Brixham bring in paceman to bolster attack

BRIXHAM have gone for outright pace to bolster their side for the long-awaited return to Premier Division cricket next summer.

South African A and U19 fast bowler Corné Dry is on his way to Boundary Park as the club’s overseas player.

Brixham were last in the top flight way back in 1993 and only skipper Andy Pugh remains with the club from those hazy days.

Pugh (pictured from the period) was Brixham’s leading run getter with 628, including a ton against Plymouth, but despite that and 27 wickets for Wayne Gale they still went down.

South African Matt McGillivray and Aussie Stuart Edgar were the key men for Brixham in their promotion wining season, scoring nearly 1,700 runs and taking 69 wickets between them.

“Unfortunately, Matt has decided not to return to the UK this season – and we knew we would only have Stuey (18) for one season because of his age,” said Brixham player Mark Orchard.

Brixham need to replace those contributions and signing Dry is the first step.

The 22 year old from Cape Town came up through the Orange Free State system, making his First Class debut in 2011.

He spent two years in the U19 side and played in the 2012 Under-19 World Cup in Australia.

Dry plays for Free State and Knights in the multi-layered South African domestic programme. He has 114 First Class wickets plus 32 more in 50-over cricket.

And he can bat too, as demonstrated by a First Class average in the mid-20s, which includes 142 taken of Gauteng in November 2014.

He made his South Africa A debut against Australia A in Queensland in August 2014, playing in the same side as former Bovey Tracey batter Farhaan Behardian, who played Devon League cricket in 2009 for half a season.

“Corné was due to come over last season to go somewhere else but the Knights didn't give him permission,” said Orchard.

This year he became available and has permission from Knights.

“He looks a very good replacement for one of the best overseas players to play in Devon.

“He can certainly bowl and has 142 as a highest score, so I'd imagine he can bat.”

Orchard said other signings are planned, but the team won’t be totally rebuilt.

“We would like to bring a couple of players to strengthen our squad, as we know how big the step up is to the Premier Division,” said Orchard, who won a Premier title with Exmouth in 2013 and knows what it is all about in the top flight.

“A few different areas need strengthening and we will hope to do that before pre season.

“We haven’t lost anyone that I know of, so that's a positive to keep everyone local to the club.

“They are the guys who keep the teams running. Week in, week out they turn up and put in the effort.”

FLASHBACK: Exmouth won the Premier title the last time Brixham were in the Premier Division, finishing 26 points clear of Exeter at the top of the table.

The leading run scorer in the division was Exeter’s Steve Willis (right) with 893 at an average of 55.81.

Paignton’s Malcolm Kingdon topped the bowling list with 45 wickets. Queens Park clubmate Tim Ward (left) with 43 wasn’t far behind.

There was no limit on bowlers in 1993. Kingdon bowled 329.1 overs in a 22-game season.

The busiest bowler in the Premier Division in 2015 was Exmouth captain Gary Chappell, who bowled 146.2 overs in an 18-game campaign.

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