Heathcoat move in for Thompson and Mawdsley
HEATHCOAT captain Pete Randerson has made a double signing as counting down to the new Premier Division seasons starts in earnest.
First to put pen to paper for Heathcoat was Jackson Thompson, the former Gloucestershire and Middlesex professional who lives in Uffculme.
Batting all-rounder Thompson has been a professional in the Devon League since 2013 when he was engaged by Bradninch. He played for Cornwood last season.
Thompson has made 2,863 Premier and A Division runs in fours seasons at an average of 38.7. His top score is 222 for Bradninch against Budleigh in 2013.
Randerson’s second signing is left-hander Reid Mawdsley, who was with Premier rivals Torquay in 2016.
Mawdsley, part of the Devon Lions development programme, made a couple of appearances for Devon in Minor Counties cricket last season.
The 19-year-old had injury problems last season but still managed 326 league runs and a maiden century against Plymouth.
Both new players are serious batters and add some front-end oomph to Heathcoat’s line-up.
Batting is something the are going to need as efforts to bring back South African Brad Barnes, the leading run getter in 2015 and 2016 have failed.
“Brad can’t get a visa for another year so we are now looking for a new overseas player,” said Randerson.
Disappointment at losing Barnes is more than countered by the arrival of Thompson and Mawdsley.
Randerson has defined roles and high expectations of his new signings.
“With Jackson opening up with Toby Lochead, followed by Reid, myself, Sam Smith and new vice-captain Jack Dart we have a strong batting line-up,” said Randerson.
“Jackson has a lot to offer the team in other ways due to his experience and can be a big help to our younger players when they need some guidance. He is a quietly clever cricketer.
“He can bowl a bit too and I expect to get some overs and wickets out of him.”
Randerson said he had been an admirer of Mawdsley for some time and was glad to sign him at the second attempt.
“Reid is at college with a couple of our players and very nearly came to us last year,” said Randerson.
“Last season was his first in the Premier Division and he did more than ok.
“Not many players score their first Premier ton aged 18 – I was at least 21 when I got my first – which tells you how gutsy he is.”
Randerson has other signings in mind, including an extra bowler to strengthen the seam attack.
“Nothing is signed yet and until it is there is nothing to say,” said Randerson.
Despite Thompson’s input last season, Cornwood were relegated from the Premier Division after one year up.
Duncan Boase, the cricket manager at Oak Park, said the club were looking at a change of direction professional wise now Thompson had gone.
“We want a professional who can also take on the coaching,” said Boase.
“Because JT lives so far away that wasn’t possible.
“We are going down the route of finding a level two or three coach who can bat in the top order.
“Jackson became a valuable member on and off the field and our door is always open to him and his family.
“There are no hard feelings at our end and we wish him good luck at Heathcoat.”