Sidmouth on the hunt for silverware

WITH no prizes for coming second in the Francis Clark Devon League Premier Division, Sidmouth will be looking to Sunday’s cup clash with Plymouth to provide some silverware this season, writes John Goodwin.

The 40-over match gets under way at 1pm at Bovey Tracey after some discussions about whether the date should be shifted to accommodate Sidmouth being without Neil Hancock and Josh Bess who will be helping Devon’s bid to be Minor Counties champions in a match against Cambridgeshire at March.

Sticking with the original date will probably mean Saj Patidar replacing Bess in the team that dominated, but did not win, the league match between the two sides last Saturday. Hancock was absent for this game, recovering from the operation to straighten the nose that Trevor Anning put a crook in in the league meeting with Exmouth three weeks ago.

Hancock is expected to be in the Sidmouth team hosting Bovey Tracey in the final league match of the season tomorrow.

? Last Saturday’s match was memorable for big hitting by Will Gater, striking 10 sixes as he reached 85 in a Sidmouth total of 208-5, and the extreme methods used to get proceedings under way after a wet previous 24 hours. At one stage an industrial vacuum cleaner was employed to suck up moisture and all the efforts resulted in a 40-over contest being possible with an hour and 10 minutes lost.

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The home side won the toss, inserted their visitors and must have been content as the score ambled along to 71-2 after 20 overs. Even after 30 overs, at 115-3, Sidmouth had yet to hit the four an over rate, but Gater’s powder was still dry.

Twenty-one off one Nick Read over saw the rate accelerate and a 55-run partnership registered with Josh Bess, who was then run out for 66. Read stayed in the attack and was hit for four sixes in his next over to bring up Gater’s half century in 36 balls.

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He was out in the final over for 85 in 54 balls, having taken Sidmouth to maximum batting points.

Shell-shocked Plymouth never threatened the total and did not reach the threshold to pick up two points for the losing draw, finishing on 135-9, Cooke taking the ninth wicket with the final ball of the match.

One reason Plymouth were not able to break free of the shackles was the outfield work of Jamie Wardrop whose fleet feet got him to three catches, two of which would not have been reached by most mortals.

Another reason was the 12 overs sent down by Will Murray. Half of them were maidens and he conceded 16 runs while taking a single wicket.

Matt Cooke enjoyed most success with the ball, taking 3-18, and Gater justified his all-rounder tag with 2-38.

The 15 points gained by Sidmouth assures them of runners-up spot in the division to North Devon, who gained 20 points with victory over Exmouth.

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