TORQUAY'S Devon all-rounder Mitchell Pugh is on his way to play for A Division side Bradninch in 2020.
Pugh, born in South Africa, raised in Australia and a UK resident since 2014, has spent six seasons with Torquay. He played four games in the Devon county side last season.
He was a Premier Division champion with the Seasiders in 2015, scoring 734 runs and taking 14 wickets, and a member of the side that won promotion from the A Division in 2018.
Torquay were relegated for the second time in three years at the end of last season, prompting Pugh to call time on his stint at the Recreation Ground. His league record stands at 133 wickets, including a seven for 17 haul against Cornwood in 2018, and 3,528 runs.
Bradninch finished third in the A Division last season, missing out behind Cornwood and Hatherleigh in the promotion race.
Eliot Acton the Bradninch captain, said 26-year-old Pugh has the potential to be the missing part of the promotion jig-saw.
“We realises that to finish in the top two next season we need a bit more than we had last season,” said Acton.
“Cornwood defeated us twice, which was one of the reasons why we finished third and not in the top two.
“Also, we are an ageing side in one or two places and if we want to get into the Premier Division and stay there younger players are needed.
“The only other cricketers we are looking at presently are young, local players who would be stepping up to a higher level.”
It is a case of one in and one out so far at Keynsham Park as early order batter and part-time bowler Kian Burns has left to join Cornish side Callington.
Burns played 29 1st XI league games in two seasons with Bradninch following his arrival from Lewdown. He made 582 runs at an average in the low 20s.
“Kian lives in west Devon and the trip to Callington will be more convenient for him,” said Acton.
PUGH isn’t the only player to call it a day with Torquay following relegation from the Premier Division at the end of last season as batting all-rounder James Degg has left the club.
Degg, 19. Joined Torquay during the last close season from Plympton looking to play regular first team cricket.
In 11 outings for the 1st XI Degg made more than 300 Premier runs at an average of exactly 28.
A foot injury sustained playing in a youth league game at Cornwood ended Degg’s season seven games early. Now fit again, and practising regularly in the nets at Hampshire CCC with team-mates from the University of Solent, he is a free agent having been de-registered by Torquay.
“I understand James wants to play Premier cricket whether in Hampshire or Devon and a handful of clubs have been in contact,” said dad Jason.