A very disappointing weekend for Sandford Cricket Club
THE past weekend (July 30/31) saw all three Sandford cricket teams defeated.
Although the Third XI lost heavily to Filleigh First XI they should still all hold their heads up high.
Filleigh has joined the league this year and have some very experienced cricketers in their ranks and will rise through the league structure during the coming seasons.
Alex Stevens, filling in as captain with the unavailability of Matt Theedom, continued his fine form plundering an undefeated 82.
There were useful knocks of 35 from both Ellie Bishop and Jack James as the thirds posted a really useful total of 226 all out.
Alex then took two for 35 but the Filleigh batsmen found the artificial wicket easy to deal with and ran out six wicket victors.
The Third XI are now 21 points behind Woodbury in the chase for promotion and will look to get back to winning ways this weekend with a home fixture against Kentisbeare Second XI.
The Second XI might have to look at more consistent availability from its players as this latest defeat has dropped them to sixth place and only 25 points above the relegation places.
Tom Gidney top scored with 79 and he was joined in a very useful second wicket partnership by debutant Ciaran Gray who scored 65. But from 163 for one the rest of the afternoon just went downhill.
Firstly the batting crumbled and Sandford were bowled out for 225 when it looked as though a total of 270 plus was easily achievable.
Then the bowling reached depths not achieved this season and a total of 57 extras was conceded including 47 wides and two no balls.
Not only do these make life easier for the batting side but also the extra ball is often punished meaning the chase is made that much easier.
It will be important for the Second XI to regroup this weekend as they entertain Ottery St Mary First XI.
The First XI found for the second consecutive week that batting has suddenly become more difficult.
At tea there must have been a great deal of optimism as Bradnich had been bowled out for 176.
Jack Ford continued his fine form taking three for 32 and there were two wickets apiece for Jackson Thompson and Jamie Palmer.
Jamie also had two assists in run outs.
Adam Small then led the chase with 62 and Harrison Jones weighed in with 29. But from 100 for two another collapse led to the side being bowled out for 151.
A couple of weeks ago this Saturdays trip to Hatherleigh might have looked a little easier but the hosts have now won three on the trot and a difficult afternoon could be in prospect.
A little ray of light was that North Devon suffered a larger defeat and although the First XI have slipped to fourth in the league the gap to the top is now only 13 points, so there are bound to be more twists and turns over the next five weeks.
The Second XI have the Corinthian Cup semi-final on Sunday, August 7 when they travel to Ivybridge to play Uplyme at 1pm.
If they win that the final will be played later in the day.
Second XI v Ottery St Mary First XI at 1pm.
Third XI v Kentisbeare Second XI at 1pm at Newton St Cyres.
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