Belstone started their North Devon League Division Three campaign last Sunday against North Devon II rather short of match practise after two successive Sunday washouts. Runs were always likely to be hard to come by on a slow soft Rew Meadow pitch with a lush outfield and so it proved as extras emerged as top scorer (with 29, mostly wides, apiece) in both innings. Belstone’s innings progressed at under three-an-over with most batsmen getting into double figures but no-one dominating until Simon Tremain (18 not out) and Tom Fogerty (18) upped the rate towards the end of the innings, putting on a valuable 33 for the eighth wicket to take the score to 140 for eight after the full 45 overs. Pick of the North Devon bowlers was opener Ray Clarke with two for 11 from nine overs. Tom Ansell and Tom Stanton got the visitors reply off to a promising start but just as Ansell was opening up with a six and four off Callum Mallet the bowler got revenge by clean bowling him for 25 with the score on 43. Tension slowly built as North Devon inched towards the modest target with Stanton (26) playing a sheet anchor role until he became one of Tom Boother’s three victims. When No 7 Sam Witheridge hit Fogerty for a six and a four the game threatened to turn North Devon’s way with just 15 needed with four wickets in hand but Fogerty fought back having Witheridge caught in the deep by Matt Dennis. All of a sudden North Devon lost momentum, lost three more quick wickets and ran out of time leaving Belstone the winners of an excellent game by just 10 runs.
Next day Belstone travelled to play Sandford II on a very different track, kept dry and hard thanks to cover protection. Tom Fogerty made early breakthroughs removing both openers with ripping deliveries but then, in a rain-reduced innings, Luke Wright (42) and Tom Sparrow (36) added 71 for the third wicket. Dan Fogerty (8-1-33-1) and Sam Ewen (7-0-28-1) generated good pace and kept a fine line and length and it was only with the arrival of Michael Canning that the Sandford score took off. He came in with the score on 104 in the 27th over and dominated from the start, hitting four 6s and seven boundaries in a rapid 75 not out, made in just 40 minutes, which took the total up to 196 for seven at tea. Phil Woods began Belstone’s reply with some well-timed drives before he was bowled for 25, but it wasn’t long after this that rain put an end to proceedings with the visitors on 85 for two.