TIER ONE + NORTH AND EAST
SIDMOUTH don’t want another skirmish with the weather when they tackle Exmouth on the Maer in Premier East, writes Conrad Sutcliffe.
Despite the best efforts of rival skippers Zak Bess and Ben Morgan, and the collaboration of umpires Tim Chapman and Ray Allen, Sidmouth’s ‘win’ over Seaton last Saturday has been wiped from the records.
A combination of time left and insufficient overs available to constitute a proper game meant the game goes down as abandoned with no result or points for either side.
Exmouth only managed seven legitimate balls in their game at Budleigh Salterton, plus two wide deliveries as well.
Andy Buzza, the Exmouth captain, is pushing the youngsters forward this season and is putting a young side out against Sidmouth.
But if Sidmouth think Exmouth won’t be competitive, Buzza has news for them.
“Like any team we want to win every game we play and Saturday will be no different.
“Sidmouth, as always, will be a challenge, yet a game of cricket many at Exmouth look forward to each year.”
BUDLEIGH SALTERTON, rained off after seven balls against EXMOUTH last Saturday, are at away to Seaton.
It is 15 years since the sides last met so for both it is a trip into the unknown.
“We know is they won the B Division last season and won’t have done that without a few good players,” said Joel Murphy, Budleigh’s veteran seam bowler.
“We will be having a look at them with a view to next season – and I imagine they will be doing the same to us.”
Ben Morgan, Seaton’s captain, must have been reading Murphy’s mind.
“Everyone is looking forward to playing Budleigh, who would have been in our division this year, in a game that will give us a good indication of what to expect next year,” said Morgan.
Marc Troutman, an opening batsman, comes into the Budleigh side for Gwyn Parks, who will feature for the second team against Feniton at Ottermouth.
Matthew Hewer, George Harwood and Joe Berry return in place of Richard Warner and Mike Double and Daley Holmes who has broken a elbow playing football in the week.
“It is unfortunate for Daley and a big shame as he bowled well against Sidmouth last week,” said Morgan.
HATHERLEIGH are a couple of bowlers light for the visit of Heathcoat in Premier North as Ruben Forrester is out injured and the versatile Charlie Neilson has gone fishing.
“It will be a tough test for us but one we are looking forward to,” said acting captain Rob Cockwill.
Hatherleigh did not play last Saturday as their game against North Devon was a weather victim.
Peter Randerson, the Heathcoat captain, is keen to make up for lost time.
“Hatherleigh are a good group of lads and we are looking forward to seeing them,” said Randerson.
“We are very much looking forward to getting out there and playing some cricket.”
Heathcoat are without batter Dan Pyle, who is visiting family near London, but Dylan Penberthy is back having skippered the 2nd XI last Saturday.
NORTH DEVON skipper Tom Popham has a couple of injury worries ahead of the home game against SANDFORD, but hopes they clear up in time for him to name an unchanged side.
North Devon did not play last week, but have worked hard to be ready for Sandford.
It is always a tough test against an experienced and quality Sandford side,” said Popham.
“It was not ideal missing last Saturday, but we've prepared well in the week so ready to put in a performance.”
Sandford skipper Richard Foan has little to report other than a couple of enforced changes due to player unavailability. Pete Steer and Harry Everett are brought up from the 2nd XI as cover.