Sidmouth suffer first defeat of Tolchards League top flight campaign

Josh Bess batting for Sidmouth at home to Exmouth. Ref shsp 20 19TI 4786. Picture: Terry Ife

Josh Bess batting for Sidmouth at home to Exmouth. Ref shsp 20 19TI 4786. Picture: Terry Ife - Credit: Archant

Sidmouth suffered a first Tolchards Devon League Premier Division defeat of the season when beaten at home by Heathcoat, who departed with a six wicket win.

What's more, it was a pair of former Fortfield ground favourites who did the damage with Pete Randerson and Liam Lewis guiding their side from a troubled 50-4, to a six wicket success with a 156-run partnership for the unbroken fifth wicket.

Home skipper Zach Bess lost the toss and saw opener Rory Thomas (10) and number three bat Luke Bess (6), back in the hutch with just 31 runs on the board. Zach Bess joined Alex Barrow and they took the score to 89 when Bess fell for a 51-ball 32, his knock including three sixes.

Henry Gater (10) was fourth man out with the score on 120, but teenager Byron Knowles again showed his huge potential as he slammed an 18-ball 31, hitting three fours and two sixes. Scott Barlow was trapped leg before to the first delivery he faced and, when opener Barrow was finally the seventh wicket down - but not before he had faced 103 deliveries, hitting five fours in his contribution of 52, the home side were 168-7.

Cameron Evans-Grainger was next to fall, he went for seven with the score on 196 and Will Murray was the ninth, and final wicket to fall, run out for a splendid knock of 34 from 40 balls faced.

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Charlie Miles (4) and Tom Simmons (6) were the not out batsmen as Sidmouth's innings closed on 215-9 at the end of their 50 overs.

Post tea, Zach Bess did his best to fire his side back into the contest as he claimed the first thre wickets to fall and, when Will Murray bagged the fourth, the visiting side were wobbling on 50-4.

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However, that was as good as it got for the home faithful as Randerson and Lewis enjoyed their return to the Fortfield!

Randerson hit 73 with five fours and a six from 116 balls faced while Lewis, who faced 90 deliveries, was unbeaten on 93 having hit five fours and as many sixes as Heathcoat eased to a six wicket win with two overs and two balls of the game remaining.

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