Griff saves face with quick reactions

AN EMERGENCY replacement was called for when opening batsman Anthony Griffiths was injured in the warm-up prior to Sidmouth’s 12-run win at Sandford.

Griffiths was hit in the face when Josh Bess smashed back one of the batting practice deliveries he was feeding to him.

The SOS to the Fort Field for a second team player to head over to Mid Devon was answered by bowler Nick Mansfield who made his 1st XI debut one week after his maiden outing for the 2nd XI.

Sam Anderson filled in for hospital-bound Griffiths at the top of the order and made a valuable 40 as the other early batsmen failed as the visitors stumbled to 96-5.

Sidmouth got to 217-9 thanks to the later batsmen with Zach Bess making 48, Nick Gingell 22, Matt Cooke 29 and Will Murray an unbeaten 18.

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Sandford looked handily placed to overhaul this at 96-2 after accelerating away when Will Gater conceded 24 off his two overs.

Murray did most to rein them in, with two wickets for 11 runs off his 10 overs. Anderson played a part too by snaring George Greed and Richard Foan as they were getting into their stride and Cooke got rid of the tail, after conceding 24 in his first over including three sixes and a four by Foan.

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A key wicket, that of opener Matt Theedom as he began to open his shoulders, was taken by Miles Dalton who also accounted for Adrian Small, who has taken many runs off Sidmouth attacks in past years.

Sidmouth are setting the early season pace in the Francis Clark Devon Premier League along with Torquay and Bradninch who have also won their opening two games.

Griffiths was relieved to be told an X-ray showed no fracture and he expects to be back playing tomorrow when Sidmouth host Plymouth at the Fort Field.

He believes he prevented a fractured skull by getting part of his hand in the way of the ball before its impact with his face.

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