Babbacombe Cricket Club players batting in a cricket match at Walls Hill
The 2023 cricket season was one of mixed fortunes for our teams. Although we regularly fielded 3 
competitive Saturday league elevens, which showed our terrific depth in numbers, our finishing 
positions didn’t quite pan out as we had hoped. 
The 1st XI made a return to the C Division West after a successful campaign the year before with 
consolidation being the stated aim. But it was soon apparent that it was quite a big step up in class 
and victory over Dartington & Totnes was our sole success in the opening months. We became 
entrenched in the bottom two despite being led strongly by skipper Rob Redding and never giving 
in easily. A last day defeat by promoted Brixham meant we finished in last place, although only 25 
points from safety. Josh Thompson made a huge impact on his return to the club, scoring runs 
freely and attractively as well as taking wickets consistently. Rob Redding hit a top score 98 and 
Steve Broad, Tim Goodwin, Marcus Thompson, and Jinu (in addition to Josh) also scored half- 
centuries. Another newcomer, Dan Western, also showed his potential as an all-rounder and along 
with regulars Ben Passmore, Paul Bates and Marcus Thompson he was amongst the wickets. Max 
Stone arrived later in the season to show his prowess with the ball and promising youngsters Jack 
Alcock and Gabriel Prior (in the final match) also help make the future look brighter. 
 
Babbacombe Cricket Club player standing at the crease holding their bat
After just securing their place in the F Division West last year, our 2nd XI, skippered by the 
experienced Billy Alcock, were hoping for much better fortunes this year. They made a bright start 
too, winning 3 of their first 4 matches which featured Damon Calland scoring 88* versus 
Bridestowe, before injury curtailed his season. Their form then became inconsistent and several 
winning positions in matches were spurned. But a strong finish saw them finish in 5th position, only 
6 points off third. Skipper Billy Alcock along with Dan Machin, Paul Lightowlers, Seb Loram, Ian 
Sosnowski, and Aidan Lightowlers scored the bulk of the runs but Dan Western’s 108 v Yelverton 
and Dan Machin’s 99 against Stokeinteignhead were the two highlights. Dom Passmore was the 
most successful bowler, while wickets were shared by many others, including Joshimon, Paul 
Lightowlers, Dan Western and young quickies Jack Alcock and Gabriel Prior. 
 
Walls Hill cricket pitch with cricket players on the field
Our newly-formed 3rd XI took their place in the new H Division West with the aim of giving our 
youngsters the experience of playing in a men’s league; ensuring we had eleven players every 
week; and to be competitive and enjoy the cricket. Despite some tough opposition and eventually 
finishing bottom, it was mission accomplished! Most pleasingly, the youngsters finished with a 
flourish, winning their last two games against already promoted Topsham St James, when Ollie 
Dyer scored 52, and against Chelston & Kingskerswell when Will Backholer returned sensational 
bowling figures of 7-9 (which tops the charts in the county for the best bowling return). Will also 
skippered the side in the final half of the season, keeping the youngsters spirits up and leading by 
example. Apart from Ollie Dyer, the most consistent batters were Seth Williams and Rajesh. Will 
was supported in the bowling department by Rajesh, Lee Pascoe, Oran Bonan-Foster and Joe 
Goodwin, in addition to young Reuben Niles and Sam Alcock , who each took 2 wickets when 
promoted to the 2nd XI on the last day of the season! 
 
Babbacombe Cricket Club's 1st XI captain, Rob Redding, defends a cricket ball
Our junior section also continues to flourish with soft-ball sessions being offered to Under 11s, who 
had a taste of competitive cricket with two matches, plus a growing U13 squad who played 7 
competitive hard-ball games this year, showing tremendous progress over the season. 
So there should be lots of optimism for season 2024 when we will continue our journey as 
‘Babbacombe Cricket Club’! 
 
Ron Thomson 
Cricket Manager 
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