By CONRAD SUTCLIFFE
TOP-order batsman Rory Thomas is on his way back to Bradninch next season after a whistlestop tour of the Premier Division.
Thomas left A Division Bradninch at the end of the 2018 season for Sidmouth with the intention of playing Premier Division cricket.
Thomas left Sidmouth after a single season with the club and moved up the coast to Exmouth for the 2020 summer.
Having failed to settle at Exmouth as well, Thomas has gone back to Bradninch, who hope he will recapture the form that had the Devon management showing an interest in him during his previous spell there.
Thomas has found runs hard to come by in Premier cricket, but Ninch skipper Eliot Acton is confident that won’t be an issue back at Kensham Park.
“Rory scored all his runs at the top of the order and he will be competing for a place there,” said Acton.
Thomas started out in league cricket with Kentisbeare and in his final season on with the Rectory Park club seemed to be scoring runs for fun. In 17 league games he amassed 910 runs at an average in the 60s and took tons off Tiverton (108no), Honiton (102) and Upottery (154).
A move to Bradninch – then in the Premier Division – followed for the 2017 season, which was a massive step up for Thomas, who only passed 30 twice that summer.
It was a different story in 2018 when Thomas flourished. He totted-up 446 league runs, which included 108 not out slammed off just 64 balls in a 10-wicket win over Sandford.
Despite Thomas’ efforts with the bat, Bradninch were relegated from the Premier Division at the end of the season, prompting him to move on again.
Sidmouth gave Thomas a 10-game run in the 1stXI when he arrived, during which he hit a top score of 71 against Plymouth.
The second half of the season was a mixture of first and second-team cricket for Thomas, whose best day came when he thumped 183 for the 2ndXI against Exeter.
Thomas played five league games and two more in the Covid Cup for Exmouth during the truncated 2020 season.