Exmouth suffer opening home game defeat

Marques Clarke bowls for Exmouth against North Devon at the Maer on Saturday. Ref exsp 5637-20-15SH.

Marques Clarke bowls for Exmouth against North Devon at the Maer on Saturday. Ref exsp 5637-20-15SH. Picture: Simon Horn - Credit: Archant

Exmouth skipper Richard Baggs managed to find a couple of plus points amid the wreckage of a 20-run defeat by visiting North Devon, writes Conrad Sutcliffe.

Gary Chappell and Marques Clarke took three wickets each as North Devon were hustled out for 154 in the 46th of their 50 overs.

Exmouth started disastrously – they were 30 for five – and after one recovery collapsed from 67 for five to 68 for seven.

Trevor Anning (45) and tail-ender Finlay Marks (20no) battled almost to the end, but the damage had been done by then.

Baggs said there the highs didn’t outweigh the lows, but at least it wasn’t all gloom and doom.

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“Trevor and Andy Buzza batted well and showed some back bone - and young Fin Marks played fantastically at number 10 to get 20 not out,” said Baggs.

That was the good stuff. On the other side of the coin Baggs said Exmouth didn’t play well enough for long enough and North Devon did.

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“Virtually no pre-season showed,” said Baggs. “We looked very rusty batting on a damp Wicket against two very fine opening bowlers.

“No one played bad shots we were got out – and we had the best of the wicket so no excuses.

“We simply had to chase 154 to win. We gave away 20 in the field and a crucial lbw not given cost us another 30 runs.

‘Really we should have been chasing 100-110, but that’s no excuse. We can only improve.”

Clarke (3-14) and Anning had North Devon wobbling at 37 for four before Callum French (15), Tom Allin (17) and Jaz Kalsi (11) found a few runs.

A middle-order collapse from 63 for four to 68 for seven – Chappell doing most of the damage – left North Devon requiring a rebuild.

Quintin Dreyer (32) and Rob Ayre (22) put on 41, then Josh King (22) joined Ayre to add a valuable 39 for the ninth wicket.

Buzza was the only one of Exmouth’s first six batsmen to reach double figures – he made 10 – as Allin (5-24), Dreyer (2-23) and King got among the wickets.

Anning’s patient 45 from 78 balls needed a bit more support before Marks got in at 85 for eight to get Exmouth back in contention.

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