SIDMOUTH joined Heathcoat, North Devon and Sandford in the last eight of the Servicemaster Devon T20 Cup by winning the Group Four three-parter at Mount Wise.
Holders Exmouth gave Sidmouth a scare in round one of the festival, only losing by three runs as they chased 142 to win.
Host club Plymouth were beaten by 57 runs after Sidmouth racked up 174 for four in game two.
Exmouth defeated Plymouth by 26 runs in game three, which may yet keep them in the competition.
The six group winners will be joined by the two runners-up with the best playing records decided on net run rate. Exmouth NRR of 0.57 is superior to any of the other second-placed teams so far. There are two more pools to play before the finally totting up is done.
Sidmouth skipper Nick Gingell feared he would be travelling with nine or ten men to Plymouth due to a mixture of injuries, availability issues and the counter claims of a Devon Lions game and a home fixture on the Fortfield.
After arms were twisted, favours called in, anti-inflammatory tablets handed round and youngsters offered a chance to impress, Gingell got 11 men to Plymouth for the 10am start.
Skipper Gingell led the way with 45 off 42 balls as Sidmouth made 141 for eight against Exmouth. Rory Thomas (28) and Henry Gater (21) chipped in to good effect.
George Greenway was the stand-out bowler for Exmouth with five wickets for 15 runs.
With Alex Hammond (21), Alvin Pollard (37no) and Pete Turnbull (23) keeping up with the asking rate, Exmouth got down to the last two overs needing 17 to win with four wickets intact.
Sidmouth bowlers Charlie Miles (3-12) and young Jordan Fowler managed to keep dangerman Pollard largely off the strike and 12 to win from the latter’s final over proved too many as Exmouth closed on 138 for eight.
Sidmouth’s 57-run win over Plymouth in round two had a far less dramatic conclusion.
Gingell whacked nine fours and four sixes in a 55-ball knock of 84 that helped Sidmouth reach 174 for four. Luke Bess (49) put on 95 with the skipper for the second wicket.
Plymouth dipped to 13 for four in reply, Jashan Patidar (2-19) and Miles (2-10) doing the damage, but recovered while captain Jon Varcoe made a rapid 50 off 35 balls.
Miles Dalton (2-17) and Fowler (3-21) ran through the bottom half of the order as Plymouth subsided to 117 all out.
Winning skipper Gingell said young bowlers Patidar and Fowler acquitted themselves admirably.
“It was just great to see the young kids step up and play at that level,” said Gingell.
He added: “ We only four batters really, but managed to get totals on the board.
“Luke had some time in the middle as well which was good for him.
“A great effort all round.”
Exmouth knew they had to pile-up the runs in the final game to boost their net run rate. A total of 200 for three was impressive.
Hammond (23) and Greenway (56) pilfered 76 for the first wicket, followed by David Lye (47) and Andy Buzza (42no) adding 85 for the third.
Plymouth gave it a go and reached 174 for three in reply. New boy Liam Winn, an overseas student at university in the city, hit a brisk 60 and Ben Stein chipped in with 40 not out.
For Exmouth skipper Andrew Buzza it was a day well spent for a number of reasons.
“Playing T20 is always fun regardless of the results,” said Buzza.
“As a batting unit we didn't perform well enough against Sidmouth, yet could have won it off the last ball. “We showed a glimpse of what we can do with the bat against Plymouth.
“In terms of performances it's great to see George Greeway bowling and batting well, David Lye looked like he is finding form at the right time plus our seamers look steady.
“We had a young side and it's exciting to give them all an opportunity to play and gather experience in this format at a higher level.”
The final two pools will be decided on May 12 when Exeter host Paignton and there is a three-way festival at Bradninch where Abbotskerswell and Torquay are the visitors.