Sidmouth creep back into title race with win over North Devon

Sidmouth opener Dec Lines - supported Josh Bess in a stand of 104
Sidmouth opener Dec Lines - supported Josh Bess in a stand of 104

SIDMOUTH are right back in the hunt for the Premier Division crown after the title race took another twist.

Heathcoat’s 67-run win over leaders Exeter meant it was all change at the top of the table.

Heathcoat went top, Sidmouth moved up to second thanks to a five-wicket win over North Devon and Exeter dropped back to third.

Going into the final round of games this Saturday it’s Heathcoat (266pts), followed by Sidmouth (260) then Exeter (255).

Heathcoat are at home to Sandford, a side battling to stay up, Exeter go to relegated Hatherleigh and Sidmouth make the short trip to mid-table Exmouth.

Sidmouth captain Luke Bess said it is Heathcoat’s lose from now on, but his side are not without hope.

“Heathcoat just have to win and, no disrespect to Sandford, but I see it going Heathcoat’s way,” said Bess.

“Hopefully, Sandford can do us a favour and we can sneak it.”

North Devon, who had lost four on the trot going into Saturday’s game, were held to 216 for six.

The batting was solid rather than spectacular with Ed Yeo (43), Ben Howe (44), Josh King (31) and Adrian Isherwood (26) all contributing.

Max Hancock (2-26) and Will Murray (2-40) were Sidmouth’s leading bowlers.

There was never much doubt about the result after Sidmouth openers Josh Bess (64) and Dec Lines (40) hoisted 104 for the first wicket.

North Devon, who go into this Saturday’s game against Bovey Tracey on the back of five straight defeats, are only 13 points clear of the relegation places and could be in trouble if Bradninch AND Sandford below them both win.

“The equation for us is simple,” said Westaway.

“Win the game on Saturday and we finish lower mid-table ensuring Premier cricket at Instow next year. Lose we are trusting to luck that the teams below us also lose. 

“It's backs against the wall stuff, but, I am confident somebody will put their hand up and play the innings we have been lacking over the past few games.” 

Luke Bess (36), Matt Cooke (20) and Henry Gater with 36 off 18 balls had victory assured in the 36thover.