Big away games for both Exmouth and Budleigh as the halfway mark is reached in the 2019 Tolchards Devon Cricket League campaign
PUBLISHED: 11:07 28 June 2019 | UPDATED: 19:11 28 June 2019
Exmouth travel to Sandford tomorrow (Saturday) for a fixture that brings up the halfway stage of the Tolchards Devon Cricket League season.
It's a big day for the bottom four in the top flight table, for they play each other! Just 15 points currently separate the bottom four with Sandford fourth bottom with 80 points, then it's Exmouth, with 72, North Devon with 69 and, at the foot of the table are Torquay with North Devon.
With Torquay hosting North Devon and the Maer men heading for Mid Devon and that game at Creedy Park with Sandford, it could be a pivotal day in the battle to avoid a bottom two finish and the drop down into the second tier of Devon cricket.
Exmouth skipper Andrew Buzza says: "Lots can happen this weekend and the four clubs involved all know it," said Buzza.
"We will look to maintain some positive momentum gathered from the win against Torquay.
"Our aim is to go to Sandford and put together a performance with both bat and ball and come away with another win.
"After that we will see what how the others get on. Until then our minds are solely on our own fixture and what needs to be done to achieve the victory."
Richard Foan, the Sandford captain, is reading little into his side's last two outings.
"We have had a tough couple of weeks against comfortably the best two teams in the division with a weakened side," said Foan.
"We have shown we have the ability to beat sides around us."
"Exmouth have some decent players who are always a threat but, hopefully, our overall quality will be too much for them."
Exmouth old boy Sandy Allen is not available against his previous club, which means youngster Adam Small comes in to keep wicket.
"It is good to have him available and it will be a good opportunity for him batting in the top order and keeping without Sandy," said Foan.
Adrian Small, a former Exmouth captain, is back after a break and will slot into the middle order.
In a much-tweaked Sandford side Foan returns from a holiday, Harrison Jones return in the early order and second team skipper Shaun Hawkins is drafted in.
There's equally 'big action' for Budleigh as they also travel to Mid Devon where, in their case they face a Bradninch side that share second place in the A Division table with the Ottermouth.
Both sides have 135 points so far and that is just six fewer than leaders Cornwood have accumulated from their eight games so far this term. Tavistock defeated Bradninch last Saturday and they now sit fifth, two points behind forth placed Hatherleigh who are eight points behind Budleigh and Bradninch.
Clyst St George take their D Division East table-topping record to Clyst Hydon. The Bohea Field men currently hold a 16 point lead at the top of the table.
In E Division East, Topsham St James entertain Woodbury & Newton St Cyres and, a win for the Bonfire Field men could see them sitting in a top three berth come stumps.
There's also 2nd XI action for all our local sides: Exmouth 2nds, who sit forth in C Division East, entertain Sandford 2nds; Budleigh 2nds are also at home, in their case, hosting Kentisbeare. Budleigh currently sit bottom of the table. Indeed, the Ottermouth men are already 34 points from safety and a drop down a division looks highly likely unless their form improves significantly in the second half of the season.
Clyst St George 2nds, who hold a five point lead at the top of the F Division East and they entertain second bottom Honiton 1st XI at the Bohea Field.
In G Division East, Topsham St James 2nds head for Filleigh while Woodbury & Newton St Cyres II have a home game against Countess Wear 2nds.