Lines looks one to watch

BATSMEN, wicketkeepers and the home umpire donned gloves at Ipplepen where Sidmouth 3rd XI opened their B Division campaign with a three-run win over the home side, writes John Goodwin.

Conditions were not conducive to batting but under-16 player Declan Lines triumphed over them to register an unbeaten 77 which enabled Sidmouth to make a creditable 153-6 after being inserted.

It should have been plenty but giving away 22 extras almost allowed Ipplepen to sneak home.

Man of the Match Lines ended their hopes by bowling Andy Boon who had taken the home team to within sight of victory by lofting the previous ball straight for six.

At the other end skipper Graham Munday had chipped away at the home line-up, taking 5-30 including the crucial ninth wicket of Simon Tapley who had held his side’s innings together with 54.

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The lid had been kept on the early stages of the Ipplepen reply by Dave Gibson who finished with 1-14 off 10 overs, his economy rate being disrupted by conceding eight in his final over.

Lines showed his all-round prowess by taking a diving catch at backward point to give Bruce Robson one of his two wickets.

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After losing opener Angus McVey to the first ball he received, Sidmouth were given a sound platform with a second wicket stand of 56 between Lines and Anthony Dibble, who made 29.

Lines’s third scoring shot was a six and he was to hit two more as well as six fours.

Another maximum came from Rob Fowler’s bat and he seemed destined to strike another until a despairing right hand thrust up by James Heath somehow clung on to the ball on the deep square boundary edge.

This game saw Sidmouth, relegated from the A Division, meeting the C Division champions. Next up are Ottery St Mary, the side promoted with Ipplepen.

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