Thursday, July 24, 2014
EXMOUTH are quietly confident of salvaging something from the wreckage of the season in the Servicemaster Devon T20 finals at Exeter on Sunday, writes Conrad Sutcliffe.
Last season’s double winners – they won the league and the Devon KO Cup – are going to be also-rans in the Premier Division this season.
Their interest in the 40-over Tolchards-sponsored cup was ended by the toss of a coin on a wet and miserable day at Paignton.
Exmouth won the county T20 in 2010 when then beat Bradninch in the county final before losing to Bridgwater at regional stage.
Skipper Gary Chappell, who captain’s the T20 side, says Exmouth have every reason to be quietly confident without being disrespectful of the opposition.
“All four sides at finals day have some decent players and good-looking bowling attacks,” said Chappell.
“Where I think we have a bit of an advantage is in the depth of our batting.
“Totals of 140 aren’t going to be enough on Sunday, most sides can chase that down by batting sensibly.
“With our batting we are capable of exceeding that, going in first or second.”
Exmouth’s problems in the league have been largely due to being a seamer short on Saturday afternoons with Matt Webb missing long term and Ollie Dawe only just back in action after an operation.
For cup games Exmouth are strengthened by the availability of former Somerset, Surrey and Devon fast bowler Ian Bishop who plays his Saturday cricket in Taunton these days.
“Bishop is an extra option and a handy one to have,” said Chappell.
Sunday’s County Ground action gets started at 10.30am when Exmouth square up to Cornwood for the second time in 24 hours.
The second semi-final is between North Devon and Paignton, due to commence at 1.30pm.
The final will get under way after a tea break around 5pm.
The competition is sponsored by Servicemaster Devon, who owner is former Exmouth cricketer Greg Evans. He will present the trophy to the winning captain.
Stuart Munday, the Devon League chairman, will adjudicate the man of the match award.
Sunday’s winners will go forward to represent Devon in the West region qualifier for the ECB National Competition, which this year is being staged at Sidmouth on August 10.