A Division: More to Lewdown than Wessels warns Murphy
CHUDLEIGH skipper Ed Foreman accepts his side are the under dogs going into Saturday’s clash with leaders Bradninch at Kensham Park.
Both sides are on the back of wins – Chudleigh over Ipplepen, Bradninch over Sandford – get the manner of the couldn’t have been more different.
While Chudleigh were chasing143 to win against Ipplepen, Bradninch were demolishing Sandford by 173 runs.
Gary Chappell slammed an unbeaten 205 against Sandford as Bradninch set a new team total record for the division of 364 for four.
Foreman said Bradninch away is a daunting prospect, but from a pragmatist’s point of view there is no pressure on Chudleigh.
“We are playing a top side who I expect to be right up the top of the table at the end of the season,” said Foreman.
“Bradninch were a great side two years ago when we played them and have improved since then so we are expecting a hard game.
“They want promotion whilst we want to stay up, so I would say the pressure is on them to win the game.
“Anything else would be an upset.”
Bradninch are hoping to complete the transfer of Josh Cann back to Kensham Park before the game following his decision to leave Sandford.
Keeper-batter Cann left Feniton for Bradninch for the start of the 2015 season, then moved to Sandford in late June.
He was in the Sandford side beaten by Bradninch last Saturday.
Bradnich skipper Tim Piper sees the next three games as chance to consolidate at the top of the table.
“We have a good chance to get a healthy lead at the top as we play Chudleigh, Hatherleigh and Ipplepen, some of the weaker teams in the division,” said Piper.
“Having said that, Chudleigh have started better than many may have thought they might, having won as many as they have lost this year so far.”
BUDLEIGH Salterton skipper Joel Murphy will remind his players there is more to Lewdown than Johann Wessels when the two sides meet at Ottermouth.
Wessels has scored 424 runs in four hits this season – easily the stand-out performer in the division.
Murphy doesn’t but into the one-man team theory advanced by many of Lewdown’s rivals and believes that is the wrong way to approach the game.
“Wessels is a top player – we saw that last season – but Lewdown have a fair bit more in the locker than him,” said Murphy.
“It is no use saying we will keep him quiet and the rest we can sortout as that isn’t going to work.
“They have a more than they show and if you ignore the others then we are likely to get shot down.”
Budleigh go into the game with some winning form behind them after consecutive wins over Chudleigh and Barton.
However, they will be without Somerset’s Max Waller who is on one-day duty and unavailable to Budleigh.
Lewdown are minus skipper Tallan Burns – currently sunning himself in Cyprus – but are otherwise at full strength.
Harry Geering, who is resuming the captaincy for a week, said he wants to see more of the form that has taken Lewdown to third in the table.
“We will be looking to continue our good run,” said Geering.
“Taking into account we won our last three last season that makes us six out of seven.
“It would be great to continue that but we know Budleigh are a good side and we always have competitive games against them.
“Should be a close one.”
Plympton will try to bounce back from their defeat at Lewdown when they host bottom side Ipplepen.
Batsman and seam bowler Josh Mailling is home from university and plays. Owen Gannon drops into the 2nd XI for batting practice.
Ipplepen have enforced changes due to holidays. Seb Powell and Steve Bowden are out but all-rounders Joe Abbott and Marcus Green are back.
BARTON skipper Adam Parker is hoping his side find some consistency after a patchy start to the season.
Paignton are the visitors to Cricketfield Road tomorrow where they encounter a Barton side up one week and down the next. Two wins, two defeat and a rain-off so far.
Last time out they were beaten on the chase by Budleigh, having dispatched Hatherleigh the week before.
“It was frustrating again last week and shows our inconsistency,” said Parker.
“We have the potential to compete with all the teams in the division if we apply ourselves properly.
“I am sure the players will bounce straight back this week in a tough game against Paignton who have been doing well.
“The team is yet to be picked, but we have McVeigh, Hunt and Bellamy back for selection.”
HATHERLEIGH captain Mark Lake is a hard task master, asking for more from his team even though they toppled leaders Paignton last time out.
Matt Thomas made a ton in Hatherleigh’s 214 all out, then Chris Jelley and Lake bowled out Paignton for 149.
Most captains would be happy with that, but not Lake.
“I am looking to build on last week’s performance,” said Lake.
“I feel we can still bat better abs build bigger totals.”
Opener Danny Forrester is out and Charlie Nielson is in.
On the challenge of the match, Lake said: “There are no easy games in the A and Saturday will be no different.
“Sandford are always a real test and I have great respect for them as a club and side.”
Sandford go to Hatherleigh looking to bounce back from a drubbin by Bradninch.
With Josh Cann on the way back to Bradninch it will be a toss-up between Chris Blake or Nigel Ashplant who keeps wicket.