Sids top Devon League

PUBLISHED: 10:00 03 July 2008 | UPDATED: 10:48 17 June 2010

SIDMOUTH sit proudly on top of the Francis Clark Devon Cricket League as they prepare for a home match tomorrow against Plymouth, who provided one of the banana skins for the Fort Field side as they took their first steps back in the Premier Division.

SIDMOUTH sit proudly on top of the Francis Clark Devon Cricket League as they prepare for a home match tomorrow against Plymouth, who provided one of the banana skins for the Fort Field side as they took their first steps back in the Premier Division.The two sides were promoted from the A Division and Sidmouth have acclimatised the best, recovering well after being shot out for 55 in the second game of the season by the team they host tomorrow.As Sidmouth took Exeter's place at the top of the table last Saturday, when they beat them by 80 runs, Plymouth slipped out of contention for honours with a defeat by champions North Devon.Another fine bowling and fielding performance, coupled with a battling effort with the bat, saw Sidmouth come away with a maximum 20 points from the County Ground and Neil Hancock hiding his blushes. Typifying the commitment shown by Sidmouth in the field, he dived full length to stop a ball during Exeter's attempt to match the visitors' 211-8. The resulting friction between body and turf saw his trousers and underwear dragged down. Fortunately, the spectators at the County Ground were not of a sensitive disposition.Runs in the late middle order from the club's Australian connection, Trent Ovens, with 42, and Louis Talay, with 29, enabled the visitors to reach 211-8 after maximum batting points had at one stage looked a remote possibility. The pair put on 63 for the seventh wicket after the side had slumped from 111-3 to 139-6.Anthony Griffiths, with 41, and Neil Hancock, with 29, figured in a decent third wicket stand after the first two wickets had fallen early, but it wasn't until Ovens and Talay paired up that the foundation work done by those two batsmen had some walls built on it.Ultimately the total proved to be well in surplus as Will Murray got among Exeter's early order who had initially set off at a good rate, Hancock proving unusually expensive.But the run rate stagnated and Marshall Hood, so often a rapid accumulator, moved slowly to 40 before Murray snared him, caught by Ovens, Hood's clubmate in Perth, Australia. That made it 91-2, but to win Exeter needed to hit the accelerator hard with 17 overs left.They reached 101 before Murray struck again by trapping Aaron Williams lbw for 28. Hancock returned to the attack to grab two wickets and two run-outs punctured a hole in the home side's middle order. Scott Barlow swept away the tail and Exeter were dismissed for 130.

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