Barnstaple & Pilton cricketers welcome back a familiar face

North Devon Gazette

Barnstaple & Pilton have re-signed James Thomas from near neighbours North Devon for the upcoming campaign in the Tolchards DCL D Division East.Â

Thomas left Raleigh Meadow in 2017 for Instow in search of Premier Division cricket. After five summers in the Sandhills, and a preponderance of 2nd XI cricket, he has made the return journey.Â

First-team opportunities were limited for Thomas at Instow and he found himself playing against his former clubmates for four of his five seasons there. Forty-one of his 50 league games were in the second team.Â

A respectable batting average of exactly 30 in 2nd XI cricket for North Devon makes Thomas an attractive signing for Barnstaple & Pilton.Â

B&P reached week nine of an 18-game season without winning a match last season – two fixtures were called off – and regularly failed to reach 200 runs and maximum batting points.Â

Some additional firepower in the batting order is a must to improve on last season’s long and ultimately successful fight to avoid relegation.Â

Lee Cole, the B&P captain, gave Thomas a warm welcome back to his first club. “Signing James from North Devon has given us a boost,” said Cole.Â

“James started out as a colt with us then progressed to our first team before heading to North Devon.Â

“No players have left, so hopefully we can improve on last season and continue to improve as a club.Â

“With everyone available competition for places will be competitive, which is something we have missed and could leave me with a few selection problems.”Â

Barnstaple & Pilton are netting at in the sports hall at Park School in Barnstaple and will continue on March 4, March 11 and April 1 (7-8.30pm).Â

Cole added: “Pre-season nets have started and are going well with numbers looking good for the season.”Â

The Devon Cricket League has issued all club secretaries a survey on the facilities requirements at their clubs. All club members are encouraged to have their say, through their normal club communications. The aim of the survey is to eventually improve the playing, training or recreational facilities and really influence the cricketing experience for members.Â