Lemmings back as Bideford aim to regain top spot
BIDEFORD entertain Barton looking to get over the one-wicket defeat by Ipplepen that cost them top spot in the B Division.
With second-placed Shobrooke Park losing too, it was another all change weekend at the top. Ipplepen are the new leaders, Tavistock are second with Bideford third and Shobrooke fourth.
Bideford skipper Paul Heard expects to have spinner Mike Lemmings playing this week.
On the challenge of the match ahead he said: “We should be back to full strength.
“We know Barton have some match winning players and we need to show we can bounce back from a close one last week.”
THORVERTON can put some distance between themselves and the danger zone in the B Division if they beat visiting Filleigh.
Two go down from the B Division this season – not three as in previous years – as the league is being redrawn ready for the introduction of an all-through competition in 2018.
Thorverton are currently six points clear of the drop spots, occupied by Ottery and Filleigh.
James Grady, a quick-bowling all-rounder, is due to make his Thors debut against Pens having been brought over to replace Seppe Barletta, who has returned to Australia due to a family illness.
Jacob Broom returns and James Maxwell is back after finishing university.
“It's a massive game that we really want to win to finish the first half on a high and build some momentum for the next nine games,” said skipper Andy Pitt.
“Hoping that Grady will add some extra firepower to our seam attack, but we just want a game where everything clicks in batting, bowling, fielding wise as we have only done it in parts this season.
Thors had hoped to make some upward progress last Saturday away to fellow strugglers Barton, but lost that one by six wickets.
Over the entire 75-game progamme in the Devon League last Saturday, Filleigh’s game was the only one not to start of finish.
Filleigh remain one off the bottom, six points behind Thorverton and 22 adrift of Barton.
Skipper Simon Prideaux said not playing Ottery was a setback, but not a terminal one at this stage of the season.
“We are still in touching distance of the teams above us and with a couple of wins things could look a lot better,” said Prideaux.
“It is one game before halfway in the season so we know the level of opposition and how we need to perform in order to win.
“We all need to raise our games as we have in previous seasons in the second half.”
Filleigh can do something about their position this Saturday as they go to Thorverton.
Military medium bowling all-rounder james marsh returns from his sailing weekend and replaces middle order batsman Harley Ashdown.
SHOBROOKE Park go into the top-of-the-table clash with Tavistock chastened by their 87-run defeat by Seaton.
Shobrooke host second-placed Tavistock this Saturday keen to put defeat behind them. They could go back up to second if they win, depending how Ipplepen do in their derby clash with Abbotskerswell.
Shobrooke will be stronger for the date with Tavistock.
“We have a couple of strong players coming in,” said skipper Chris Simpson.
“Dan maytum, who bats top order and all-rounder Dan Robbins.”
On the challenge of the match, Simpson said: “Tavistock are a quality team and we know we'll have to be at our best to come away with the points.”
Tavistock are minus James White and Ian Gray in the top half, but welcome back Rob Bone lower down.
“We always have a tough game against Shobrooke and are looking forward to it,” said skipper Shaun Daymond.
SEATON will be disappointed not to make it four on the trot when they visit bottom side Ottery St Mary.
“We have been playing some good cricket and the spirit in the camp is brilliant so just looking to continue our good form,” said skipper Ben Morgan.
Steve Pritchard, Kersley Sutton and Joe Berry come back in for Ben Goodier, Mike Wheeler, and Ollie Pinnock.
IPPLEPEN have made a clutch of changes to the side that won at Bideford for the derby date with Abbotskerswell.
Veteran spinner Marcus Green isn’t available, neither is batter Adam Peters, and seamer Will Gornall is out with an ankle injury.
Ben Forsey, Keith Wakeham, a like-for-like replacement for Green, and Seb Powell step up.
Abbots, hit and miss in the league after winning their first two games, hope the derby will fire them up.
“Still waiting for our game to come together so hopefully this will be the test we need,” said skipper Charlie Hill.