ALFONSO Thomas stroked a century and Dom Bess picked up four wickets as Exeter trounce Exmouth by 156 runs on the Maer.
Former Somerset paceman Thomas – he retired at the end of last season –is carving out a new career in the recreational game as a player and coach.
And he seems to be settling in nicely if his knock of 107 against Exmouth is anything to go by.
Thomas faced 131 balls during a 162-minute stay and hit 13 fours. He was dropped on 10 and made Exmouth pay
Along the way Thomas shared a stand of 163 with Alex Barrow, who made 86 off 82 balls with six fours and four sixes.
The stand ended when Trevor Anning had Thomas caught behind.
Barrow was out in the penultimate over having taken Exeter close to their final total of 260 for five.
Exmouth’s bowlers struggled to keep the rate below four and over, although Matt Tarry and David Lye were the exceptions.
Exmouth were all out for 104 in reply – no one making more than Callum French (33).
It all went horribly wrong from the 19th over onwards, starting with the dismissal of Bob Dawson by Blake Reed.
Exmouth went from 71 for two to 73 for eight in the space of six overs.
Bess claimed the wickets of Anning, Simon Baker and Finlay Marks in one over.
“It would have been easier if we had a revolving door out of the dressing room,” said keeper Sandy Allen, whose 19 at the top of the innings was one of only three double-figure scores.
Reed (2-15) and James Rimmer (2-22) gave Bess (4-9) a helping hand.
Alvin Pollard (19) and Tarry delayed the inevitable by putting on 21 for the last wicket.
Exeter skipper Miles Lenygon said conditions were difficult for batters so Exmouth’s collapse against good bowling was not a huge surprise.
“We would have felt confident defending 170 on that pitch, so to get 260 showed just how brilliant Alf and Baz (Barrow) were,” said Lenygon.
“In the field we just had to stay patient and wait for their mistake as playing scoring shots on that track was very difficult.
“We took our chances and Dom Bess again was brilliant with the ball.”
Allen said Exmouth were outplayed by Exeter, whose bowling attack is going to be the envy of many in the Premier Division this year.
“Thomas is only ever going to go for two or three an over, which means you have to score runs at the other end,” said Allen.
“Exeter set the game up nicely with such a big score and we were caught on the edge more than once trying to get on with it against bowling it wasn’t there to do it against.”