Sidmouth end Devon League campaign with Fortfield win to secure final success

The Sidmouth 1st XI after their win over Heathcoat. Picture; SERENA KNOWLES

The Sidmouth 1st XI after their win over Heathcoat. Picture; SERENA KNOWLES - Credit: Archant

Sidmouth were crowned Tolchards Devon League Tier One A final champions after their 50-run win over Heathcoat at the Fortfield.

Sidmouth skipper Zac Bess won the toss and opted to bat first and openers Alex Barrow and Josh Bess put on 127 for the first wicket which was that of Bess, caught off the 74th delivery he faced, but not before he had scored 55, hitting seven fours and six.

As so often happens after a long partnership, both openers fell in quick succession. Indeed, after the Bess wicket, just seven minutes later after another 10 balls were sent down, adding nine runs to the total, Barrow fell for a run-a-ball 70.

Luke Bess was next man in - and out - in his case caught for five with the score then 147-3.

Byron Knowles joined skipper Zac Bess but young Knowles was bowled for three which meant four wickets had fallen inside 37 deliveries with just 25 runs added to the score.

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Dylan Hurst joined his skipper and the pair saw the Fortfield men past 200 before Bess fell for a 30-ball 42 with the score then 205-5 after 40 overs.

Thirty-four runs came from the final three overs as Sidmouth closed on 248-6 from their 45 overs with the late runs coming from Dylan Hurst who hit a 46-ball seven boundary 47.

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Heathcoat made an excellent start with their skipper and former Sidmouth player Pete Randerson leading from the front.

Indeed, seven overs into their innings, the Mid Devon men had 35 runs on the Fortfield score board.

It was first change Byron Knowles who made the break through, thanks to a Josh Bess catch with Heathcoat 50-1. A second wicket was snared with the visitors’ on 73; Alex Barrow serving up the throw that brought about a run out and then Knowles struck with Barrow holding a catch to reduce Heathcoat to 75-3 after 14.5 overs.

With the score on 106 the big wicket of Randerson was claimed with Zac Bess holding a catch off the bowling of Ollie Pugsley. Randerson was out for a splendid knock that saw him face 55-balls for his 56, a knock that included six fours and three sixes. The loss of their skipper left the visiting side on 106-4, but then they rallied with a 73-run partnership for the fifth wicket.

However, when Knowles struck again to claim his third wicket with the catch held by Zac Bess, it started a flurry of wickets that saw the last five Heathcoat wickets fall for the addition of just 19 runs to leave the innings ended on 198 and Sidmouth the match winners.

Knowles finished with figures of 4-25 from six overs and Jordan Fowler’s return was 2-48 from 8.3 overs. Luke Bess with two wickets and Ollie Pugsley with one completed the wicket taking for the home side.

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