Sidmouth extend lead after win over Bovey Tracey

Sidmouth 1sts played Torquay on Saturday. Knocking the stumps. Ref shsp 26-16AW 1528. Picture: Alex

Sidmouth 1sts played Torquay on Saturday. Knocking the stumps. Ref shsp 26-16AW 1528. Picture: Alex Walton - Credit: Archant

Luke Bess and Henry Gater both hit half-centuries to tee-up Sidmouth for a 40-run win over Bovey Tracey, writes Conrad Sutcliffe.

Bovey were looking ragged in the bowling department with Malcolm Lake and Sam Hickinbottom missing – and Sidmouth were quick to cash in.

Matt Cooke (24) and skipper Luke Bess (61) propelled the score to 90 for three, then Zak Bess (44) joined his brother in a stand of 64 for the fourth wicket.

Sam Thomas bowled Zak Bess at 154 for four, but Luke carried on with Dan Powell, adding another 31.

Matt Golding (2-33) accounted for Luke Bess, but that seemed to accelerate the scoring rather than slow it.

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Powell kept an end intact while Gater blitzed the Bovey bowlers for 53 not out off 25 balls – five sixes and three fours in a Sidmouth total of 263 for seven,

Golding, bowling seam rather than leg-spin was the pick of the bowler, aided and abetted by Toby Codd (2-43) and Hugo Whitlock (2-40).

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Bovey’s top four were ripped out by Kyle Brockley (3-18) and Zak Bess (2-25) and at 47 for five when Rob Honeybul fell to Charlie Miles the omens looked grim.

The rot stopped with a stand of 117 for the seventh wicket between Ben Ayres (67) and Tom Andrew (58).

It came just a bit too late to change the outcome of the match, but reminded Sidmouth they were in a game.

Gater (2-33) and Brockley knocked over the tail enders after Matt Cooke dismissed Andrew to break the stand.

Winning captain Luke Bess said Sidmouth were in control for most of the game, but not all of it.

“Our target was 220 as the pitch was difficult to bat on, but we finished the innings well and got up to what we considered an above-par score,” said Bess.

“Early wickets got us ahead of the game, but maybe we were too defensive in the middle period and let them back in?.

“We re-grouped well at the end to come away with the win.”

Golding, deputising for absent captain Hickinbottom, said Bovey did well to get as close as they did.

“Our bowling was very makeshift and we did well until the last 10 overs when Sidmouth knocked us round a bit,” said Golding.

“Considering we were 47 for five at one stage, 223 was a pretty good effort.

“Ben Ayres has hardly played this season so he scratched round for a bit until he got going.

“I was really pleased for Tom Andrew, who has played in the first team before without too much success and this time it went right for him.”

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