Brixham and Thorverton spared the drop as Lewdown pull out of A Division

Saved -Thorverton

BRIXHAM will have a new captain for 2018 aiming to make the best of an A Division reprieve.

Mark Orchard is the man at the helm aming to avoid another relegation scrap.

Mark Orchard - Brixham's new skipper

Brixham were relegated from the Premier Division in 2016 and finished second bottom of the A Division last summer.

It looked like Brixham were going down again, but they had an unexpected let-off when Lewdown surprised everyone by pulling out of the division.

Lewdown have scrapped their league Saturday second eleven and dropped down to the C Division West as part of a club rebuilding exercise. Clubs can't play in the B Division or above unless they run a 2nd XI (league rule 4iii)

There is a knock-on effect through the B, C and D Divisions though due to one less relegation. Brixham's survival means Thorverton don't go down from the B Division, but putting Lewdown in C West means South Devon have tc drop into the D West to acccommodate them.

Orchard, a former Devon fast bowler, will be following in father’s footsteps as 1st XI skipper. Dad Barry had two stints as skipper, the last between 1988-89.

Lee Upham was officially captain last season, although Orchard was one of four other players who led the side at times.

Orchard said team stability will be crucial to getting Brixham out of the B Division as soon as possible.

“The main thing is to get the same 11 out every week, which I don’t believe we did once last season,” said Orchard.

“Lee (Upham) won’t be around a much due to work commitments, but Andy Pugh is going to carry on playing and George Northcott is back full-time, which is good for the club.

“I have got my eye on three signings. We don’t need lots, just the right ones to back up a good team.”

Brixham are still in the market for a new overseas player to replace last season's leading run geter Jason Oakes (494 runs).

Brixham had hoped to sign Stefan Klopper, a former South African U19 player from Northerns, but that deal has fallen through.