Devon exit Unicorns Trophy

PUBLISHED: 22:44 20 May 2015 | UPDATED: 22:44 20 May 2015

Sidmouth player Andy Mathieson bowls against Bovey Tracey at the Fortfield.. Ref shsp 5797-20-15SH. Picture: Simon Horn

Sidmouth player Andy Mathieson bowls against Bovey Tracey at the Fortfield.. Ref shsp 5797-20-15SH. Picture: Simon Horn

Archant

DEVON were left to ponder on where it all went wrong after sliding out of the Unicorns Trophy following a 46-run defeat by Wiltshire, writes Conrad Sutcliffe.

Last season’s Trophy winners knew they had to win at Warminster to finish in one of the group qualification slots after losing to Cornwall seven days earlier.

And when Wiltshire were 34 or five in the first innings – Tom Allin doing much of the damage – a Devon win looked the most likely outcome.

Ed Young, the former Gloucestershire and England U19 all-rounder, got Wiltshire off the hook with a fine century.

Young got Wiltshire moving from 34 for five in stands of 57 with Mike Bates, 99 with Ashur Morrison (19) and 70 with Jake Roberts (33).

Devon were left to make 234 to win which, on a good batting strip and with a short boundary on one side, looked within reach if they batted through.

Devon’s didn’t get the start they wanted as they lost openers Rob Woodman and Liam Lewis to extravagant shots by the time the score reached 30.

The usually solid Matt Thompson, who looked out of sorts, from the moment he got in, was in and out to a catch behind for three.

Max Curtis dug in at one end, but saw Sam Wyatt-Haines and Sandy Allen come then go as Devon reached 94 for five.

Ben Green was the running mate Curtis needed and a stand of 64 for the sixth wicket kept Devon in the game.

When Curtis was run-out trying to pinch a single behind square, Devon were in five an over territory at 158 for six with 15 to go. .

Wiltshire had left arm-spinners Young and Tom Foley operating now and taking the pace of the ball forced Devon to play their shots.

A combination of rash batting by Devon and good fielding from Wiltshire saw Allin and Ben Green go for just six runs added. Young (3-15) and Foley polished off the tail as Devon subsided to 187 all out.

Devon’s team management know this is a rebuilding season after five of last summer’s trophy winning team moved on.

There may be some mitigation, but team boss Keith Donohue wasn’t interested in hearing excuses from the players or offering any afterwards.

“It feels to me like a game we have thrown away - and I am not entirely sure how we managed it,” said Donohue.

“The game was there to be won after we had them 34 for five and 91 for six – but the way we played we didn’t deserve to win.

“I know we have made a number of changes this season, but that isn’t the reason we underperformed. They are experienced players who have come in, not naïve youths.”

Wiltshire 233-9 (E G C Young 100, M Bates 36, J P Roberts 33; B G F Green 3-41, T W Allin 3-23), Devon 187 (M H Curtis 52, B G F Green 38; E G C Young 3-15, J P Roberts 2-23). Wiltshire bt Devon by 46 runs.

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