EXMOUTH captain Richard Baggs wants one more go at winning the Premier Division title before he leaves 1st XI cricket for good.
Baggs won Premier titles as a player with Exmouth in the 1990s and as a captain he won three with Sandford and one with Exmouth in 2013.
There aren’t many Devon League players past or present with that much trinketry on the mantelpiece, although former Exeter wicketkeeper Peter Lucketti had his fair share in a career that took him from Barton to Torquay, Exeter and Bovey Tracey, collecting multiple titles along the way.
Baggs is 42 next birthday and knows his 1st XI days are numbered. He handed over the captaincy to Gary Chappell midway through last season, but finds himself back in harness.
Chappell decided in the close season to re-join Bradninch and help them push for promotion from the A Division.
Since winning the title in 2013, Exmouth have finished third and a very distant fourth last season.
Baggs knows why and hopes his new-look squad will change things this season.
“We didn’t score enough runs and have to put more on the board this year,” said Baggs.
“Although we might not be the most agile side in the field now, our bowling won’t be a problem.
“We have made some very useful signings and have plenty of options either spin, seam left or right arm.
“If our batting gets going – and a dry summer will help a lot – we could put a few teams to the sword.”
Baggs is spot-on about Exmouth’s batting. Last season all but one of the six clubs below them registered more batting points – even relegated Paignton.
Callum French, who has played Minors cricket for Cambridgeshire, has switched from North Devon to Exmouth to avoid the long trip from his Exeter base to home games. He bats in the top four and bowls left-arm spin.
Sean Bubb, a fast if erratic quick bowler who was in the D Division West last season with Buckland, has signed up. He plays regularly for the Navy.
Simon Baker, a New Zealander who has emigrated to Devon, bats in the top order and had a run-out over the Bank Holiday weekend in a friendly.
Other new signings are Abdal Zafar (ex-Bradninch) and Husnan Kazmi, a 21-year-old fast bowler who has taken the new ball for Loughton in the Essex Premier League.
Exmouth are away to Plymouth on Saturday.