Wardrop’s fine 100

SIDMOUTH returned from Budleigh Salterton with the bragging rights and second place in the Francis Clark Devon League Premier Division with victory in a low-scoring game, writes John Goodwin.

The Ottermouth pitch was a happy hunting ground for Sidmouth opening bowlers Josh Bess and Will Gater, who took two wickets each to have their hosts reeling at 13-4 with Devon batsmen Sandy Allen, James Burke and Bob Dawson all back in the pavilion.

Gater castled Burke and Dawson, but was to bowl only six overs in his opening spell and did not return to break down some dogged resistance by the home middle order and tail.

Charles Morris and Lloyd White dug in but could manage only 19 runs in 12 overs until they were parted when the latter fell lbw to Will Murray for six, made in 43 balls.

Morris battled on as partners came and went but was eighth man out with the score on 59, having made 14 in 93 balls. Any hopes Sidmouth had of dismissing Budleigh for a sub-three figure score were dashed by Joel Murphy, who made 23, and Lloyd Murrin with 41 in 40 balls, including three fours and two sixes.

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Indeed, Murrin and last man Aaron Conway prevented Sidmouth taking maximum bowling points and took their side to 119-9 in their 50 overs.

Murray sent down seven maidens in his 15 overs to finish with 3-15. Gater had 2-14, Neil Hancock 2-30 and Bess 2-35.

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Having Sidmouth at 67-5, with James Burke and Charles Morris sharing the spoils, Budleigh might have envisaged an unlikely victory, but Luke Bess and Gater halted any slide.

They had got the scores tied when Bess was out for 42, stumped by Allen off Murphy. Ben Gledhill played out the remaining three balls of Murphy's over to leave Gater with the task of trying to get Sidmouth up to 125 and another batting bonus point with a big hit.

He was denied the chance when the first ball sent down by Dawson was a wide.

Sidmouth took 17 points to the home side's four to move into second place, two ahead of Budleigh.

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