SANDFORD skipper Richard Foan is aiming to spring a surprise on long-time leaders Heathcoat in tomorrow's derby clash at Knightshayes.
Heathcoat are 28 points clear at the top of the table after they won by 17 runs at Exmouth last time out. A first Premier title is in their sights.
Sandford are one place and five points clear of the drop spots and would be seen as second favourites to win at Heathcoat. Foan has other ideas.
“We know Heathcoat have a strong side and some handy players, but so do we and we are up for the challenge,” said Foan, who welcomes back ex-Devon pair Sandy Allen and Trevor Anning along with batter Ryan Glass and all-rounder Shaun Hawkins.
“Obviously it is a massive game and we need to fight for every point until the end of the season.
“Two wins I think will be enough to keep us up and it would be good to get one this week.”
Sandford were on the wrong end of a 123-defeat against Plymouth last time out.
Heathcoat could be crowned champions tomorrow evening if they win against Sandford and Paignton slip up against Bovey Tracey.
Jackson Thompson, the Heathcoat captain, has done the sums but know Paignton’s part of the title equation remains unknown.
“It could be all over this weekend, but we are not really looking beyond this game as it is the only thing we can control,” said Thompson.
“Sandford, on their day, can be a difficult side to beat and we expect a good game considering there's a lot riding on this match for both the teams.
“For us it's another game to enjoy each other’s company and take a step towards achieving something special.”
Callum French returns to the side after his honeymoon and will bat first wicket down. Dylan Penberthy keeps his place in the middle order.
Dan Pyle will play in the 2nd XI against his former club Shobrooke Park this week to spend some time in the middle.
Left-hander Pyle ended last season in the Devon county side. He has had a wretched 2019 season in league cricket, scoring just 82 runs in 10 games with a high of 21 against Paignton in week two.
“We all know how good a player Dan is and I have no doubt he will come good,” said Thompson.
“This also shows the depth in our squad and the ability we have along with a very good team ethos.”
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