Bideford, Braunton suffer Devon League defeats on damp day
- Credit: Contributed
Bideford went down by seven wickets to visiting Thorverton in the only Tolchards Devon League B Division game played to a finish.
Put into bat after losing the toss, at the end of 46 overs Bideford were all-out for just 46.
The wet conditions by the seaside at Westward Ho! favoured Thorverton’s bowlers, none of whom conceded more than two runs an over.
Skipper Jake Choules (3-7) and Dan Robbins (3-18) gave little away while Alex Jopling bowled nine overs for a mere five runs.
Ollie Hannam took a single off Jopling and Ashley Baker hit him for four. The other 52 balls were all dots in the scorebook!
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Thorverton needed 11.1 overs to knock-off the runs and secure 19 of the 20 points on offer.
Andy Pitt made 22 and 18 not out from Ali Chilcott concluded proceedings.
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Bideford’s Jack Ford (3-25) claimed all the Thorverton wickets that fell.
Alex Hannam, the Bideford captain, said: “In rather moist conditions it would have been a very good toss to win.
“Gutted to lose but can't help feeling whoever won the toss won the game.”
*Braunton's game against Exmouth 2nd XI was one of only four to be played in the entire league on Saturday – and it would have been better for them had it been called off.
Six points are awarded for a rained-off game that does not start and all Braunton took from a 59-run defeat by Exmouth was five batting and bowling bonus points.
Opener and captain Richard Baggs top scored with 28 for Exmouth in their total of 142 for six.
Hugo Hammond (22) and Tom Bath (26) both chipped in on a difficult day for batters and youngster Luke Davies was not far behind on 17.
Two wickets each for Jon Baglow and Jamie Lathwell were as good as it got for Braunton. Andy Norman bowled six overs for just 19 runs.
Braunton struggled from the word go with Exmouth seamer Sean Day (2-10) largely reducing them to 14 for three.
The game was won and lost in the time it took Braunton to slump from 51 for four to 54 for eight as Greg Marks (4-18) got stuck in.
Norman (12) and veteran Steve Moore (14) delayed the inevitable for a while by putting on 18 for the ninth wicket before Braunton were dismissed for 83 with more than eight overs un-bowled.
*North Devon paceman Jack Popham is back in a Devon squad for the first time in three years after a lengthy injury absence.
Popham has not featured in a Devon side since 2018 when he played against Wales in a Twenty20 clash on his home ground at Instow.
Devon’s opening National Counties KO Cup engagement with Hereford at Instow takes place on Bank Holiday Sunday so Popham’s selection for the warm-up match against Cornwall at Bovey Tracey this Sunday is significant.
Two new faces in the match-day 13 are Callum Haggett, the former England under-19 all-rounder, and ex-Warwickshire academy scholar Fahad Sabir.
Haggett, who was released by Kent at the end of last season, has been recruited by Devon as a senior player in what is going to be a transitional season.
A number of senior players – Zak Bess, Alex Barrow, Matt Golding and James Burke among them – have either restricted availability or none at all. Haggett is there to even things up.
Sabir went through the youth ranks with Warwickshire and is hoping to revive his cricket career by playing for Devon. He bowls left-arm spin.
Jamie Stephens will captain the side for the first time as successor to Barrow, whose coaching commitments with Somerset CCC will prevent him making more than occasional appearances for Devon this season.
Devon squad: J A Stephens (Taunton Deane), A J Small (Sandford), C J Haggett (Bridgwater), J H G Degg (Plymouth), B A Beaumont (Cornwood), E H Hamilton (Plympton), S O Read (Exeter), F Sabir (West Bromwich Dartmouth), J D Horler (Exmouth), E W O Middleton (Exeter), J R Popham (North Devon), B H Privett (Plympton), C E N Barriball (Tavistock). Umpires: C T Sleep, R G B Allen.