EXMOUTH re-wrote the Tolchards DCL record books on the way to a whopping 201-run win over Kilmington in the A Division, writes Conrad Sutcliffe.
Openers James Horler and Jason Niemand both made centuries and kept on going in Exmouth’s total of 404 for four.
Horler (146) and Niemand (159) put in 313 for the first wicket, which smashed the previous divisional record stand of 275 set by South Devon batsmen Gareth Andrews and the unrelated Mark Andrews against Plympton way back in 1998.
Niemand only arrived from South Africa at 9pm the night before the game and went on to make one of the more impressive debuts the Devon League has ever seen!
Exmouth’s total of 404 for four exceeded the previous team high of 392 for two that Cullompton scored against Abbotskerswell on the final day of the 2021 season.
Team totals of 400 or more are almost unheard of in the Devon Cricket League and Exmouth’s is the first in a game between two first teams. The only greater score ever recorded is Axminster 2nd XI’s 444 for four against Ivybridge 2nd XI in 2022.
Luke Davies (39no) and Cam Kidd (21) had a quick hit after Horler and Niemand went.
Brett Garner, the Kilmington captain, tried nine bowlers in an attempt to stem Horler and Niemand with little success. Operating without opening bowler Ollie Reed, who was injured in his first over, did nothing to help Kiilmington.
Kilmington were all out for 203 in the 38th of their 50 overs. Tom Gooding (25) and Josh Cann (39) gave them a respectable start and Billy Reed (22) kept the board ticking over.
A mini-collapse Killy from 105 for two to 127 for seven threatened an early finish, but Garner’s 51 in even time at number eight staved-off an embarrassing collapse.
Lawrence Greenway, the Exmouth captain, bagged three wickets for 22 runs. Niemand had two for 27 from 10 mean overs.
There was a lot packed into one game, as Greenway later acknowledged.
“It was just one of those freak days with the bat and an absolute pleasure to watch,” said Greenway.
"Jason and James played exceptionally well and we were all delighted Horler made his first century in the 1st XI. Extremely well deserved and, without doubt, the first of many.
“He's been solid for us at the top for a number of years and he's only getting better.”
Garner said losing Reed with a hamstring strain did not help as that left just two seamers to use.
Garner added: “But to be honest Niemand was absolutely class. All we could do was watch in awe at how easy he made it look.
“Horler was very good, but you could tell it felt easy for him because how calm and good his partner was.
“We did not have a good day with ball or bat, but managed to get two extra points batting thanks to Ollie’s commitment to stick around at one end.
“I feel we played probably champions elect looking at them, so no disgrace in that.”