Bideford's Jack Ford looks on from the slips as T&S batter Josh Couch launches Jody Brown for six over deep mid-wicket<br>credit: Conrad Sutcliffe - no re-use without copyright owner's consent

JACK Ford marked his full-time return to Bideford’s dressing room with 62 against Teignmouth & Shaldon on his Tolchards DCL debut second time around.

Ford moved to Sandford for a crack at Premier cricket in 2022, but carried on playing for Bideford on Sundays in the North Devon League.Jack Ford bowling for Bideford against Teignmouth & Shaldon

After playing the first five games in Sandford’s first team, Ford switched back to Bideford.

But despite Ford’s runs, and a miserly spell of off-spin bowling too, Bideford lost the game by 20 runs. And what a game it was!

Alastair Cliffe top-scored for Teignmouth & Shaldon with an undefeated 65 in their total of 215.

The real fireworks came higher up the order from Josh Couch, who tucked into the Bideford bowling with relish.

Couch bludgeoned his way to 50 off 28 balls and was on 58 two balls later when he was caught in the deep going for one big hit too many.

Bideford spinner Jody Brown had been on the receiving end of some rude treatment from Couch, who hit him for 26 in a single over. Two successive sixes took Couch to 50.

Ruben Minnaar’s 26 off 24 balls was positively pedestrian in comparison.

Ollie Hannam, used sparingly in the past as a bowler, replaced Brown in the attack and slowed things down with his first five-wicket haul in DCL cricket.

Alistair Cliffe on the way to 65 against BidefordJulian Hayter (3-29) picked up two more wickets in his second spell. And Brown – none for 41 from his first two overs – got another go later and finished with one for 60 off six.

Bideford bowler Jody Brown, who was given a rough ride by Josh CouchBideford had their work cut out to revive their prospects after dipping to 65 for four with skipper Tom Brend (20) among the departed. Carl Woolnough (2-29) and Jawad Shirzad (2-40) did the damage.

Hayter (38) and Ford (62) made an 89-run dent in the deficit that made the game interesting.

Couch, whose four-for-29 bowling return made him man-of-the-match by a distance, broke the Hayter-Ford alliance by dismissing the former on 154. That was the beginning of the end for Bideford.

Ford was Couch’s next victim and from then on it was downhill all the way from 163 for seven to 195 all out.

Skipper Brend felt it was batting lapses not expensive overs that cost Bideford the game.

“For the most part I thought we were excellent with the ball,” said Brend. 

“We had a couple of costly overs. but that's how cricket goes sometimes.

“Batting wise we're all finding easy ways to get out at the moment. 

“James and Julian put on a solid partnership to take us close. Had myself, or one more, converted a start then we would have got home.”Bideford's Julian Hayter, who picked-up three T&S wickets