Sobczak - agile and on target

SIDMOUTH kept up the pressure on Ipplepen for the second promotion place in the 2nd XI B Division with a maximum 20-point haul from their game with Bideford, writes John Goodwin.

The visitors won the toss and inserted Sidmouth on a damp, slow pitch that promised help for bowlers who put the ball on a good length.

However, it was short balls that accounted for both Sidmouth openers - Anthony Dibble picking out the square leg boundary fielder with a pull and Declan Lines miscuing a similar shot to be caught in the in-field.

Dibble departed with nine to his name at 31 and Lines, for 35, at 59 and from then on it was a toil for Bideford’s bowlers as Simon Sobczak and Greg Chaplin took control.

Sobczak hit five fours and three sixes in a score of 64 ended when he wrongly considered there was a run to the wicket keeper whose skittle skills did not let him down.

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The third wicket put on 115 runs and Chaplin, plundering runs in the leg side, took the score on to 213 with Harvey Sargent. That was when skipper Graham Munday declared to give an extra over to bowl at Bideford.

Isaac Thomas’s opening spell of 3-14, which had Bideford reeling at 19-3, gave Sidmouth the sort of start they wanted, but an inability to consistently bowl in the danger areas in the middle of the innings appeared to provide Bideford with an escape route.

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The remedy was found by Graham Munday and Sobczak and from 144-6 with six overs remaining, Bideford imploded to 153 all out with an over and two balls to go.

A key moment was Munday, recalling his days as a goalkeeper, defying gravity to launch himself to his right to take a firmly struck return catch from Fred King who had made an untroubled 28.

Next over Sobczak, who had distinguished himself at slip with a catch and agile dives to prevent leg side balls going for byes, wrapped things up with his third wicket. Sobczak took 3-15 and Munday 3-23.

Ipplepen, who face leaders Plymstock on the final day of the season, took 17 points from their victory over South Devon and have a 23-point advantage over Sidmouth with two games to go.

Sidmouth will be hoping to maintain the pressure with a good performance at Brixham tomorrow.

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