BRAUNTON aim to make the best of an unexpected reprieve from relegation in the B Division, which gets off the mark at home to South Devon this Saturday.
Braunton should have been relegated at the end of last season after fellow strugglers South Devon defeated them in the final day in a do-or-die encounter for one of them.
Six weeks into the close season Braunton learned they were not going down after all.
Uplyme, who won the C Division promotion play off, were found to have fielded an ineligible player in their win over Plymouth CS&R and told they had to stay put.
Jon Baglow, who has resumed as captain after handing over to Ian Roberts for a couple years, said Braunton won’t be that lucky again.
“Even know I still don’t know how we stayed up – I am just glad that we did,” said Baglow.
“The last four or five seasons have been one long battle against relegation and it is time we broke that cycle.
“Since re-organisation of the leagues and three relegation places in our division, you can be around halfway going into the last month and still not safe.
“I want to avoid any dramas this season and keep well clear of the bottom end.”
Part of Braunton’s problem for some seasons has been patchy availability and a shortage of depth in the club.
Baglow hopes with one or two new faces coming through the ranks and the arrival of senior players such as former Devon batter Neil Bettis, the availability picture may improve.
“A lot of our players seem to have been available for eight-nine-ten games a season, when what we really needed is 12, 13 or 14,” said Baglow.
Braunton seem to be addressing the depth issue as the 2nd XI lost the promotion play-off game to Lewdown at the end of last season, which kept them in regional cricket for another year.
“In hindsight that may not have been such a bad thing as it is quite a jump into the countywide A Division, never mind the extra travelling,” said Baglow.
“I am not sure it would have been good to jump up and find ourselves struggling not to come back down.”
Alfie Huxtable (394) and Rob Collier (362) were the leading run getters last season and Baglow is hoping they can get around 500 each this summer.