Sidmouth CC 1sts face ever more stubborn opponents
STUBBORN opponents will increasingly confront Sidmouth Cricket Club as they bid to maintain their strong start to defending their Francis Clark Devon League Premier Division title.
STUBBORN opponents will increasingly confront Sidmouth Cricket Club as they bid to maintain their strong start to defending their Francis Clark Devon League Premier Division title.Newly-promoted Bovey Tracey came to the Fort Field last week, saying they would not be over-awed by the champions but, come 7.30pm on Saturday, that's precisely what happened. And sides striving for security rather than challenging for titles - tomorrow's opponents Sandford may fall into that category - could adopt a safety first approach which Sidmouth will have to find some way of countering.Bovey had restricted Sidmouth to a modest 201 and, had they adopted a more adventurous approach, may well have challenged this total with their score at 129-4 with 10 overs to go.Instead, they considered a losing draw would be a creditable result against a side that had previously registered four wins in four games and coasted on to reach 162-5.It was a decision that puzzled many spectators, but Bovey chairman Nigel Mountford said his team was keen to ensure it established itself in the higher echelon and 10 points taken from the champions was not to be sniffed at.It meant the Sidmouth juggernaut, which had thundered through the May fixture list, was slowed down, but not enough to stop the team's lead at the head of the table stretching to 26 points.And, for a frantic few overs before tea, there was plenty for a large crowd to get excited about with sixes hit and wickets falling as the home side endeavoured to make a defendable total.A tremendous fielding display, coupled with tight bowling, had seen the Sidmouth top order restricted so that with 40 overs gone, 125 runs were on the board for the wickets of Josh Bess, 17, Anthony Griffiths, 36, and Neil Hancock, 18. Soon after Chris Williams was to depart for 40 and the middle and late order set about some crash, bang, wallop batting. The runs came and so did the wickets with Pete Bradley taking 5-69 and brother Chris 3-47, wicketkeeper Ben Ayres bagging three stumpings. Adam Dibble and Miles Dalton provided most of the wag in the tail with 16 and 13 respectively.Bovey's reply started cautiously until South African first class cricketer Farhaan Behariden took 17 off one Will Murray over to propel the score from 79 to 96 after 24 overs. Murray had the last laugh when Barlow held on to a boundary catch two overs later and normal service was resumed with the division's top bowler sending down his other nine overs for a mere 11 runs.Behariden's departure, fourth man for 41 out at 103, marked the end of Bovey's interest in a chase although they lost only one more wicket moving on to 162.l Tomorrow Sidmouth travel to Sandford who, stripped of several key players in the close season, have been grateful to register a win and winning draw in their last two outings. They, too, may adopt the cautious approach as they battle out of the bottom part of the table.