Bess back for Sidmouth + Torquay give debut to Beasant + Bovey bullish
SIDMOUTH welcome back Devon all-rounder Josh Bess for the home game against North Devon.
Bess missed last Saturday’s win at Exeter as he was in Croatia at a wedding.
That’s the good news. The bad news for skipper Luke Bess is that batter Harvey Sargent – he made 99 against Exeter – and seamer Will Gater are missing.
Sidmouth may be top now, but skipper Bess said that means very little with half a season to go.
“The league is as competitive as it has been for a while now in my view, and I think positions will continue to chop and change throughout the second half of the season.
“The aim for us hasn’t changed. We go out with the attitude to try and win every game we play.”
North Devon defeated Sidmouth at Instow on the first day of the season, but have suffered from patchy form since, going from divisional leaders down to sixth.
Sidmouth are arguably stronger now and North Devon need to recapture some of the form that beat Exmouth to beat them again.
“Sidmouth are a very strong side, especially with Josh Bess back,” said North Devon captain Barney Huxtable.
“We played some fantastic cricket last Saturday and looked like we were back to the cricket we were playing a month ago.
“However we are going to need people to perform if we are to turn Sidmouth over twice in a season as they will not be an easy contest.”
EXMOUTH captain Richard Baggs has sounded a note of caution ahead of his side’s home game with Plymouth.
Plymouth lost to previously winless Brixham last time out and dropped into the bottom two.
Baggs, whose own side are third in the table 18 points behind leaders Sidmouth, said Plymouth’s position is a false one.
“This isn’t just bulling them up for the sake of it, but Plymouth are not a bottom-two side,” said Baggs.
“After we played them on the first day and won chasing 300 down there, I came away thinking we had beaten a probable top-four team.
“It is so close in the Premier this year you only need a couple of wins to shoot straight up the table again.
“I still think Plymouth are top-four material and a much better side than their league position suggests.”
Exmouth have some selection issues in the bowling department as George Greenway is injured, Lawrence Greenway is away and Shorn Bobb absent for two weeks due to work commitments.
Paceman Richard Sharples, who has played on and off for Exmouth over the past couple of years when his university commitments permit, is standing by to play.
BOVEY Tracey go to Cornwood hoping to find consistent streak that has been lacking in the first half of the season.
Bovey are one of the five clubs to take a turn at the top of the table so far, but only stayed there a week.
With nine games to go they are fourth in the standings, 25 points behind leaders Sidmouth.
“We've been brilliant at times this season, but also had games where we've been far from it,” said skipper Sam Hickinbottom.
“I just want us to take each game as it comes for now and then see where we are towards the back end of the season - and that starts this week at Cornwood.
“They gave us a good game first up and are on a run so need to have a good day to beat them.”
Cornwood have defeated some good sides recently, North Devon, Exeter and Torquay have come unstuck, but skipper Elliot Staddon says there is no room for complacency.
:Bovey are a strong side and a different one to when we played them first game of the season with some new players coming in,” said Staddon.
“We have had a couple of good results the last two weeks where we have played well, but we must carry on working hard and retaining our discipline when we get out on the field.
“We will need to be at our best to get a positive result.”