Thomas in charge of Exeter for Heathcoat trip

Alfonso Thomas - skippering Exeter tomorrow Photo: Pinnacle Photo Agency

EXETER’S Alfonso Thomas is aiming to put one over on his former team-mate Brad Barnes when the city side visit Heathcoat tomorrow.

Barnes and Thomas were team-mates in Cape Town for two season while playing for the Dolphins franchise.

The social chit-chat will have to wait until after the game though as both sides have serious business on the field.

Exeter want a win to keep the pressure on leaders Sidmouth after losing to them last Saturday.

And Heathcoat are keen to get back on track after losing to Bovey Tracey after four straight wins.

“After the hic-cough against Sidmouth we hope we can bounce back,” said Thomas, who is skippering the side in the absence of holidaying Miles Lenygon.

Thomas, who has arrived in league cricket this year after a 16-season career in the First Class game here and in South Africa, remembers all to well the first meeting with Heathcoat.

“When I played with Brad in Cape Town he was a keeper-batsman – now he bowls these floaty off-spinners and got me out with one,” said Thomas. “I don’t want that embarrassment again!”

Said Barnes: “I will take that as a compliment from Alfie!”

Thomas isn’t a total stranger to league cricket having played in Staffordshire 10 years ago. What he has seen so far in Devon has impressed him.

“There are a couple of teams capable of beating almost anyone, but the overall standard is very competitive, which has to be good for the county side,” said Thomas.

“We know how competitive it is as we lost to Cornwood down at the bottom, a defeat I hope does not come back to bite us.

“As a player you target games you think you can win, but that is very hard in this competition as there are no teams you can go easy against.”

Exeter, currently second in the table, are out to push for the title in the second half of the season. Heathcoat would like to challenge, but are realistic too.

“At this point in time we are not looking too far ahead,” said Barnes.

“Our ambitious are to challenge for the title but, realistically, mid-table will be a good season.”

Heathcoat are without batter Pete Randerson and bowler Matt Rudston, but welcome back early batsman Toby Lochead.

Ollie Sale comes into the Exeter attack to give them an additional seam-bowling option.