Sidmouth teenagers show maturity to ease relegation worries

SIX of the Sidmouth 3rd XI who took to the field against Barton 2nd XI were under 15, but the youngsters showed maturity and skill beyond their years to help the side ease further away from relegation troubles with a 20-point win.

Figures alone suggest Will Sobczak, 14, was the star with 60 in the side’s 200 total and 5-31, when Barton batted, but this might overshadow other key performances.

Anthony Dibble, 14, on his senior league debut, struck 36 and took a high outfield catch to remove Dave Palmer for 64, as he threatened to win the game for the visitors.

Isaac Thomas, also 14, bowled an economic spell of seam to keep Barton’s run rate down and cause Palmer to play the sort of shot that caused his demise. For a while he was operating in tandem with Dominic Bess, whose prodigious off-spin claimed a wicket.

After Palmer departed, the Barton tail folded, Tom Chaplin returning to the attack to mop up two tail-enders in one over and see Barton all out for 162.

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Another 14-year-old, Joe Griffiths, fielded bravely and had the bruises to show for it.

Henry Gater, 13, bowled a decent opening spell, conceding only eight runs in his five-over stint and figured in a 31-run stand for the third wicket.

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As Sidmouth’s innings moved to a close, 27 from 14-year-old Declan Lines got his side in reach of 200 for maximum batting points and Chaplin applied the finishing touch.

Just so the senior members of the side were not totally eclipsed, James Gingell, a comparative veteran at 23, and skipper Mike Dibble, now classed as vintage, pouched three catches.

Sidmouth were grateful to Woodbury for the loan of their pitch and facilities after being “evicted” from their usual Bicton College home by the club’s second XI.

Tomorrow Sidmouth, now 16 points above the drop zone of the Francis Clark 2nd XI A Division must venture into Cornwall to play second-place Plymouth 3rd XI, whose games are played at Torpoint.

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