Sidmouth IIIs beaten at home by Bradninch II - picture special
- Credit: Archant
Sidmouth IIIs suffered only their third defeat of the Tolchards Devon League E Division season when they were beaten by a margin of 236 runs by visiting Bradninch 2nds at Newton Poppleford.
To be fair to the home side, they were fielding a team bereft of regular players and indeed, Sidmouth Cricket Club are to be applauded for the fact that, despite being without 12 regular players, they were still able to field three full senior XIs for their respective Tolchards League encounters.
On a baking hot afternoon, the toss was also always going to be a key factor and so it was for, when Bradninch skipper Connor Carthew called correctly he wasted little time in saying he'd bat first!
Sidmouth skipper Fionn Wardrop, gave the new ball to Dillon Hurst and Ben Fisher, but the Bradninch openers enjoyed the 'perfect' conditions and raced to 120 before Sidmouth claimed the first wicket. It fell to Dave Gibson thanks to a catch by Dillon Hurst. One wicket was followed swiftly by a second as first change Wardrop, by far the most impressive of the home bowlers on the day, saw John Goodwin hold a catch at slip. However, the third wicket pairing rattle dup 55 in just seven overs and that theme continued as Bradninch raced past 200 and 300 before ending their 45 overs on an imposing 342-6.
Bradninch opener Will Birley faced both the first delivery and the last of the innings and trooped off with an unbeaten109 to his name. That was his maiden Devon League century. As for the bowling honours, they went to Wardrop who came into the attack at a time when the visitors were going at eight an over and promptly sent down successive maidens and he went on to finish with figures of 2-32 from a full shift of 10 overs.
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Young Ben Fisher also bagged a brace of wickets in his return of 2-65 from nine overs and the other wickets fell to Josh Reed (1-32 from three overs) and Dave Gibson (1-81 from seven).
After a superb tea - the rocky road cake was something to delight - Fionn Wardrop and Dillon Hurst launched the run chase, but the former was caught for two in the third over and, shortly after Dave Gibson had been superbly caught at short mid-wicket, Dillon Hurst slapped a ball right down the throat of a Bradninch fielder and Sidmouth were a troubled 29-3.
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It was soon 40-4 as Charlie Brock perished when on four and the fifth wicket fell with the score on 67 with the loss of Josh Reed, caught for what was to be the teams top score of 17.
The sixth wicket was that of John Goodwin, adjudge leg before with five to his name and two wickets fell with the home score on 86. Kenny Clay went first, clean bowled for 15 and then Chris Fitzhenry went first ball, but in unlucky fashion as the ball hit the boot of the Bradninch slip fielder before spooning upwards to land on his stomach as he fell backwards!
The penultimate wicket added 11 runs before young Ben Fisher ran himself out and the end came at 106 with Miles Lewis, who had batted very well for his 14, was caught in the deep.
A third defeat of the campaign does nothing to dent the teams promotion effort for they are all but guaranteed a second successive promotion as they sit 50 points clear and 51 points from their final five games will see them climb up another level in the league system.