Writing was on the wall after batting collapse says Devon skipper Bess

Spectators settle down for the day

DEVON captain Josh Bees had no complaints or recriminations about losing the Unicorns KO Trophy final to Cheshire by two runs.

Despite a brave attempt to rescue the game by James Burke (95) and Gary Chappell (39) in a sixth-wicket stand of 70, the damage was done by a middle-order collapse from 115 for one to 133 for five.

Spinners Simon Normanton and Jack Williams did the damage.

Devon chasing 249 to win, got down to the last over needing seven with two wickets in hand and it proved beyond them.

It was a disappointing end to what had been an absorbing game of cricket that swung this way and that from start to finish.

“Getting to the final is an achievement but you play to win finals so to miss out is pretty gutting," said Bess.

“We did well at the back end of our innings to get close to their total after a middle order collapse.

“The writing was on the wall when we lost four quick wickets but that was a special innings from James Burke and Gary Chappell and Scott Barlow also did well to get us so close.

“If we had a couple more wickets in hand it might have allowed us the opportunity to chance our arm a bit more.

“We didn’t play Simon Normanton (4-21) well enough. He bowled well but we probably went a bit hard at him trying to get away.

“It was a good final to be involved in. Obviously you want to come out on the winning side but it wasn’t to be today”

Cheshire captain Rick Moore said: “If you could write a script for a final that’s what most people would want. It’s been a great day and we are delighted to have come out on top.

“We knew that picking up wickets would be key and Simon Normanton, who deservedly got the man of the match award, was outstanding. He turned the game for us.

“We always believed that if we could take wickets it would make life more difficult for them when we took the pace off in the middle overs.

“We have got used to batting first, got runs on the board and then put the squeeze on. We’ve bowled a lot of spin in the middle overs and that was the blueprint today.”