B Division previews + Christophers wants all-round improvement from Bovey 2nd XI
THORVERTON skipper Andy Pitt is confident his side can still win promotion despite a 40-run defeat by Plymstock.
Seaton are already up as B Division champions, but the second promotion spot is up for grabs between Thorverton (192pts), Kilmington (185) and Cullompton (184).
Kilmington gained ground on Thorverton by winning at Brixham last time out.
Cullompton, who had no game last Saturday, play Thorverton this week, which is their chance to catch-up.
As Thorverton’s final game is against Kilmington, the race for second place could go right down to the wire.
Andy Pitt, the Thorverton captain, said: “It's going to be like two cup finals.
“We are just fortunate that it's still in our own hands and we don't need other results to go our way.
“We're still fighting for promotion and Cully have still got to play Bovey and get something.
“I would love it of we beat them on Saturday.”
Jake Choules is back so he comes in for Bobby Heard.
Cullompton captain Jason Parr is chomping at the bit to get stuck into Thoverton.
“It is a crucial game for both sides,” said Parr.
“We've been on a good run and there's a great buzz around the side at the moment.
“It’s going to be a tough one but we're taking a strong side and we will give it everything.
“Everyone is excited for this game and if we maintain the same standards that we have shown in recent weeks then I'm confident that we can pick up another good result.”
BOVEY Tracey 2nd XI captain Jeremy Christophers is looking for an all-round improvement from his side when they entertain doomed Brixham.
Although Bovey can’t be promoted due to their second-eleven status, Christophers still wants the prestige of finishing second in the table.
However, Christophers accepts Bovey won’t do that unless they win their last two games, which means playing better than they did in the 22-run defeat by Chudleigh.
“Looking at the other fixtures for the last two weekends, if we play well, we should still finish in the runners-up spot, but only if we apply ourselves,” said Christophers.
“We were guilty of a lack of application against a lowly Chudleigh side.
“Although we bowled reasonably well, the fielding lacked the sparkle it usually has, this enabled Chudleigh to amass a competitive total.
“Derek Lammonby and Mark Russell always bowl very straight and the challenge was to see them off without losing too many wickets before looking to attack the second-string bowlers.
“At 54 for two we were well placed to win the match. However, losing three quick wickets to occasional bowlers reduced us to 76 for five which, in turn, placed too much pressure on batsmen lower down the order having to come in and score at eight or nine runs per over.
“From there the result was inevitable and we came up short.”
Wherever the 2ndXI finish, Christophers feels the season will have been a success.
“I think the biggest achievement for the second team, has been the way in which we have supported the first team, who have not had the best of times this season,” said Christophers.
“Our good position in the B Division is a bonus.”
Bovey will start as strong favourites against Brixham, who are already consigned to relegation.
However, Christophers is aware with four players on 1stXI duty thinks could easily go wrong.
“We are very wary of Dhananjaya Lakshan, the Brixham overseas, who has scored more than 400 runs and taken over 25 wickets this season and has a real talent.
“We have bought some experienced players in to replace our young players have moved up to the first team: Mike Pugh and Dom Whitlock for their batting and Lee Nichol to bowl.”
PLYMSTOCK welcome Chudleigh to Dean Cross hoping there is a still a chance of taking the second promotion spot.
“We are looking to finish the season strongly and see where we end up, but are under no illusions that Thorverton are favourites to go up,” said vice-captain James Nicholls.
“But funny things happen at this time of the season, so we just have to try and do our job well and see how pressure affects the others.”
Unchanged Plymstock are on a particular mission this Saturday.
“We were awful at their place and want to give them a better game at ours,” said Nicholls.