Finishing touches to the Fort Field

THE FAMILY of the late Colin Wright put the finishing touches to Sidmouth’s Fort Field ground prior to the season’s curtain-raiser match on Sunday, writes John Goodwin.

His widow, Christine, daughter Victoria Baumber, son-in-law Jonathan and grandsons Sam and Ollie, unrolled the last few yards of the boundary rope that Colin had been so keen to see as an enhancement to the ground.

After another season of tireless fundraising through deckchair fee collections on the ground and advertising and sponsorship sales, Colin pressed for a boundary rope to be purchased and his persuasion could not be resisted. He was not to see it on the ground, however, because he died from cancer in the late autumn, just weeks after diagnosis.

On Sunday, his family came to see “Wrighty’s rope” in use for the first time after they had laid the final few yards in front of the pavilion.

They also saw the club’s fixture card bearing the ECB Clubmark seal on the cover - Colin had been one of the masterminds of the club achieving accreditation.

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Devon and the county’s development side, Devon Lions, then served up a quality match which saw the senior side triumph by six runs in a 40-over contest.

Off the last ball, Rob Woodman went for a six that would have tied the scores and taken his personal score to 92, but he was athletically caught by David Lye, just in front of the rope at deep extra cover off the bowling of home all-rounder Josh Bess.

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In the early stages of the game, Sidmouth bowlers Will Gater and Will Murray had caused problems among Devon’s top order batsmen, but a long tail, containing Matt Thompson, Ian Bishop and Chris Bradley, generated runs to enable a respectable 199 all out to be posted. Among Murray’s four victims was his club team-mate, Neil Hancock.

?Bath are the first opponents of the 2011 season for Sidmouth at the Fort Field tomorrow and, on Sunday, Beddington are the visitors. Both games start at 1pm.

?Sidmouth’s 2nd XI opens the season with a visit to Seaton tomorrow.

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