Scraped home after promising start

AFTER being in a comfortable position to beat Bath and avenge a drubbing in last year's fixture, Sidmouth scraped home by two wickets in their opening game of the new cricket season, writes John Goodwin.

The visitors were inserted and got off to a flyer with 100 on the board after 15 overs from Josh Bess, Will Gater and Neil Hancock.

Gater produced one of his special deliveries to make a breakthrough, clean bowling Will Jenkins, and the arrival of Will Murray and Miles Dalton into the attack applied brakes to the run rate.

This pair picked off wickets, Murray bowling Andrew Barrow for 45 in his first over.

Gater took a good, low catch, moving forward at deep mid-off to give Dalton the first of his two wickets and remove Brian Staunton for 50.

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Dalton finished his nine-over spell with 2-32, despite being struck in the neck when a fierce drive broke through his hands as he attempted to catch it.

Murray took 2-19, leaving Bess and Hancock to clean up the tail and prevent Bath occupying their full 45-over quota.

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Sidmouth's reply was given a rapid and sound start by Anthony Griffiths and Bess, who put on 51 in 10 overs, before the former fell lbw.

Bess was joined by brother Luke and they put on 32, 19 from the latter.

Both were out in quick succession, the senior brother hitting two sixes and two fours in his 36, which was ended by a sharp stumping.

Neil Hancock and Nick Gingell enjoyed a breezy stand of 44 before the latter was lbw.

He was the first of three partners that Hancock lost in quick succession but, after surviving two dropped chances as he passed the 50 mark, he looked set to steer his side home.

However, he fell for 65 trying an over-ambitious drive and this dismissal exposed Sidmouth's tail. Ninth wicket pair Greg Chaplin and John Goodwin got the home side over the line, the former ending the match with a sweet cover drive for four.

?Two teams are coming up from Werrington, Cornwall, tomorrow to play Sidmouth, the first team fixture taking place at the Fort Field and the 2nd XI playing at Bicton College. On Sunday Butleigh from Somerset are the visitors.

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