Sidmouth duo in first Dveon squad of new cricket season

Looking out from a cricket scorers position

Looking out from a cricket scorers position - Credit: Archant

Sidmouth skipper Luke Bess is one of three East Devon club players to be included in the Devon squad named for the two-day game against Hampshire 2nd XI at the Ageas Bowl at the end of this week, writes Conrad Sutcliffe.

The game is part of the Devon build-up to another Minor Counties Championship campaign.

Giles White, the former Devon batsman who is head coach at Hampshire, invited his old county to use the facilities at Southampton last year for pre-season work, which included a couple of 50-over games against the 2nd XI.

As Hampshire found the exercise worthwhile too, White has asked Devon to pay a return visit for another training camp.

With the competitive season barely a month away – Devon play two Unicorns Cup games in April before the league season starts – director of cricket Keith Donohue was eager to accept the offer.

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Donohue has drawn up a squad of 14 for the trip, booked for Thursday and Friday.

“Starting the Unicorns Cup so early is hard for all the teams in the competition, now matter how good they are,” said Donohue.

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“Going to the Ageas Bowl for two days means we can play some meaningful cricket on a Test ground and practice in superb facilities.

“We only get two more games before we play Dorset at Instow in our first Unicorns Cup game so Hampshire early is a good chance to look at some new players and see how they measure up,”

Late March isn’t the best time for Minor Counties to get their strongest squads assembled as some players are still overseas for the winter and others are protecting their holiday time for the demands of three-day Championship cricket from June onwards.

That means opportunities for players who have been part of the Lions Development programme, such as Plymouth pair Joe Hagan-Burt and Dan Goodey and Bovey Tracey’s Hugo Whitlock.

Sidmouth skipper Luke Bess is included on the strength of his performances with the bat in the Premiership-winning side last season. He made nearly 500 runs at an average in the mid-30s. The other Sidmouth player involved is Luke Bess and the other East Devon player to be involved is Dan Pyle of Exmouth.

The full team is: J J Bess (Sidmouth), R J Woodman (Taunton Deane), D J Wolf (Paignton), A W R Barrow (Exeter), D R Pyle (Exmouth), J F S Dart (Heathcoat), L F O Bess (Sidmouth), J O Hagan-Burt (Plymouth), J E Thompson (Torquay), J V King (North Devon), J A Stephens (Falmouth), D J Goodey (Plymouth), H M Whitlock (Bovey Tracey), T A Lammonby (Exeter).

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