Ashworth half-century steers Paignton to win over Sidmouth

PAIGNTON did something few teams have achieved for a while – done the double over Sidmouth.

Newly promoted Paignton beat the defending league champions on the second Saturday of the season and turned them over again in the rematch at Queens Park.

As Sidmouth were unbeaten in three, and Paignton without a win in the same period, there was an element of surprise about the result.

Sidmouth were bowled out for 140 in the 35th of their 50 overs – no one making more than Matt Cooke (23).

Best of the rest were Zak Bess (22), Dan Powell (20) and Josh Bess (16).

“The bowling performance was fantastic, you have to be pleased any time you bowl Sidmouth out for under 150, whatever the pitch,” said Paignton captain Richard Ashworth.

“I thought Rob Shergold (2-31) and George Benton (1-38) bowled brilliantly up top and Rob really held his nerve against the two openers who were looking to go after him.

“Our spinners gave us really good control in the middle then then George Yates (2-15) and Dan Wolf (2-12) bowled good areas to get the final few wickets.

Tristan Coetee (42) and Noah Wright (20) steered Paignton in the right direction wirh an opening stand of 45.

Then Ashworth cracked 51 not out to see Paignton home with more than eight overs to spare.

Victory lifts Paignton to sixth in the table, 23 points above the relegation zone, with a trip to Exmouth coming up on Saturday.

“It was the perfect start to the second half of the season for us,” said Ashworth.

“We would have batted first had I won the toss, but that may have worked in our favour.

“The pitch didn't play as well as it initially looked and chasing a low score meant we didn't have to take many risks.

“Tristan got us off to a fantastic start again and took a lot of pressure of the guys coming in after.

“We had a bit of a wobble when Josh Bess (4-45) came back and took three quick wickets, but by then we didn't have many to get.

“Now we need to start stringing these good performances together and look forward to a tough game against Exmouth.”