Sidmouth land league and cup double

DESPITE allowing title challengers Exmouth to ‘do the double’ over them, Sidmouth landed their fourth Francis Clark Devon Premier League title in five years, writes John Goodwin.

Exmouth beat Sidmouth by four wickets, successfully chasing 224, but not gaining sufficient bonus points to pip their coastal rivals for the championship.

Key to Sidmouth holding on to top place was a third wicket stand of 146 between Anthony Griffiths and Josh Bess, batting heroes of the previous Sunday’s Devon Senior Cup triumph.

Luke Bess’s 45 not out also helped deny Exmouth bowling points as Sidmouth totalled 223-4 after being 21-1 and 41-2 when openers Matt Cooke and Liam Lewis were bowled by George Greenaway. Cooke had unleashed two pulls and a crisp off drive for boundaries before succumbing.

Griffiths had made the top score of 66 when Trevor Anning trapped him lbw and Bess made 53 before launching a catch to Richard Arnold off James Tapper.

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Exmouth’s failure to take all 10 Sidmouth wickets meant no matter how well they batted they could not overhaul their rivals.

However, they responded with a perfectly paced reply, passing the target with four balls remaining. A second wicket stand of 111 between David Lye, with 96, and Barney Huxtable, 50, set them on the way after Josh Bess had bowled Richard Baggs for 15.

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Lye’s innings took him even further ahead in the division’s batting averages and he finished with 717 runs at 55.15. In third place was Griffiths, scoring 446 runs at 44.6. Lewis was eighth, making 240 at 40.

Exmouth’s run chase was assisted by one of Sidmouth’s sloppiest fielding displays of the season, but Bess caused a bit of a wobble as Exmouth approached the 200 mark with two wickets to finish with 3-27.

Andy Buzza and Max Curtis overcame the scares to take the home side over the line.

The points gained and denied gave Sidmouth a league and cup double for the second time – they last achieved it in 2009.

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