June 19 2013 Latest news:
Thursday, February 14, 2013
Curtis and co back at Instow.
NORTH Devon have signalled their intention for the Premier season ahead by making three big signings.
Young all-rounder Max Curtis is back at Instow after a year with Exmouth – and he has brought a new mate with him.
Barney Huxtable left Braunton in 2011 for Exmouth and has been a virtual ever-present in the side since.
Exmouth have added players to their roster during the winter – Devon duo Seb Benton and Mark Orchard as well as former county vice-captain Sandy Allen – and it is clear someone is going to miss out on regular cricket.
So it makes sense for Curtis to rejoin North Devon and for Huxtable to avoid the long trek from one side of Devon to the other to play his cricket.
North Devon’s third signing is Braunton batter Jas Kalsi, a prolific run scorer in the A Division and also the North Devon League, where he has traditionally turned out for Filleigh.
Kalsi and Huxtable are lined up to open the batting in the summer ahead.
With Zimbabwean professional Glenn Querl heading back to Instow for a third season, youngsters such as Paul Heard a year older, seniors like Matt Westaway staying put and the three newcomers, no wonder skipper Matt Dart is looking forward to the season ahead.
“We were fifth or sixth last year, which was a bit of a disappointment having won the Premier in 2011,” said Dart.
“I am not saying we are going to win it as Sidmouth and Exmouth have both strengthened and Bovey Tracey are bound to challenge.
“But we are in a great position to improve on last season and if we get a good start anything is possible.”
North Devon are unlikely to see too much of the Overton twins this summer as there are increasingly claimed by either Somerset or England U19s and the Lions.
Neither Overton played regularly for North Devon last summer, although when they did they made telling contributions, such as Craig’s century against Torquay.
Dart said Curtis will have a role to play in the new order of things, which won’t feature the twins very often.
“Max left because he wasn’t getting an opportunity to do much when he played,” said Dart, who wasn’t captain then.
“I think having a year at Exmouth has probably done him some good and will benefit North Devon as well.
“Max has certainly developed as a player and has a lot to offer the side, batting and bowling.
“The rules have changed since Max left as with 50-over cricket and 10 per bowler you need at least five bowlers and maybe six.
“There may even be the chance to get Barney on bowling his cutters, which he had been doing in Melbourne this winter.”