New Devon League season begins this weekend at Sidmouth CC

Sidmouth batsman Zac Bess at Budleigh. Ref shsp 16 17TI 1444. Picture: Terry Ife

Sidmouth batsman Zac Bess at Budleigh. Ref shsp 16 17TI 1444. Picture: Terry Ife - Credit: Archant

Sidmouth Cricket Club’s league season starts this weekend with the 1st and 2nd XIs aiming to defend the league titles won in 2016 and the 3rd XI looking to continue what, over the years, has been a wonderful production line of talented local cricketers.

With fantastic support from club sponsors, Harrison Lavers and Potbury’s, Sidmouth Cricket Club also won the 2016 Devon Cup and this stellar season was recognised by the Devon Cricket League at their annual awards night when the club was crowned ‘Devon Club of the Year’. This is the first time this award has been presented and all involved with Sidmouth Cricket were proud of the recognition.

This year the 1st and 2nd XIs will again be captained by Luke Bess and Dec Lines respectively, with able support from vice captains Zac Bess and Nick Mansfield.

The 3rd XI has a new approach this summer with Rob Fowler taking the role of team manager.

There is an additional carrot for the 2nd and 3rd XIs this summer, as from 2018 Devon cricket will be making the long awaited move to an all-through league, meaning that there are places to play for in the new leagues.

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On the playing front there are a small handful of changes in personnel. Departing players are Harvey Sargent, who has opted to play his school holiday cricket with Exeter this year, and Matt Hewer who returns to his home town club, Seaton.

Arrivals include former vice captain Nick Gingell, who took a golfing sabbatical in 2016, and Devon player Scott Barlow who has returned to the area.

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Gingell and Barlow both have multiple league and cup winner’s medals in their cabinets and their talents and experience will be a big plus for the club this summer.

Other welcome arrivals come from Newton Poppleford. Newton Pop play Sunday cricket and on Saturdays their ground is used by Sidmouth’s 3rd XI, with ground preparations undertaken by Sidmouth groundsman, Colin Whitehall, so it will be great to see some of their players taking to the field for league cricket.

The first matches of the season on Saturday (May 6) see the senior side entertain Paignton at the Fortfield with a 12.30pm start. The 2nd XI travel to Cornwood II and the third eleven take on Hatherleigh II at Newton Poppleford. Both the 2nd and 3rd XIs begin at 1.30pm.

With a rich fixture list bringing league, friendly and midweek matches, and a community league, there is cricket for everyone in Sidmouth and new players and members will always be welcomed.

Training is held on Wednesday evenings from 6pm and Zac Bess is running a new strength and conditioning session every Monday between 6 and 7pm.

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