Bideford looking to make up lost ground - B Division previews for round nine
OTTERY St Mary go into this Saturday’s clash with deposed leaders Plymstock in good form after beating Shobrooke Park by 21 runs.
The Otters are unbeaten in their last four starts, a run that has taken them up to third in the table, where they are only four points behind Plymstock.
Along the way for Ottery was a win over new leaders Ivybridge, so Plymstock will hold no fears for them.
Shobrooke will hope to get back to winning ways with a victory over lowly South Devon.
South Devon won for the first time last Saturday when they beat Thorverton by eight wickets.
The Newton Abbot side are involved in the scrap to get out of the bottom three and skipper Jon Martin hopes he sees light at the end of the tunnel now.
“After our first win last week we are hoping to build on that and give ourselves a chance going into the second half,” said Martin.
batter Jimmy Hart and seamer Joe Kitto come in for spinner Jimmy Allen (work) and medium pacer Emily Martin(rested).
Third-bottom Thorverton are at home to Tavistock in their last game before the halfway stage of the season.
As three sides go down in the division, skipper Dave Baldock wants the side to get out bottom three in a hurry.
“It’s been a disappointing first eight weeks with only a single win,” said Baldock
“As a team we need to start performing to our potential, as we showed last year when we won eight out of eight in the second half.
“We are in a very competitive division and anything short of our best each week is unlikely to deliver the results needed.”
Batter Jamie Khan and utility player James Hope are both available for the remainder of the season and come into the side along with Harry Choules.
Dartingon & Totnes, the third team in the relegation places, are away to Braunton.
Seamer Jono Colegate is back at Foxhole after a brief flirtation with Premier side Torquay.
That is some good news for skipper James Howrihane, who has all sorts of issues ahead of the trip to Kelsey.
“Eight first team players are unable to play or travel to Braunton,” said Howrihane.
D&T are the only side in the division without a win and are 32 points adrift of safety.
“We know it’s going to be tough but if we can turn it around in the second half you never know,” said Howrihane.
Braunton are the side D&T have to get ahead of and they need some impetus after three games without a win.
“Our standards need to improve all round and we need to start winning a couple of games,” said captain Jon Baglow.
“Hopefully, one win can give us a little momentum.”
Mark Mitchell and Mark Paterson both come back in.
Bideford entertain new leaders Ivybridge keen to make up ground in the top three ahead of them.
Matt Shepherd is back in for young Jack Ford to add some firepower to the middle order.
Bideford were top of the table after four games, but lost in the next round to Plymstock and have been a bit patchy since.
“With the start we had to the season, I thought we may have kicked on a bit more,” said skipper Paul heard.
“But the consistency in performances hasn't been there.
“After saying that, at the start of the season I would have been pleased with our position at the halfway stage, given our youthful squad.”
Ivybridge, who beat Plymstock to go top last Saturday, have some absenteeism.
Josh Zimmerman is unavailable) and Adam Huxtable unable to travel.
Josh Coker and Chris Greenhouse have been pencilled in to play with Charlie Price and Dave Eadie on standby to cover.
“It's been a great first half to the year,” said Bridge captain Kelvin Trent.
“I hope we can push on over the coming weeks to put us in a really good position towards the end of season.”
Tavistock go to Thorverton keen to build on the win over Braunton that propelled them to fifth place.
Tavvy don’t have an overseas player – he went home in the first month of the season due to injury – and are content with their lot right now.
“We're happy with our position at the moment,” said skipper Shaun Daymond.
“We have picked up some good wins and if we were full strength, with an overseas player on board, I'd fancy us to be in the top two.
“I think if we keep a fairly consistent side out most weeks, we will be up and around the mix.
“But as it stands were chasing the top three or four so it's nice to play without the pressure and see where it takes us.”
Dave Manning and James White add some extra batting depth to the side.