Yau and Thompson on way to Congresbury after leaving Torquay

Joe Thompson, who is moving to Congresbury with Justin Yau
Joe Thompson, who is moving to Congresbury with Justin Yau

FORMER Torquay captain Justin Yau and ex-Rec Ground team-mate Joe Thompson have signed for Bristol side Congresbury for 2018.

Yau, who skippered Torquay to the Tolchards Devon League Premier title in 2015, was part of an exodus from the club at the end of last season, which ended in relegation to the A Division.

Also on the way out of the Recreation Ground are Nick Watkin – he is going to Abbotskerswell – and spinner Matt Petherbridge.

Petherbridge, currently on a gap winter in Australia, has yet to decide where he will be playing this summer.

Joe Thompson (centre) and Justin Yau (right) celebrate a wicket falling while playing for TorquayThompson and Yau – both teachers – live in Bristol and have been commuting back to Torquay on Saturday afternoons for a while.

Congresbury play in the Bristol and North Somerset Division of the West of England Premier League, roughly the same level as the B Division in Devon.

It may seem a step down for two players with Minor Counties experience – Thompson made his three-day debut for Devon last season – but Yau sees it otherwise.

“I am really looking forward to the new challenge at a vibrant and ambitious club,” said Yau.

“Congresbury outlined their vision for the next few years and it was a project which I wanted to be part of and build towards.

“Their youth section is fantastic with numerous county players in their set-up and the senior players all appear ambitious to drive the club forwards.

“They won their division convincingly last year and hope to challenge again.

“It will be a very different environment to the Devon league but it's an exciting prospect.”

One of the reasons Congresbury won promotion was the form of Iraq Thomas, who was Babbacombe’s overseas player in 2016.

Trinidadian Thomas took 32 league wickets at around 17 runs each and slammed 815 runs at an average in the 50s with a best of 147 not out off 74 balls against Twyford House.

Playing for Twyford House was former Exeter player Alex Bosomworth, who suffered under the Thomas lash to the tune of 44 runs hit in two overs.