Sidmouth make great start to new Francis Clark Devon League season with clean sweep of victories

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cricket generic picture - Credit: Archant

Sidmouth hit the ground running on the opening day of the Francis Clark Devon League season with all three senior sides claiming victories.

The 1st XI began the defence of their Premier Division title with a big win at Torquay where they also took advantage of the new rule this season which allows teams to bank a maximum of 22 points for a win.

Matt Cooke (92) and Liam Lewis (93) gave Sidmouth the perfect start with a 190 run stand for the first wicket. A brisk unbeaten 45 from Pete Randerson enabled the skipper Will Murray to declare early in a bid to secure those two extra points.

Torquay never really got into the run chase with Murray claiming 2-23 from his ten overs whilst the evergreen Miles Dalton sent down 8.2 overs and finished with wonderful figures of 4-31. Liam Lewis also claimed a couple of wickets from just a single over as Torquay were bowled out for 183, giving Sidmouth that perfect 22-point start to the season.

The 2nd XI also banked maximum points with a home victory over Paignton II.

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A solid start by openers Matt Hewer (65) and Dan Powell (58), gave the side a superb start. Without loss at the drinks break, a large total was to be expected. Dec Lines (44) continued the tempo and late cameos from Dom Bess (21) and Fionn Wardrop (14no) took the total to a close of 244 from 45 overs.

Nick Mansfield led the bowling honours with 2-27 from eight overs. At 15-3 Paignton were never in the game and with the remaining wickets being shared between the other bowlers, Paignton were finally all out for 174 in the 44th over.

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Completing an opening day clean sweep of wins, the club’s third eleven took 19 points from their victory over Alphington II.

This turned out to be a quite remarkable game as, an hour into the contest, Sidmouth were a desperate 36-6! However, a seventh wicket stand between Harvey Sargent (83no) and John Goodwin (26) stopped the rot.

Even so, at 88-8, the odds were still stacked against the home team. Toby Seldon (26no) kept young Sergeant company to the end of the innings and a very respectable 177 was posted. Special mention must be made of Sergeant who, at the tender age of 14, batted the entire innings. In the reply Alphington were 70-0 and cruising. However, once the first wicket was taken others fell at regular intervals with Graham Munday (4-25), Toby Seldon (3-33) and Lee Clayden (2-32) claiming wickets as the Alphas were bowled out for 145.

On Saturday the 1st XI go head-to-head with another side to bank 22 points on the opening day, Exmouth.

The 2nd XI travel to Sandford II and the third eleven are also on the road when they go to Plymouth Civil Service and Roborough.

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