Sidmouth sunk at Bradninch

The veiw from the scorers position at an East Devon cricket ground

The veiw from the scorers position at an East Devon cricket ground - Credit: Archant

Sidmouth suffered a blow to their Tolchards Devon League Premier Division hopes when beaten by 50 runs at relegation-threatened Bradninch.

While the defeat is clearly not terminal to the Fortfield men’s hopes, it does leave them dropping to third behind new leaders Exeter – who thrashed Exmouth and second placed Heathcoat, who, like Exeter, picked up a full house of 20 points, in their case with victory over a Bovey Tracey side that has now been dragged into the relegation mix!

Over at Kensham Park, Bradninch, the home side won the toss and, on a hot afternoon with a wicket that looked as solid as the M5 motorway down in the valley, unsurprisingly opted to bat first.

The Sidmouth bowlers toiled away under cloudless skies, and the home side had before Rory Thomas was dismissed, but not before he had plundered a 34-ball 46, hitting four fours and three sixes before being caught by Henry Gater off first change bowler, spinner Charlie Miles. Tim Piper, skippering Bradninch in the absence of the holidaying Gary Chappell, was out soon after, stumped by Tom Wainwright off teenage spinner Max Hancock for a 66-ball 23 with the score on 80. There were 122 runs on the home score board when the third was taken, a second smart Wainwright stumping off Dec Lines to see the end of Kian Burns for 10 and just eight runs were added when Charlie Miles held a catch off Will Murray to see an end to the knock of home overseas player Tendai Maruma for 26.

The home side, as desperate for points as Sidmouth, but for very different reasons – with the two sides at opposite ends of the table – then put together a 65-run partnership for the fifth wicket between Charlie Walker and Leon Horn. The pair were parted when Wainwright successfully whipped the bails off early for a third time to have Horn stumped off the bowling of Max Hancock for 23 to leave the home side on 195-5. Ross Acton joined Walker and they took the total to 215 when Acton fell for 12 caught by Zac Bess off Josh Bess. Walker was a thorn in the Sidmouth side and he was unbeaten at the close with 74 from 69 deliveries, 11 of which he rifled to the boundary. Tallan Burns was the other not out batsman with nine to his names at Bradninch closed on 252-6. On an afternoon when bowlers had to work hard for their rewards, Max Hancock’s return of 2-36 was the pick of the Sidmouth bowling effort.

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Chasing 253 for victory did not seem too tall an order on what looked a very good batting track. However, Sidmouth opener Josh Bess, a day before he made his 50th appearance for Devon in the three day game at Berkshire, was sent back without troubling the scorers, clean bowled by Bradninch left armer Ross Acton. Luke Bess joined Dec Lines and they took the reply to 56 when Lines was run out by that man Acton and, when Kalann Nessling – who was bowling in the Upottery 2nd XI earlier in the season – had the previous weekend’s centurion – Zach Bess, caught by Charlie Walker without scoring, Sidmouth were three down with 56 on the board. It was soon 88-4 as Acton held a smart return catch to see off Luke Bess for 39 and it was soon 102-5 with Acton trapping Matt Cooke leg before wicket. At that stage, with half the visiting side back in the pavilion – Ross Acton responsible for four of the five wickets – Sidmouth were troubled. However, Nick Gingell and Will Gater took the required total beneath three figures as they added 54 for the sixth wicket before Gater was trapped leg before by Tallan Burns for a 40-ball innings of 44. Will Murray joined Gingell and the pair took the total to 189 when Murray became the seventh wicket to fall, caught by Rory Thomas off Tendai Maruma for 10. Just three runs were added when the crucial wicket of Gingell was taken – he was caught by Eliot Acton off Tallan Burns for a 65-ball five boundary 41 to leave Sidmouth 192-8 and the end came soon after with the last two wickets – Tom Wainwright being run out by Leon Horn and Max Hancock falling to a Tallon Burns catch off Tendai Maruma to leave Sidmouth all out on 202 and beaten by 50 runs.

For the home side, Ross Acton took the bowling honours with his figures of 3-26 from 10 overs and Tendai Maruma’s return was 2-49 from 9.5 overs. Tallan Burns sent down nine overs for his 2-38 and the other wicket taker was Kalann Nessling, 1-39 from seven.

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Tolchards Devon League Premier Division with four games remaining

P W L T A Pts

Exeter 14 11 3 0 0 224

Heathcoat 14 10 3 0 1 220

Sidmouth 14 10 4 0 0 217

Plymouth 14 9 5 0 0 202

Exmouth 14 8 6 0 0 183

North Devon 14 6 8 0 0 164

Bovey T 14 5 9 0 0 145

Bradninch 14 4 9 0 1 140

Hatherleigh 14 3 11 0 0 121

Sandford 14 3 11 0 0 119

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