Lions come up short on chase against Gloucestershire 2nd XI

Devon Lions before the game against Gloucestershire at Heathcoat

Scoreboard

DEVON Lions lost by 36 runs to Gloucestershire 2nd XI in a 50-over friendly at Heathcoat.

Gloucestershire recovered from a wobbly 90 for five to make 243 for nine thanks to the determination of their middle order.

“George Benton (1-43) bowled with control and pace but Matt Skeemer (2-30) was the pick of the bowlers, removing danger men Miles Hammond and Jordan Garrett,” said director of coaching Tim Western.

“Matt Petherbridge (3-47) and Toby Codd (1-27) bowled intelligently and with Skeemer reduced Gloucs CCC to 127 for seven.”

Ben Ellis started the comeback with 32 but the saving stand was one of 82 for the eighth wicket between Dom Hooper (59) and Ollie Price (38).

“Our intensity, fitness and game plan dropped away, but credit to Gloucestershire’s lower-order batters, who did well to recover to a set a competitive target.

Sandford captain Richard Foan, who was skippering the Lions for the first time, made 34 at the top of the order but lacked support.

The Lions were 61 for five after 21 overs with Heathcoat’s Reid Mawdsley among the casualties.

Devon’s fightback was led by Joe Thompson, the Torquay batsman who destroyed Bradninch in last season’s Devon T20 final.

Thompson (52) and Toby Codd (43) added 92 for the sixth wicket and with 15 overs to go it was game on.

Codd went first but Sandford’s Ryan Glass seized his chance to show what he could do by making a rapid 38.

Glass got an 11th hour call-up into the side when Plymouth’s Hal Kerton dropped out with a shoulder injury.

Thompson’s demise was the beginning of the end for Devon.

“He gloved a bouncer to the keeper and the innings tailed off quickly,” said Western.

“It was obviously disappointing to lose wickets up top but Joe and Toby batted with maturity and confidence and dragged the game back for the taking.”

Losing Glass and Dan Goodey in consecutive balls was effectively the end of the line for Devon, whose last three wickets went for one run in a total of 207 all out.

Compared to the drubbing handed out by the University of Exeter the last tme the Lions played, this was a massive improvement.

Tim Western, the director of coaching, said performances rather than results count in development games and the result was not a huge disappointment.

“It is vital we keep exposing our emerging players to the situations and challenges games like this create,” said Western.

“These tests are tougher than they would ordinarily come across in the Devon Cricket League and are closer to what they will experience at Minor County level.

“We have a full series of matches coming up in July, including two days against Somerset 2nd XI. Devon Lions’ players will have the opportunity to be exposed to ‘learning’ environments.”

Gloucestershire 2nd XI 243-9 (D J Hooper 59, O Price 38, B A T Ellis 32; M J Petherbridge 3-47, M P Skeemer 2-30), Devon 207 (J E Thompson 52; T R J Codd 43, R Glass 38; D J Hooper 3-17, G S Drissell 3-43). Gloucestershire bt Devon by 36 runs.