Wolf can't stop Leopards beating Lions
DEVON Lions’ 39-run defeat by Dorset Leopards was all part of the learning experience for the county’s developing players.
That was the view from coach Tim Western after the 50-over friendly at Torquay Recreation Ground in the Lions’ penultimate game of the season.
The Leopards made 256 for seven – Luke Matthews and Jake Digby both making half-centuries and more.
The Lions replied with 217 all out – skipper Dan Wolf (Paignton) making 67 as his side recovered from 95 for five to mount a serious challenge for the runs.
Western said the Lions were educated in facets of the game they are not routinely exposed to, which was not a bad thing.
“Our players will have benefited and learnt from the game,” said Western.
“We were a young team, with only two players over 19 years old, and that lack of experience, when the pressure was applied, showed in the end.
“After the rain-induced lunch interval, we lost our way a little and Dorset’s two experienced players pressurised our fielders and bowlers in a way rarely seen in the Devon League.
“The players will have recognised the increased intensity in parts of the game above that found on a Saturday, ideal preparation for the next step up and Minor Counties' cricket.”
Matthews (67) and skipper Digby (81) put on 159 for the fifth wicket after Dorset had used half their overs reaching 85 for four.
Opening bowlers Hugo Whitlock (2-29) and Gill Crouch (0-30) did their reputations no harm
“Jack Gibbs and Billy Rudolph made promising debuts despite not taking any wickets,” said Western.
“Gibbs bowled with pace and bounce and looks a real prospect for the future.”
Noah Wright (31) and Harvey Sargent (31) gave the Lions a 71-run start, but five wickets tumbled for 24 runs in six overs as the Leopards showed their claws in the field.
Wolf and Toby Codd (41) got the Lions moving again, although keeping up with the asking rate was a problem.
“The run rate was escalating gradually and proved too much in the end,” said Western.
Codd then Wolf were caught in the deep and the final three wickets were lost with two overs to spare.
Dorset Leopards 256-7 (L Matthews 67, J Digby 81; F King 2-29, H Whitlock 2-29), Devon Lions 217 (D Wolf 67, T Codd 41, H Sargent 1, N Wright 31; S Woodruff 3-22, T Blackley 3-57).