Sidmouth victory over Bovey opens up title race

A BIG win for Sidmouth over table toppers Bovey Tracey has opened up the title race for the last month of the Francis Clark Devon League Premier Division season, writes John Goodwin.

Sidmouth won by 102 runs in a rain-shortened game and now 10 points cover the leading three sides with 80 points still to play for.

Bovey remain top with Exmouth six points behind and Sidmouth a further four adrift.

Tomorrow Sidmouth will be hoping to continue their recent strong batting showings to Budleigh Salterton’s temporary home at Exeter University’s Topsham ground, a move made necessary after floods devastated the Ottermouth facilities.

To maintain the pressure on the top two sides they will need to avenge a five-run defeat by their coastal rivals at the Fort Field earlier in the season.

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Positive starts have been the key to Sidmouth’s recent run of success and after being inserted in a match shortened to 35 overs the Fort Field side had quick runs on the board thanks to Matt Cooke who took 17 off the first over from Peter Bradley.

When Cooke was out for 39 Anthony Griffiths took on his mantle and piloted the side to 199-5 with an unbeaten 93 off 84 balls. Chris Bradley came in for punishment from him with switch hit boundaries. Luke Bess chipped in with 25.

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Bovey’s reply soon hit the rocks, Luke Bess pouching a catch off brother Josh to remove Peter Bradley and a run out making it 12-2.

With Zach Bess joining in the fray with two wickets and Will Murray getting the prized scalp of Neil Hancock in his brace of lbw victims Bovey slumped to 38-6.

Chris Bradley temporarily halted Sidmouth’s progress with 36 until he was bowled by Cooke but there was never any danger of the visitors’ total being challenged and Bovey were restricted to 97-9.

?On Sunday, the side is in Devon Senior Cup action, travelling to Heathcoat in a bid to reach the final of the competition at the Fort Field and defend their title. Bovey Tracey and Exeter are contesting the other semi final.

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