Sidmouth 2nds closing in on 11th title since 2001

Nick Mansfield batting for Sidmouth II's at Budleigh. Ref shsp 29 17TI 7470. Picture: Terry Ife

Nick Mansfield batting for Sidmouth II's at Budleigh. Ref shsp 29 17TI 7470. Picture: Terry Ife - Credit: Archant

Sidmouth were denied a single ball being bowled – or hit – in anger on matchday 13 of the Tolchards Drinks Devon League campaign when their game with Exeter was hit by rain on a day when not one of the top flight matches was played to a finish.

Indeed, the weather did its best to wipe out almost the entire programme m across the 66 matches at 1st and 2nd XI with only games at Hatherleigh (1st XI) and Braunton (2nd XI) getting through to a regulation finish.

That all means that, with five match days remaining in the season, the team have precious little to play for save for looking to finish in the top three.

Leaders Bovey Tracey are 35 points clear of second placed Exmouth who, in turn, are 25 points ahead of the Fortfield men with Bradninch currently between the two East Devon clubs.

This Saturday (August 5), Sidmouth travel to Torquay and they are at Exmouth a week later.

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They follow that with successive home games against Heathcoat on August 19 and North Devon on Aug 26 before bringing the curtain down on their league campaign at Plymouth on the first Saturday in September.

The last five games of the season, with the exception of the Exmouth game, give Sidmouth the opportunity to complete four ‘doubles; after they saw off Torquay, Heathcoat, North Devon and Plymouth doing the latter stages of the first half of the season.

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Their first meeting with Exmouth was hit by the weather without a result being possible.

Sidmouth 2nds are in a very different place in terms of what they have to play for over the final five games.

The Fortfield second string go into this Saturday’s home game against Torquay knowing that another 66 points and they will be crowned champions of the 2nd XI competition yet again.

The 2nds did manage some action last weekend. They managed to send down 45 overs in their game away against Exeter II.

Club chairman Fionn Wardrop had an afternoon to remember at the County Ground for he claimed a ‘fivefer’, returning the excellent figures of 5-26 from nine overs.

Exeter, who had opted to bat first, reached 166-8 after 45 overs when rain struck to wash away any chance of a result.

Charlie Dibble 2-23 from nine and Dec Lines (1-40 from eight overs), were the other successful bowlers.

So, another title is almost in the bag for the 2nd XI who, if indeed crowned champions this year, will have then won the honour 11 times since 2001!

They, more than most, are set to benefit from the new ‘all-through’ league next season when they are set to be part of the new C Division East which would comprise of the top three finishers in their current division (them, Bovey Tracey II and Exeter II, as things stand) plus the 1st XIs from Alphington, Whimple, Feniton, Clyst Hydon, Kilmington and Uplyme and Lyme Regis ( all currently in the C Division East 1st XI) as well as Ottery St Mary (currently in B Division 1st XI).

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