News in brief from the C Division West
ASHBURTON skipper Ashley Berry is taking a wait-and-see attitude to the season ahead, which starts with a trip to Cornwood 2nd XI.
Ashburton, along with Dartington & Totnes, have been placed in a new division with three former Premier Division 2nd XI sides for 2018.
The merger is part of the all-through league clubs voted for in November 2016 at a special meeting of the league.
The second teams of Cornwood, Bovey Tracey and Plympton are all in the division, which looks like presenting a challenge for clubs like Ashburton.
“It has been years since I have played a side at that level – and that will go for most of our team too,” said Berry.
“No one knows how it is going to work out.
“I feel it will be a year of consolidation for us as we see what the water is like.”
Tom Durman and Ashely Harvey are no longer with the club, although both have one before and returned later.
Going any day now is big-scoring Aussie Tristan Wakefield, who had planned a two year stay with his wife in Ashburton but has been called home on family business.
DARTINGTON & Totnes will be on familiar ground when they visit Chagford.
The two sides are old adversaries in the lower divisions and finished two points apart in mid-table last summer.
Veteran Harold Stevenson continues as captain for another season, a job he has held on and off for more than a decade.
The close season has been quiet down Foxhole way. D&T’s new overseas player is Matthew Sevior, an all-rounder who plays for Melbourne Vermont CC in the Box Hill Reporter DCA competition.
SHALDON have a new skipper and an old face back in their first team this season.
The Optimists, who recently unveiled a £500,000 redevelopment plan for their Hazeldown Oval home, have asked Todd Bullman to take over as skipper.
Bullman replaces Mark Couch, who did three years in the post.
Back at Shaldon for a third stint in his career is former Devon seam bowler Ryan Bougourd.
Bougourd started out with Shaldon before joining the then A Division side Bovey Tracey.
He returned to Shaldon for the 2016 season, helping Optimists to promotion from the D Division West. His 51 wickets – including all 10 against Stokeinteignhead – had a lot to do with the title success.
Bougourd was lured back to Bovey last season and took 28 wickets at less than 24 runs each in a side that raced to the title with three games to spare.
Richie Fisher, an all-round sportsman who plays hockey, is back after a break from cricket.
Kiwi George Thomas is not about this season after a couple of years at the club.
Shaldon open the season away to Lewdown.