Ton-up Yeo puts North Devon on course for 300-plus total

Five wickets and 55 not out - MoM Josh King
Five wickets and 55 not out - MoM Josh King

ED Yeo celebrated his Minor Counties call-up by Devon with a no-nonsense hundred in North Devon’s runaway win over Sidmouth.

Yeo, at 35, is one of the older players to get a Championship debut in the post-war period.

Record books can be unreliable at times but a quick glance through the county’s suggests only Exmouth’s Vinod Chouhan (38) and Sidmouth’s Anthony Griffiths (36) were older when they made their first Championship appearances for the county.

Yeo’s form for North Devon in league cricket impressed the Devon management to earn him a one-day call-up for the T20 game against Wales at Instow last week.

He was retained for the three-day fixture against the same opposition that started on Sunday at Sandford and showed some more of the form that earned the call by battering Sidmouth’s attack for 123 off 111 balls.

With Yeo in full cry, and support from Premier Division debutant Ben Howe (55) and Josh King (55no), North Devon clattered along to 319 for five.

Yeo and Howe put on 199 for the second wicket in a stand that finally ended when Devon captain Josh Bess had his newest county team-mate caught behind.

King and Tom Popham (29) kept the runs coming.

Sidmouth were all out in reply for a season’s low of 129. King (5-44) reduced them to 57 for five single-handed.

Nick Mansfield (24) and Henry Gater (27) showed some resolve, but they went the back-up bowlers took the last three wickets for eight runs.

Matt Westaway, the North Devon captain, said there was only one word to describe the performance and that was ‘exceptional.

He added: “To dominate a game like that against proven, quality opposition is a big achievement for us.  

“It demonstrates the talent the group has and also shows that on our day we can beat anyone. 

“There were outstanding performances from Ed Yeo and man of the match Josh King. 

“Ben Howe also had an excellent debut for us to announce himself into the Premier Division.”

Howe, formerly of Bridgend Town, was elevated from the second team after scoring a 50 and a 100 in his first two games.

Luke Bess, the Sidmouth skipper, was to the point in his post-match surmation.

"We were poor,"  said Bess. "North Devon played well and deserved to win."