HATHERLEIGH have dropped into the Premier Division bottom two for the first time this season after going down by 153 runs to Sidmouth.
The Premier Division new boys started the campaign brightly enough by beating North Devon on day one – and haven’t won since.
Skipper Mark Lake takes the side to Sandford this Saturday anxious to avoid a fourth straight defeat.
Sandford are in a similar boat to Hatherleigh as they were promoted at the end of last season and have only won once game since. They are the only team below Hatherleigh in the league table.
Devon captain Josh Bess slammed 129 of 126 balls – 12 fours, six sixes – as Sidmouth cantered along to 276 for nine at Hatherleigh Road.
Bess and county colleague Liam Lewis (39) put on 98 for the first wicket and there was a further stand of 46 for the second with brother Luke (30).
Josh Bess batted on and on as the anchorman until he was eighth out on 262 in the 47th over.
Keeping the runs down was a problem for Hatherleigh, not helped by the absence of left-armer Lake at a wedding and the retirement of Charlie Nielson.
Nielson, who bowled six overs for 11 runs, leapt on the boundary to attempt a catch and fell backwards through a fence, ruling him out of any more bowling.
Sean Leathern (1-45) an Imraan Philander (2-36) were not expensive. Dan Fogerty (4-80) took wickets when the second-half swing was on.
Hatherleigh were all out for 123 with more than 12 overs unused.
Josh Bess (2-26), Charlie Miles (2-41) and Will Murray (2-29) were largely to blame for Hatherleigh slipping to 75 for seven.
After some resistance from Philander (16), Fogerty (22) and Letheren (15), Aviwe Magijima (3-12) polished off the stragglers.
Sidmouth captain Luke Bess has been waiting for his batting line-up to fire and this was a step in the right direction,
“Josh did what we needed someone to do,” said skipper Bess.
“It wasn't easy and Hatherleigh bowled better than the score might look.
“There is still room for improvement as no one else got above 30.”