Thorverton's Station Road ground

THORVERTON will want to make the best of their relegation reprieve when the new season gets under way next month.

When the dust settled at the end of last season after ups and downs had been factored into the league’s all-through re-organisation, it seemed Thors were heading into the C Division East of the Tolchards Devon Cricket Leage.

Clubs voted at a special general meeting late last year for an all-through league in which 2ndXIs would be integrated with 1stXIs.

All the divisions from the C Division West and East down where redrawn with three 2ndXIs imported from the old second-team competition.

Fixture lists were draw up and everyone knew where they stood, until Lewdown withdrew from the A Division by request and dropped down to the new-look C Division West. Then it got complicated.

Lewdown’s decision to drop down meant Brixham were reprieved from relegation from the A Division, which saved Thorverton from leaving the B to make room for them.

Lewdown had to be accommodated somewhere, which was in the C Division West. That turned out to bad news for South Devon, who were relegated into the D Division West.

Andy Pitt, the 1stXI captain at Station Road, said after three successive battles against relegation, it was time for an upturn.

However, Pitt is realistic about the prospects for the season ahead.

“We need to go out and feel positive about our cricket this season and see where they takes us,” said Pitt.

“Last season our division was skewed by Ottery St Mary having such a bad season and not winning a game at all.

“A lot of people thought we were unlucky to ‘go down’ with 191 points, but as everyone beat Ottery the points totals were inflated a bit.

“We know if we can get out our 1stXI every week we will be tough to beat, but that is easier said than done.

“Unfortunately we are not blessed with too many colts in the 16-18 age group coming through the ranks.

“In a couple of years we will have and until then we have to rely on the senior players we have.”

Back at Station Road for the season ahead is Australian seamer Ben Slaviero, who last assisted Thors back in 2012 when he took 26 wickets and the team finished sixth.

Gone is off-spinner Alex Hills – he has left the area – and there are no signs of batter Jamie Khan (Exeter) or left-armer Gillam Couch (Heathcoat) returning just yet.

“Jamie wants to play Premier cricket as a stepping stone to getting into university cricket next year,” said Pitt.

“Gil, I think is going travelling after leaving university and probably won’t play much for anyone.”

Thors’ pre-season, indoor nets conclude next Wednesday night at Blundell’s School, Tiverton between 8-10pm. Outdoor practice starts the following week. New faces welcome. Membership enquiries to Pitt on 07428 566063.