Sidmouth skipper speaks about chances of title coming back to the Fortfield this summer

Sidmouth 1st XI in action against Taunton Deane. Harvey Sargent makes a strike. Ref shsp 4302-18-15A

Sidmouth 1st XI in action against Taunton Deane. Harvey Sargent makes a strike. Ref shsp 4302-18-15AW. Picture: Alex Walton - Credit: Archant

Sidmouth captain Will Murray says retaining the Premier Division in 2015 is going to be harder than winning it last year, writes Conrad Sutcliffe.

The champions have lost Josh Bess, Dan Babula, Scott Barlow and Will Sobczak from the title-wining side – and will miss all four.

Sidmouth will miss Bess massively – he has been the leading all-rounder in the Premier Division for several years – but he is now living in Australia.

“There is a mighty hole in the side and it will take some filling,” said Murray.

“Josh opened our batting and opened our bowling – and was the best all-rounder in the league over the last 10 years.

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“Bowling-wise we hope to replace Babula’s wickets with our new overseas player.

“Batting-wise? I expect Nick Gingell will start the season in the firsts after two centuries in pre-season and someone else will captain the second XI.

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“Liam Lewis had a successful season last year and we hope he can continue in that way. And there will be chances for players like Harvey Sargent to step up and claim a place.

“There are big holes to fill though and I am still looking for players.”

The new overseas player is New Zealander Andy Mathieson, a quick bowler, and they need him to hit the ground running, starting against Plympton this Saturday.

“We need to get a good start to the season,” said Murray. “Just as wining can become a habit – one we had last season – so can losing and it can be hard to break.”

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