Bumper batch of Premier previews for weekend ahead - Cellar dwellers clash on Rec+ Chappell wants to bury hatchet with Paignton and stick to the cricket +
BRADNINCH skipper Gary Chappell wants to bury the hatchet with Paignton when the two sides meet at Queens Park on Saturday.
The two sides were arch-rivals in the A Division for a couple of seasons and came up as one-and-two at the end of last summer.
Relations have been a bit strained at times, something Chappell wants to change.
“We know all about Paignton and their strengths,” said Chappell.
“They're a young, competitive side and there's been a bit of rivalry between us.
“I hope all the childish stuff on and off the field from the previous couple seasons can be put to bed - myself included - and make Saturday about a good game of cricket.”
Bradninch’s three-game winning streak came to and end last Saturday when they were beaten by Premier leaders Bovey Tracey.
“I am looking for a response after last week’s disappointment,” said Chappell.
“It is a big game as ourselves and Paignton have started reasonably well.
“The losers will be sucked back into the relegation pack but the winners will get a nice bit of breathing space.”
Andy Buzza unavailable but Dan Hardy, another all-rounder, is in.
Medium Eliot Acton is down this weekend so plays.
Paignton skipper Richard Ashworth didn’t have anything to say about burying hatchets, other than to acknowledge the challenge of the fixture.
“It's always a hard fought game when we play Bradnich and we've played against them a lot over the last few years.
They've got a few match winners in their side and are very dangerous on their day.
“But for us it's all about building on last week’s win.
“Chasing down another score of more than 200 gives us a lot of confidence with the bat, especially playing at home.
“We've contained well this year and taken wickets at key times so we'll be going into the game with lots of confidence and hoping for a good contest.”
Justin Mann comes in for Stephen George, who is out with a dislocated finger, and Oli Higgs is back in for Aaron Hearn.
SIDMOUTH, rained off halfway through against Exmouth, are away to Heathcoat.
Zak Bess (72) and Josh Bess (93) were the leading scorers in a total of 269 for seven. Exmouth were 68 for one when it rained.
“It was disappointing for last week’s game to be interrupted by the weather as it was shaping up to be a good one,” said Sidmouth skipper Luke Bess. “Hopefully, this week we can have another good game.”
Dan Powell returns behind the stumps after a week away.
While Sidmouth have been on the up after a hesitant start to the season, Heathcoat are sliding down after losing three of the last four.
Paignton beat them by four wickets last time out, chasing 226 to win with more than two overs to spare.
Skipper Peter Randerson is still on holiday so Sam Smith leads the side in his absence.
Paceman J J Smit returns to the Heathcoat side having missed last Saturday’s match as he was playing for Namibia against Scotland.
TABLE-topping Bovey Tracey have a potentially tricky date with in-form North Devon on the Recreation Ground.
When Somerset have no Saturday game there is always a danger of running into one of the Overton twins, although as both are on England duty next week that’s unlikely.
North Devon are in a bit of form though having posted big wins over Plymouth and Exeter to move away from the drop one.
The good news for Bovey skipper Pete Bradley is the team will be at full strength.
“For the first time this season we have everyone available,” said Bradley.
The bad news is some good players will be left out.
Lewis Hammett will take the gloves back from Sam Taylor.
Former Devon captain Chris Bradley will come back; the tricky bit is for whom.
“It's a tough decision but Chris will add something in all three departments and a massive amount of experience,” said his brother.
“ I will be dropping someone down to get some batting time and then come back up in form, much like will Christophers and Tom Andrews are doing at the moment.”
North Devon are resigned to being without county paceman Jack Popham for a few weeks yet.
Popham had hoped to be fit enough to play against table-topping Bovey Tracey tomorrow, despite a hamstring problem.
Popham pulled-up in the Devon game against Dorset two weeks ago and missed last Saturday’s win over Plymouth.
There was talk of Popham being 50-50 to bowl of a short run against Bovey, but that’s not going to happen.
“No Popham for the next couple weeks,” said skipper Ed Yeo, who is back after a fortnight off.
“Jack is going to be a big miss going into a tough game against the top-of-the-table side with home advantage.
“We are looking forward to the challenge.”
EXETER skipper Miles Lenygon will warn his players experience counts for plenty when they tackle Exmouth on the Maer.
Exmouth have variously been labelled the ‘golden oldies’ and ‘the legends’ by rival captains this season, a reference to some of their players being a bit long in the tooth.
As a former Exmouth player himself, Lenygon knows the personalities well and will remind his team-mates not to underestimate the opposition.
“Bob Dawson and Richard Baggs have been stacking up runs for years and I expect they have a few more years in them yet,” said Leygon.
“David Lye is still doing it with bat and ball and still one of the fittest around.
“Age is irrelevant when you are fit enough to still do it, and they are a talented lot.”
Exeter need a bounce back win after losing to Torquay to keep in mid-table, which is Lenygon’s 2017 target.
Exmouth skipper Richard Baggs, 43 this year and still going strong, isn’t reading a great deal into Exeter’s defeat by Torquay.
He has been playing Exeter sides for 25 years, apart from a brief spell at Exeter, and know what to expect.
“We have had some really tough battles the last few years and expect the same this week,” he said.
On the ‘golden oldie’ tag, Baggs said” “I know I've got old when I'm playing regularly against sons of guys I've played with and known for years like Glenn Lammmonby’s son Tom.
“I still feel the desire to win and think I can do a job with the bat.”
CELLAR dwellers Torquay and Plymouth meet at the Recreation Ground in a game neither can afford to lose.
Plymouth hit rock bottom last Saturday after they were defeated at North Devon.
Torquay move off the bottom by winning at Exeter, but remain in a relegation spot.
It almost goes without saying it is a big game, but rival captains Justin Yau and Sam Stein just couldn’t avoid it.
“We are under no illusions that it is a big game - whoever wins clambers out of the bottom two so there is a lot at stake,” said Torquay skipper Yau.
“Having said that; we aren't too bothered about looking too far ahead and want to concentrate at a game at a time.
“We are looking forward to playing at the Rec again and finally it looks like we are going to have some sustained sunshine.
“Plymouth always battle hard so we look forward to a competitive game.”
The view from Sam Stein in the Plymouth camp was: “It is a massive game for us, we need to get back to winning ways.
“We've addressed everything that we've needed to, so it's all about doing it on Saturday.
“Everyone is feeling positive and looking forward to a good game.”
Torquay have named the same squad that won at Exeter, but have two doubts.
“Matt Beasant has struggled all week with two wisdom teeth being taken out and George Allen was involved in a cycling incident midweek and both are 50-50,” said Yau.
Ben Francis is on standby.
Plymouth are without spinner Fahad Ali, due to exams. Tom Hughes comes in.