Maer men sign Tim Piper as team building for 2020 league season continues
PUBLISHED: 11:16 11 February 2020
Exmouth have added to their squad for the forthcoming Tolchards Devon League season by signing former Bradninch skipper Tim Piper, writes Conrad Sutcliffe.
Wicket-keeper / batsman Piper stuck with Bradninch last season following their 2018 relegation from the Premier Division in the hope of helping them back into the top flight.
However, at the age of 31, time is running out for Piper to play Premier cricket, which is one of the reasons he gave Bradninch captain Eliot Acton for his decision to switch clubs.
"Tim wants to play Premier cricket in a quicker timescale than we are able to offer," said Aton, whose side finished a distant third behind Cornwood in last season's A Division.
Exmouth captain Andrew Buzza, a former Bradninch team-mate of Piper's, has tried signing the keeper-batsman before. He is delighted to have got his man at long last.
"It is no secret that I have wanted to sign Tim to play at Exmouth for a while, both as a player and a friend, and I am glad that it's happening this summer," said Buzza.
"In my opinion Tim is one of the most under-rated keeper-batters in the county.
"He is a player who loves the battles that cricket can bring, plus has an awareness for the game which will be invaluable for Premier Division cricket."
Piper smacked 720 A Division runs at an average of 51.43 last season.
Piper started his cricket career with Clyst Hydon and was talent spotted in the village side's youth ranks in his early teens. He toured South Africa with Devon U15s in 2003 in the same squad as Acton, future Devon CCC captain Josh Bess, the late Tom Allin and future Torquay captain Justin Yau.
He left Bradninch for the first time at the start of the 2005 season when he signed for Premier side Torquay, but the travelling commitment proved too great and the player was back at Kensham Park by mid-season.
Piper re-joined Torquay for the 2015 season under Yau's captaincy, but only played five matches before returning to Bradninch. Torquay won the Premier title that summer.
Bradninch invited Piper to skipper the 1st XI in 2013 and 2014. He resumed the role in 2016 after a brief spell at Torquay.