FORGET the race for the Premier Division title – it’s what’s going on at the bottom of the table that matters now.
Whether Bovey Tracey are crowned Premier champs this week or next is largely irrelevant. They are 51 points clear at the top going into tomrorrow’s meeting with Bradninch at Ashburton Road and aren’t going to be caught in the last four games.
The real scrap is going on at the bottom where Paignton (145pts), Heathcoat (141), Torquay (140), Exeter (139) and Plymouth (131) are slugging it out. Two of them will go down, unless North Devon (154pts) suddenly plunge down the table.
The bottom six are all playing among each other tomorrow, which will either clear things up a little, or make them more congested.
Exeter make the short trip to Torquay while Plymouth are at home to North Devon.
Heathcoat, who moved out of the bottom two by beating Exmouth, are unchanged for the trip to Paignton.
Exeter skipper Miles Lenygon, looking ahead to the Torquay match, said: “It's a very important game. I
“In true Exeter fashion we have to make a few changes to the side due to availability and injury.
“It will be good fun and played at a good level as it's massive for both sides.”
Torquay are without opener Mitch Pugh and spinner Dan Wightman, but welcome back all-rounder Tom Drake.
“Looking forward to tomorrow - we both know it's a huge game and we will do what we can to try and win,” said Torquay captain Justin Yau.
“We have no idea what sort of side Exeter will bring down, but we have no doubt that it'll be extremely competitive.
“We've reached the business stage of the season and all these games coming up are double pointers.”
There is even more pressure on Plymouth, whose skipper Sam Stein said: “
It is a huge game for us against North Devon as we are both down in the danger area.
“We know if we win we could jump straight out of there, it's going to be a nervy time for plenty of captains and teams.
“However we know what we need to do and we are working hard to stay in this division after a number of years.”
Plymouth have been back in the Premier Division for a decade. The last time they dropped out it took 13 years to get back so staying up s preferable to the alternative.
For North Devon captain Ed Yeo, the game is there to be won.
“This weekend will sort the men from the boys,” said Yeo.
“We have a few players out so it will be a tough game.
“It's surprising what one win will do in a tight bottom half.
“The players are all focused on what is required and have been training hard.”
Exmouth go into the derby clash with Sidmouth hampered by selection problems.
“Availability is terrible throughout the club,” said Exmouth captain Richard Baggs.
“We have 11 players plus not available, which is killing us.
“We will take what we can from the game an the plan is to finish as high as possible and enjoy our cricket.”