SIDMOUTH will finish in the runners up spot of E Division East after a maximum 20-point return from their home match against Bideford, Littleham and Westward Ho!. Nearest rivals Uplyme and Lyme Regis were defeated by North Devon and cannot make up the points difference in the one game remaining.
Lee Clayden was the home side’s man of the match with a 4-10 bowling analysis and unbeaten 37 to pass Bideford’s total of all out 105.
Sidmouth’s pursuit was given a supercharged boost by Louis Adey who thumped 35 in 18 balls to offset the early departures of Dylan Hurst and Tom Clay. Thirty-two of Adey’s runs came via five fours and two sixes before a miscue saw him caught with the total at 48.
Clayden took control of the reply and found a willing foil in Jack Rattenbury, the pair getting Sidmouth to the verge of victory with a stand one short of 50. Luke Raistrick added the finishing touch with 20 overs still to be bowled.
Bideford, who elected to bat on winning the toss, were in some disarray against the opening attack of Clayden and Hurst. At 20-5 thoughts turned to Bideford’s home fixture when they were shot out for 75.
A similar debacle was averted by Keith Berry and Martin Stanbury who put together a stand of 41. The pressure eased when Will Swann replaced Hurst and delivered a 12-ball over as he struggled with his line. He adjusted the radar and finished up sending down seven overs for an economic 17.
Ben Fisher accounted for Stanbury with the help of an inside edge but Berry continued to battle on a low, slow pitch, putting on 35 with Darren Willcocks who fell, another played on victim, to Rattenbury.
Berry succumbed lbw to Rattenbury and the visitors’ last four wickets could muster only nine runs.
The teams were grateful for the scoring of Sonya Adey, umpiring of Tim Drake and catering assistance of Jo Fisher.
Next season the 3rd XI will be one division below the 2nd XI. Finding a replacement for Clayden, who is heading for the Far East, will be one of the challenges awaiting.