Sidmouth suffer rare clean sweep of senior XI league defeats

A cricket ball on the scorers table.

A cricket ball on the scorers table. - Credit: Archant

It is perhaps a measure of just how successful that Sidmouth Cricket Club has been over the past decade that it is very rare that all three of their senior XIs lose on the same Devon League matchday.

However, that is precisely what happened on the final matchday of July with the 1st XI losing away at Heathcoat, the 2nds being beaten at home by Heathcoat 2nds and the third XI were well beaten in their match at Newton Poppelford CC against Bradninch 2nds.

The 1st XI have probably now surrendered the title they won last season after this latest defeat, a nine wicket mauling at the favourites to now lift the top honour, Heathcoat.

Skipper Zach Bess won the toss and opted to bat, but saw opener Rory Thomas, returned to the 1st XI after a game in the 2nds, returned to the Knightshayes pavilion for a first ball duck and skipper Bess was soon striding out to the middle himself after further wickets fell with Luke Bess dismissed for a 28-ball five and Alex Barrow for a 51-ball 25. Bess joined Nick Mansfield and the pair almost doubled the total before Mansfield became the fourth wicket to fall, in his case, for an 88-ball stay at the wicket that yielded him 16 runs.

Bess was joined by Cameron Evans-Grainger, but the wicketkeeper/batsman was out without troubling the scores and Will Murray went the same way and, when Max Hancock fell for two, Sidmouth were 80-7 with skipper Bess still there on 17.

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Tom Simmons and Charlie Miles were soon both back in the pavilion to leave Sidmouth with their final pair at the wicket with just 113 runs on the board. Last man Jordan Fowler stuck around to help Bess reach his half century, but the skipper fell for 57 from a 73 ball stay at the crease during which time he hit two fours and three sixes. Fowler was the not out batsman and Sidmouth had been bowled out for 138 in 36.4 overs.

Heathcoat made short work of the run chase, cruising home with the loss of just the one wicket, closing on 139-1 with one ball left in the 27th over.

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That lone wicket was snared by Jordan Fowler thanks to a catch held by Tom Simmons.

The defeat leaves Sidmouth sitting fourth and they are now 48 points adrift of leaders Heathcoat with just five games and 100 points left to play for this league season. On Saturday, the Fortfield men are in home action against Bovey Tracey.

Sidmouth have now lost three of their last four away games. Indeed, of their five defeats in the league campaign this season, four have come in away matches with just one at home - that the May 25 Fortfield meeting with Heathcoat.

The four away defeats have come at Torquay, Paignton, Plymouth and Heathcoat.

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