Premier preview - week nine: Westaway warns against complacency + Goodey back for Plymouth

Dan Goodey - back for Plymouth for the rest of the season

NORTH Devon skipper Matt Westaway will tell his side they are only as good as their next game before Saturday’s Premier Division match at third bottom Bovey Tracey.

With Ed Yeo making a century, and Josh King dismissing all the top five, Sidmouth were trounced by 190 run last time out in the Sandhills.

The result cost Sidmouth the Premier leadership – Exeter have it now – and kept North Devon into fifth place.

It’s 13 seasons since Westaway made the trip along the A39 from Barnstaple & Pilton to join North Devon, during which he has won league titles and knockout cups.

So Westaway’s summing up after the win over Sidmouth is worth paying attention to.

“After our best performance of the season by far, and possibly since I've been involved at the club, we need to make sure we don't let complacency slip in,” said Westaway,

“Sidmouth won't lose another game by that margin this year. Everything went right for us on the day.”

Peter Bradley returns to the Bovey side, which strengthens the batting and give captain Toby Codd an extra bowling option

On the challenge of the match, Codd said: “Important for us to get a win going into the second half of the season.

“It will be nice for us to be at home after a couple of tough weeks.”

HATHERLEIGH head into their Premier clash with top-of-the-table Exeter boosted by a six-wicket win over Bovey Tracey.

Victory took Hatherleigh two places and 18 points clear of the relegation places.

It was a step in the right direction for Hatherleigh as they attempt to avoid the fate of so many newly promoted sides: a prompt return to the A Division.

Beating a side down among the strugglers themselves is one thing: defeating the leaders in their own back yard is another.

“This week looks extremely tough with Exeter going very well,” said Hatherleigh captain Mark Lake.

“We go there full of confidence though and we will go there trying to upset the form book.”

Lake has made four changes for the Exeter game – two of them enforced.

Simon Gillespie is unavailable and Rob Cockwill injured. Niall Leahy and Adam Quick drop down to the 2nd XI. 

In come Gareth Tidball, Charlie Nielson, Dan Fogerty and Eddie Jones. 

SECOND-placed Heathcoat make the short trip to Sandford with Devon opener Liam Lewis available to play.

Work commitments play havoc with Lewis’ availability in the first half of the season, but ease off once term time ends.

With Lewis back, skipper Peter Randerson reverts to his preferred slot at five.

The bookies would be reluctant to take a punt on Sandford, who have only won once in eight starts.

Randerson says it would be unwise to think it will be anything other than a tough game.

“Sandford have got some very dangerous players and it's only a matter of time until they hit form,” he said. 

“We will approach this game with the same preparation as every week. 

“We play hard and hopefully we can keep up the momentum.”

Sandford skipper Richard Foan does not need reminding his side are heading back to the A Division unless results improve in a hurry.

“I think we need four or five wins and we will be safe looking at the strength of the sides around us,” said

“We have got a couple of home games coming up and it would be great to pick up two wins, hopefully starting this weekend.

“It is going to be another tough game they seem to be playing well at the moment.”

Sandford are back to full strength with Jamie Palmer and Matt Theedom back.”

FAST bowler Dan Goodey is home from university for the summer and slots straight into Plymouth’s side for the trip to Bradninch.

Goodey, part of the Devon squad in 2017, has been playing Southern Premier League cricket for Bashleigh while away at his studies. He is clearly in some form with bat (ave 33) and ball (13 wkts at 21), which is good news for Plymouth.

After a faltering start to the season, Plymouth have won two in a row to move 25 points clear of the relegation places.

Bradninch are the team in the relegation place Plymouth are keen to steer clear of, which makes tomorrow’s match important.

“We have been playing well recently and will do all we can to ensure our good run continues,” said skipper Jon Varcoe.

“It is always a tough game up at Bradninch and I don't expect anything less on Saturday.”

Bradninch (9th) play Plymouth (6th), Bovey Tracey (8th) and Sandford (10) on the next three Saturdays. It isn’t rocket science to work out the significance of the programme.

“The next three weeks are important for us to start finding some wins,” said Bradninch captain Gary Chappell.

“It won't be easy against a decent Plymouth side, who have some very fine players. 

“We need to focus on our games and where we've been going wrong and start putting that right ASAP.”

All-rounder Ross Acton returns after injury, but may not be able to bowl. He made a big ton in the 2nd XI last Saturday in the win over Sidmouth III.

SIDMOUTH skipper Luke Bess wants a response against Exmouth from his team after the 190-run hammering handed out by North Devon.

“We need to bounce back after a poor game last week,” said Bess, whose side dropped from top to fourth in the wake of the result.

“We know Exmouth will be up for it, just as they know we will be. 

“Monday night was a nice appetiser for this Saturday, we are looking forward to it

The sides crossed swords on Monday evening in the Servicemaster Clean Devon T20, a match Exmouth won by three wickets to reserve a place at finals day on July 15

Exmouth moved up to third after beating Bradninch last time out, although places mean little with just four points between the top four.

Bob Dawson, Exmouth’s acting captain, said it was important to remember this round is only half way through the season.

“Obviously it’s an important game but as it's only half way trough the season it’s not decisive either way,” said Dawson.

“Our record there isn't great so we know it will be a very tough game against a top team.

“We need a couple of people to really stand up and want to win a big match.”

Exmouth team news is George Greenway is promoted from the 2nd Xi for Greg Marks.

Sidmouth have Devon all-rounder Zak Bess back from his job in East Anglia for the rest of the season – handy tomorrow as brother Josh is absent. Young spinner Max Hancock comes in.