The date had been marked in the East Devon diary many weeks in advance, a meeting between two top clubs in the Premier Division of the Tolchards Devon Cricket League.

Just for some extra spice, Exmouth and Sidmouth entered the weekend showdown in good form and both sets of players knew that victory could elevate them to a position where the leaders were within catching distance.

The scene was set at the Maer and it turned out to be a day for the bowlers.

Visiting Sidmouth elected to bat first and were immediately on the backfoot, opener Sam Elston removed for a duck after being trapped leg before from the bowling of George Greenway.

Exmouth then took the key wicket of dangerman Bryce Parsons, Lawrence Greenway taking the catch from the bowling of Alvin Pollard.

Captain Luke Bess added a handy 20 before he was clean bowled by Cameron Kidd but the mainstay for Sidmouth was Matt Cooke at the top of the order, who was quietly compiling a patient 51.

Exmouth kept chipping away at the wickets, Finlay Marks taking two in the middle order and then mopping up the tail for finishing figures of 5/21. Sidmouth were all out for 139 and the Maer men began their innings as big favourites.

As they say, however, never judge a wicket until both sides have had a bat, and the loss of influential openers Jason Niemand (5) and James Horler (1) gave Sidmouth instant hope. Tom Simmons and Parsons took the wickets.

Dan Pyle (26) and Marks (27 no) gave Exmouth a spell of stability but when Pyle was run out by Taylor Ingham-Hill, it prompted a collapse that saw three wickets fall for just two runs.

Charlie Miles found his range with the ball and Parsons was too good for the tail, picking up 5/20, as Exmouth were all out for 108. Sidmouth took the win by 31 runs and next host Bradninch & Kentisbeare, while Exmouth welcome Plympton.

Sidmouth 2nds also triumphed over Exmouth 2nds in C Division East. Liam Dalton took four wickets for Sidmouth, as their visitors reached 208 all out. Will Goodall (53) and Jordan Fowler (46) led the reply and Sidmouth just about got over the line, winning by two wickets.