A and B Division round-up: Torquay skipper Allen (pictured) hopes to get balance of side right
TORQUAY and Paignton meet at the Recreation Ground in an A Division top-of-the-table clash.
Both sides are three from three so far and only separated by a couple of bonus points at the top.
“We are expecting a hard game against Paignton and looking forward to the challenge,” said Torquay captain George Allen.
Torquay welcome back Kazi Szymanski, who can’t play regularly in term time as school games at King’s College, Taunton take priority.
King’s schoolmate Sonny Baker is also available, but has not been selected.
“I have decided that with five seamers in the team, all currently bowling well, the balance of the side would be better in playing three spinners and five seamers.,” said Allen.
“Sonny is a very talented bowler and will no doubt be an integral part of our team as the season progresses.”
Second-placed Cornwood are at home to Abbotskerswell, who got of the mark last Saturday by defeating Ivybridge.
Ryan Rickard comes in for Craig Harris who is unavailable.
“We're looking to just keep playing the way we have and keep the momentum going,” said skipper Matt Skeemer.
Bideford skipper Paul Heard is looking for a change of fortunes when he takes the side to Ivybridge.
Last Saturday’s seven-wicket defeat by Torquay was Bideford’s second on the trot and left them four points off the relegation places.
Although Bideford have had a tough start to the seasons – three games against sides in the early top four – Heard has seen nothing to worry him.
“We've played three strong teams so far (Plympton, Torquay and Paignton) and competed in all three so it should set us up well for the rest of the season.”
Looking ahead to this Saturday, Heard said: “”We have had some tight games with Ivybridge in the past and not expecting anything else.”
Opener James Ford, who was injured warming-up for the game against Ivybridge, has made himself available to play.
Bottom two Chudleigh and Brixham meet in a basement battle at Kate Brook.
Budleigh Salterton are away to Plympton.
B DIVISION top dogs Barton are away to fourth-placed Plymstock.
Barton are a batter and bowler light in the absence of Shaun Needham and Stuart Bowker. Batter Will Grainger and all-rounder Matt Needham come in.
Thorverton were the latest team to fall by the wayside at Cricketfield Road.
“We had a strong result last Saturday, which sets us up well for a tough game this week, said Barton skipper Adam Parker.
“We will be looking to continue to go the basics right, create pressure when bowling and value our wicket when batting.”
Mid-table Seaton got to Thorverton looking to bounce back from their reversal by Shobrooke Park.
The Canns – dad Brian and lad Josh – return, which solves the wicket-keeping problem and strengthens the batting.
Tim Mitchell replaces the absent Ed Hunt, All-rounder Robbie Prior will be missed – he is following Exeter Chiefs – and in a reshuffle Elliot Driver drops into the second team to get some batting time.
Elsewhere in the B Division, Cullompton entertain Tavistock, Filleigh are at home to Ipplepen and Babbacombe go to Shobrooke Park.
Babbacombe have yet to win a game since arriving in the B Division and skipper Steve Broad hopes to turn the corner soon.
Batter Mike Pugh is out injured and Broad loses a number of key players, among them veteran left-armer Paul Bates.
Andy McVeigh and off-spinner Damon Calland both come back into the line-up.