if rain causes their match to be abandoned while other games are played, six points awarded for no result is more than enough to pop the champagne corks.

Maximum points were gained against Exeter who won the toss and inserted their hosts.

They had early joy when Josh Bess was bowled with the score on 13, but were denied more breakthroughs by a solid stand between Anthony Griffiths and Sam Richardson, the latter promoted after a consistent season in the 2nd XI.

Richardson was out two runs short of a half century but this brought Neil Hancock to the crease and he, after a watchful start, opened up to hit seven sixes and four fours in a 54-ball 72.

Griffiths went for 60 next ball after clubbing a six but Trent Ovens helped Hancock maintain the tempo.

When Hancock was out, skipper Will Murray declared at 251-4, giving his side an extra four overs at their opponents.

The extra time was not needed with Exeter dismissed for 90 in 31 overs.

Scott Barlow struck twice with the score on 10, with the prized scalp of Marshall Hood, Aaron Williams following nine balls later.

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