Trevor Anning runs past umpire Steve Lavis during a game at Sidmouth

SANDFORD skipper Richard Foan has confirmed one of the worst kept secrets in the Tolchards Devon League Premier Division – the return of pace-bowling all-rounder Trevor Anning to Creedy Park.

Rumours have been rife around the Premier and A Divisions since late November that 36-year-old Anning was on his way back to Sandford. 

Anning captained Budleigh Salterton in the A Division in 2017 and 2018 following a mid-summer switch from Exmouth in 2016. He stood down as Budleigh captain at the end of 2018, handing over to Lloyd Murrin for the season ahead.

Anning, a Devon regular in all forms of Minor Counties cricket between 2003-2015, is a proven performer in the Devon League.

In his first stint with Sandford between 2004-08, Anning bagged 104 wickets. His best return was six wickets for eight runs against Paignton, who were skittled out for 31 chasing Sandford’s total of 310.

Anning’s six for 29 haul against Exeter on the County Ground wasn’t a bad day’s work either!

The move to Exmouth in 2009 brought Anning 206 league wickets and more than 2,100 runs.

His Budleigh Salterton stint yielded 72 wickets at less than 17 runs each and 1,254 runs (34.83).

Sidmouth produced an escape act Harry Houdini would have been proud of last season to dodge relegation, beating title-chasing Heathcoat on the last day of the season to preserve their own Premier status and consign Bradninch to the drop instead.

Sandford were 25 points adrift at the bottom halfway through the season so staying up took some doing,

Richard Foan, the Sandford captain, said the club did not want another battle to stay up in 2019, which was one of the reasons for luring Anning back to the club.

“We are not happy with just staying up as a club and want to be successful for many season to come,” said Foan.

“Trevor is still one of the best all-rounders in the county and has proved that over many seasons both in the league and for Devon. 

“He still has a great hunger for the game and keen to do well at Premier level once again.”

Sandford have already engaged Cape Cobras’ all-rounder Ferisco Adams for the 2019 season. With Anning on board as well Foan feels the short and long-term trajectory of the club is upwards.

“After a successful end to the season, and now adding Trevor and Ferisco to the team we are shaping up pretty well,” said Foan.

“We has invested heavily in the young players at the club, setting up one-to-one coaching right through the winter with Devon's best coaches, Hopefully helping them to take their game to the next level.”