Too early to predict Premier title race says Sidmouth skipper Luke Bess

TABLE-topping Sidmouth skipper Luke Bess believes it is still to early to read much into league positions.

Sidmouth tackle Exeter on the County Ground tomorrow a point clear of their hosts in a real logjam at the top of the table going into the halfway stage of the season.Sidmouth skipper Luke Bess

Only eight points separate the top four – Sidmouth, Exeter, Heathcoat and Exmouth – which is a contrast to last season.

Eight games into the 2014 campaign the top four of North Devon, Torquay, Bovey and Exmouth were 15 points apart.

The lead changed hands four Saturdays running at the top of this years table before Sidmouth beat Cornwood last Saturday to stay there for a second week.

Said Bess: “The division is as competitive as it has been for a while now and I think positions will continue to chop and change throughout the second half of the season.

“Our aim hasn't changed for us, still go out with the attitude to try and win every game we play.”

Exeter, fresh from overwhelming Brixham last Saturday, go into the game at full-strength.

Skipper Miles Leyngon is coy on title talk at the moment, but content with the way things are going.

“I have no real complaints on the how the season has gone so far,” said Lenygon.

“We are looking forward to a big game against another in-form side.”

BOVEY Tracey will be trying to arrest their side down the Premier table when they host Heathcoat.

Back-to-back defeats by Exeter and Exmouth have dropped Bovey down to sixth in the table.

Captain Sam Hickinbottom isn’t panicking about the dip in form and has given the side a vote of confidence.

“We are putting out a similar side again which is good for consistency,” said Hickinbottom.

“Heathcoat have had some good results, but we're confident if we play well we can beat anyone.

“What we need is to find the form we had against the likes of Plymouth and North Devon earlier in the season.

“Hopefully we can end the first half of the season with a win.”

Heathcoat started the season slowly, but have risen to third on the back of a four-game winning sequence.

Skipper Brad Barnes said: “I couldn’t be more chuffed with the way the club has fought back.

“We have gone from one extreme to the other from losing three from three to wining four from four.”

Heathcoat are in touching distance of the top, but it’s a bit early for predictions in Barnes’ opinion.

“Our aim is just to play positive cricket and for each individual to take responsibility in their role,” he said.

“We will reassess in due course, you don't sprint a marathon.”

Heathcoat have re-signed opening batsman Toby Lochead, who was vice-captain last season but left during the winter play for former club Sandford.

“Personally and as a club we are happy to have him back,” said Barnes.

Lochead said his reason for going back to Heathcoat was to challenge himself in at the best level possible.

“I missed playing premier cricket and the challenge of playing against the best players in the county,” said Lochead.

“Heathcoat have shown they have a side to compete at the right end of the Premier Division.

“Hopefully. I will be able to contribute towards a highly successful season.”