WITH divisions having been finalised and a full programme of fixtures put in place for the cut-down version of the Tolchards Devon Cricket League season, Uplyme & Lyme Regis Cricket Club will be competing against some old foes.
Uplyme & Lyme Regis will be playing against three local rivals in the E East 3 division – Axminster Town, Honiton and Ottery St Mary 2nds.
Uplyme will start their 2020 campaign with a home 40-over game against Ottery 2nds on Saturday (July 25), starting at 1.30pm.
One hundred and 32 teams have been arranged into 30 divisions of four teams each and two divisions of six teams. Sides in four-team divisions will play each other home and away in a six-match programme running up to August 29.
Nick Rogers, the league chairman, said the six-team divisions were necessary to meet the needs of teams at lower levels and on the outer edges of the county.
He said: “It made sense to group clubs in the north of the county in the lower divisions together to avoid too much travelling for games,” said Rogers.
“In the south there were enough clubs lower-down divisions to have a six-club group with minimal travelling.
“We seeded teams based on last season’s final positions and used those as a guide to where they should play this season. As well as ability there was also an element of geographical proximity in the make-up of the divisions.
“We were able to take into consideration requests from teams who wanted to play lower than their seeding because of issues getting a side out.
“We have complied where we felt it necessary, but have warned clubs not to stick half a dozen first teamers into a second team and artificially strengthening it.
“Although there is no registration this season we don’t want players turning out for more than one club either.”
Only 17 teams declined the chance to play in the cut-down competition – and two former members asked if they could be included. The league hopes to make prize-money available to both finalists.
Game lengths are 45 overs in tiers one and two, 40 overs in tiers three, four and five and 35 overs from level six down.
On Saturday, Uplyme had a good run out at home to Seaton who will be competing in one of the Premier mini-leagues. In a 40-over game, Seaton batted first, scoring 166 for 6. Joel Seward (59 not out) and skipper Ben Morgan (41) were the top scorers. Tyler Wellman was Uplyme’s best bowler with figures of 2-20.
One of the highlights of the innings was a brilliant catch from Harvey Brimicombe, taken deep on the boundary, one-handed over his shoulder
In reply, Uplyme were bowled out for 147 with Alfie Jacques (34), Joe Elsworth (22) and Carlie Moss (20) top scoring. Robbie Prior (5-32) and Joel Seward (3-34) were the cream of the Seaton bowling attack.
Uplyme gave a good account of themselves against the higher placed Seaton team and will fancy their chances to win a place in the play-offs in September.
An encouraging aspect of Saturday’s game is that it was watched by around 130 spectators who enjoyed a glorious afternoon of sunshine and some competitive cricket against two teams which know each other well.