Thursday, July 10, 2014
Budleigh Salterton were valiant runners-up on Finals Day of the Servicemaster Clean Devon T20 Cup at Heathcoat last Sunday.
Playing in the second of the day’s semi-finals, Budleigh took the field against hosts Heathcoat knowing that victory would set up a titanic scrap with neighbours Exmouth who had earlier seen off Exeter in the days first last four match.
Skipper Lloyd White won the toss and elected to bowl but took to the field without Joel Murphy, Ben Phillips and James Burke, three crucial players in first eleven.
Toby Lockhead and Dan Powell put on 49 for the first wicket until the former was caught on the boundary well held by Jack Dart off the bowling of James Leat (1/29).
Luke Petersen was unlucky not to take a wicket (0/21) although bowled very tidy. Skipper White (2/21) and Dart (1/21) turned the screw in the middle overs to restrict Heathcoat to just 139 from their twenty overs.
The run chase couldn’t have started better for Heathcoat as they grabbed Petersen and Dart for single figure scores to leave Budleigh reeling at 10-2.
Just 30 runs later and Elliot Rice was back in the hutch for a patient 22. Richard Arnold and Lloyd Murrin blasted their way to 16 and 34 respectively to give the Otters a sniff of hope.
Meanwhile, at the other end Harry Parkin was going nicely and played a match winning 55 not out as Budleigh won with four balls to spare.
In the final Budleigh met Exmouth who batted first and there was one early moment of celebration as Luke Petersen snared former Otter Bob Dawson for just one, caught behind by Dan Messom who dived to his right one-handed to claim an outstanding acrobatic catch. Richard Baggs then launched into the Budleigh bowling and, despite injury that necessitated a runner, stroked his way to 70 and Seb Benton weighted in with 42 as Exmouth racked up 188 from their twenty overs. In reply Budleigh posted a respectable 146-7 to emerge as valiant runners-up.
Skipper White reflected on the week’s events, saying: “The Otters have had an incredible week. If anyone had asked us if we were going to be playing in a Twenty20 final on Sunday evening on Thursday, I would have laughed in their face. There is a real buzz around at Ottermouth at the moment, it is great to see. Beating Sidmouth like we did was a fantastic experience, and then both sides brushed aside their opponents in the league on Saturday. We had got to finals day before, but struggled for strength and depth. This year was different. We are stronger and heading in the right direction as a club. I told the boys to just enjoy the day, soak up the sun and play cricket with smiles on our faces. Which is exactly what we did and we had an absolutely brilliant day. Huge congratulations must go to Exmouth. They thoroughly deserved victory and I hope they can keep progressing in the T20 format. They certainly have the depth and it would be good to see a local side progress through the regional sections of this competition.”
On Saturday Budleigh 1st XI entertain Chudleigh and the second XI are away to the same opponents.