Sandford not planning to replace injured overseas Ferisco Adams + Bovey welcome Chari + Dart back for Heathcoat +father and son named in Torquay side + Premier previews
LITTLE more than a week after giving up the 1st XI captaincy, Nick Gingell wil be in charge when Sidmouth face Plymouth at Mount Wise.
Gingell passed the reins to Zak Bess on the even of the opening Premier Division game against Bovey Tracey as a combination of his own availability and role in the side was unclear.
With Zak Bess not around this Saturday and ex-county skipper Josh Bess also missing, Gingell will be in charge.
And it is unlikely to be a one-off either as the Sidmouth management know availability is an issue among senior players all summer.
“This is the first week where our season of unavailability starts,” said Gingell.
“From now on you will not see the same 11 play more than once.
“I will come in to captain the side along with Matt Cooke and there could well be a league debut for young all-rounder Byron Knowles.”
Sidmouth have won two from two so far and are jostling with Paignton and Heathcoat for the Premier leadership.
With two out of the three Bess brothers missing, plus the non-availability of spinner Max Hancock there is a hole in the side for what has the capacity to be a tricky game.
Plymouth’s Pakistani all-rounder Faizan Riaz is a match-winner with bat and ball, as Exeter found out the hard way last week when he scored 155 not out against them.
Said Gingell: “Losing three key players puts a major hole in our line-up but that creates opportunities for others.
“This week, more than any other there will be a reliance on the senior players to step up.
“Plymouth is always a tricky place to go, the pitch is a real leveler and in Riaz they have a guy who can literally win the game on his own.
“There cannot be a player that has carried such a reputation since Neil Hancock, someone I was lucky enough to play alongside.”
Richard Goldsby-West, who could not travel with the Plymouth 1st XI last Saturday and stayed at home to assist the 2nd XI, replaces Ben Stein in the city side.
Lightening does not strike in the same place twice very often, but Plymouth skipper Jon Varcoe lives in hope.
“It's always a tough game against Sidmouth and with their recruitment over the winter, on paper they're a strong side,” said Varcoe.
“We've been playing some good cricket and are full of confidence after last week.
“If we put in a similar performance we'll have a great chance of getting a positive result.”
EXMOUTH have a stronger look about them for the away game at Bovey Tracey - and they are probably going to need it as they aim to get back on track after a 58-run derby defeat by Sidmouth.
For Bovey are able to include Zimbabwean international batter Brian Chari for the first time following his belated arrival in the UK.
“It's great to have a player of his callibre on and off the field,” said Bovey skipper Toby Codd.
Bowling all-rounder Peter Turnbull is back in the Exmouth side and University of Exeter batter Matt Armstrong will make his debut in the top five.
One player Exmouth won’t be seeing at all this summer is Australian seamer Jake Robertson, whose father has been taken seriously ill with a brain tumour.
“On the behalf of the myself and the club I want to send my best to Jake, his dad and his family,” said Exmouth skipper Andy Buzza.
Although Bovey have had a woeful start to the new season – they were all out for 54 at North Devon last Saturday – Buzza says the 2017 champions cannot be judged on two poor games.
“Bovey have talent in their side and at their place it's always difficult,” said Buzza.
“I imagine they will be looking to bounce back from last week’s defeat, just like we are.”
Codd could not have put it better himself.
“We've trained well this week and it's a huge game for us Saturday,” said Codd.
“We've started slowly and are hoping for some big results in the coming weeks to get our season moving.”
HEATHCOAT skipper Jackson Thompson wants an instant response to last Saturday’s defeat by Paignton.
Defeat cost Heathcoat top spot, although they remain in the top four.
North Devon are the guests at Knightshayes and Thompson wants his side to play to their strengths.
“We are looking forward to this weekend's game after last week's blip,” said Thompson.
“We just need to refocus on our strengths and use them wisely to our benefit.
“We have worked and trained hard this week to right the wrongs from last week so just need to go out there and express it and stay in the 'present'.”
Pete Randerson, Callum French and Jaime Valadao are unavailable. Jack Dart is back to bolster the top order along with Simon Sobczak and Matt Hague makes his return in the lower order after runs in the 2nd XI.
North Devon will be without opener Ed Yeo for the trip to Heathcoat. James Tyson, a county age-group player, will replace him.
SANDFORD won’t be looking for a replacement for overseas star Ferisco Adams as they feel they already have one.
Gaunteng all-rounder Adams was lined-up as Sandford’s overseas player for the summer ahead, but is resting up at home after breaking an ankle.
Harrison Jones, an Australian who was with Sidmouth in 2013, played in the win over Torquay last Saturday as cover.
And Jones will be in the side for the rest of the season, form and fitness accepted.
“We won't be getting another overseas player to replace Ferissco as we can't play another one with Harrison in the side,” said Sandford skipper Richard Foan.
“Harrison showed on Saturday that he has plenty to offer. He will be English-qualified next summer so hopefully he will have plenty to add to the club in the future
“We have made some great additions over the winter and are still looking for players to add to the squad over the summer.
Sandford entertain early front runners Paignton tomorrow and name the same side that won at Torquay.
Said Foan: “It is always nice to put out the same team, but I am looking to improve on last weekend and put in another good performance.
“Paignton have started well having played them before they work hard as a team and won't give us an easy time at the weekend.
“If we can match their enthusiasm, hopefully we can get a good result.”
Paignton are also going to be unchanged, which is hardly surprising after the start they have had.
It's very hard to change a team that has performed so well the first two games,” said skipper George Benton.
“We've got a lot of competition for places which is great.
“We expect it to be a tough task away to Sanford they have some very decent cricketers and after getting their first win last weekend they will have some confidence about them.
“We go into each game as it comes wanting to do better than the previous week and we aim to do that again this weekend.”
EXETER skipper Tom Pedel wants to see sharper fielding from his side when they visit Torquay this Saturday.
Dropped catches carried a high price last Saturday when Exeter lost by 216 runs to Plymouth on the County Ground.
If Exeter have ever suffered a heavier defeat batting second in nearly 50 years of Devon League cricket, no one at the County Ground can remember it.
Faizan Riaz slammed an unbeaten 155 as Plymouth put Exeter to the sword.
When time ran out Riaz had helped himself to 16 fours and three sixes from the 131 balls bowled at him.
Fin O’Brien (22) had the lone double-figure score in Exeter’s paltry total of 72 all out – and he was outscored by 26 extras.
Pedel said Exeter could have helped themselves by being slicker in the field.
“Our fielding definitely requires improvement but in terms of our batting last week was a week to forget,” said Pedel.
“Saturday is fresh start without thinking too much about want went wrong.”
Somerset’s Ben Green was missing against Plymouth – a loss with bat and ball but will be back against Torquay.
Torquay, who have yet to get off the mark following promotion, are without in-form all-rounder Tom Drake and new pace bowler Jordan Hoffman.
The Passengers – dad Ben and lad Harry – will appear together in the Torquay side for the first time as replacements.
Harry Passenger has been quietly making a name for himself in the 2nd XI over the past couple of season with bat and ball.
Ben Passenger is a former 1st XI captain and Devon seamer who Torquay’s current captain George Allen hopes will add some expertise to the side.
“At the moment we are playing A Division cricket, fielding and catching mistakes are costing us,” said Allen.
“In the A Division you can still win games (that way); in the Premier Division you get punished.
“The top order has yet to get going apart from Drake so this weekend would be perfect to start turning our season around.”