Sidmouth’s Fortfield ground nets top marks once again in the Tolchards League

The Tolchards Devon League umpire markings after 14 of the 18 matches in the Premier Division. Pictu

The Tolchards Devon League umpire markings after 14 of the 18 matches in the Premier Division. Picture; CONTRIBUTED - Credit: Archant

Sidmouth’s Fortfield ground square is yet again leading the way in terms of the marks awarded by umpires who have been overseeing Tolchards Devon League Premier Division games at the ground this season.

The League issued the latest standings earlier this week and Colin Whitehall’s treasured surface has attracted the highest number of points – five more than the ‘best of the rest’, which happens to be Sandford.

The marks are handed down for carry and bounce, unevenness of bounce, seam and turn and the Sidmouth tally after 14 of the 18 games stands at 125 points, which represents 89.29 per cent of the maximum marks that could be dished out.

It’s in the ‘unevenness of bounce’ where the ‘true’ surface at the Fortfield gains top marks – scoring 33 against the 21 that is the return of Plymouth, who currently sit bottom of the ground grading table.

In ‘carry and bounce’ they top score with 34 – the lowest is Plymouth with 26.

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Under the category of ‘seam’, the Fortfield scores 29 against a top score of 34 from Exeter – Sandford and Exmouth, both scored 30 – the lowest is once again Plymouth (25).

The last of the categories, ‘turn’, sees Sidmouth joint second with Sandford; both score 29 with the top score in that category being 34 scored by Exeter.

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It’s Sandford, North Devon and Exmouth sitting second, third and fourth, while, at the other end of the table, the basement dwellers are Plymouth, who have already been marked at under 14 points three times and that triggers a mandatory league inspection of their playing surface.

It’s Bradninch who sit second bottom and Hatherleigh are third bottom, and both those two clubs are the only others in the top flight to have been hit with sub 14-point scores, each on one occasion so far this term.

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