Sidmouth CC still top despite rain

DEBATES may continue about whether global warming is to blame, but one thing is certain - Devon rain is making a mess of the cricket season.

DEBATES may continue about whether global warming is to blame, but one thing is certain - Devon rain is making a mess of the cricket season. Sidmouth played the longest game of the Francis Clark Devon League Premier Division on Saturday, but that amounted to only 17 overs at the Fort Field. In that time Plymouth reached 51-2, and the one bowling bonus point Sidmouth achieved saw them stretch their lead at the top of the table to three points from Budleigh Salterton. Several Sidmouth players were able to sample the delights and dangers of hang- gliding as they battled with the cover sheets during a rain interruption. So strong was the wind that some were left clinging on for dear life as gusts took hold of the pvc material and flapped it wildly. Scott Barlow opened the bowling into the teeth of the gale with little success and at the other end Adam Dibble got dividend for his short of a length tactics when an attempted hook by Callum Whittaker came off the shoulder of the bat into the hands of Neil Hancock in the slip cordon. Will Murray, who took over into the wind, consolidated his place at the top of the division bowling averages when he induced an edge from Mark Thompson that was picked up low at slip by Nick Gingell. That took him to 23 wickets at an average of under-10. Soon after the rain became incessant and play was abandoned. l The reciprocal 2nd XI match at Plymouth was called off before most of the Sidmouth players had reached the A38 Devon Expressway. Charlie Dibble and Simon Sobczak, who did not receive news of the cancellation, were able to confirm that conditions at Peverell Park were far from playable. l So heavy was the Saturday downpour that the McKinley White Exeter Twenty20 finals, at Clyst St George, were postponed to Sunday, July 20. The draw was made and, if the sun shines then, Sidmouth will play Sandford and Exeter will play Exmouth in the semi finals. l Back in the Devon League, Sidmouth face Exmouth at the Maer tomorrow with the Fort Field hosting the match between the two clubs' 2nd XIs. l The Devon Senior Cup meeting of the two clubs, originally scheduled for Sunday, has been moved to Sunday, July 27, so neither club is hampered by losing players to the county side, who travel to Norfolk for a Minor Counties Knock Out Trophy semi final tie. The prize is a visit to Lord's for the final against either Berkshire or Oxfordshire.

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