Exmouth drawn in tough T20 group
PUBLISHED: 17:16 01 January 2019
Holders Exmouth have been pitched into a tough, all-Premier Division qualifying pool for next season's Servicemaster Clean T20 competition, writes Conrad Sutcliffe.
Exmouth are joined by Plymouth and Sidmouth in pool four, which is the only three-team group comprised entirely of Premier sides.
Exmouth defeated Plymouth in the last four to reach the 2018 final.
Premier sides Exeter and Paignton are the only entrants in pool six.
Cullompton, the B Division outsiders who went all the way to the semi-finals before losing to beaten finalists North Devon, have been grouped with Bovey Tracey and Heathcoat in pool one.
Competition organisers have ordered round one of the competition to be played as a festival comprising three games in the same day.
To avoid the fixture congestion that blighted last season’s latter stages of the competition, not helped by games clashing with England matches in the Football World Cup, organisers are aiming for an earlier start to round one.
Round-one games have to be played between Saturday, April 20, and Sunday, May 12. Six winners and the two closest runners-up will go through to round two, which must be played by June 16.
The final has been pencilled in for July 14 at North Devon CC, with July 21 as the reserve date. The winners will represent Devon in the national ECB Vitality Blast T20.
The draw is (host clubs first) Pool One: Bovey Tracey, Cullompton, Heathcoat; Pool Two: Bradninch, Abbotskerswell, Torquay; Pool Three: Sandford, Barton, Plympton; Pool Four; Plymouth, Exmouth, Sidmouth; Pool Five: Cornwood, North Devon, Budleigh Salterton; Pool Six: Exeter, Paignton.