Lammonby back to bolster Devon batting for final three-day game of season

Tom Lammonby on his way to a ton in the drawn game against Wales earlier in the season
Tom Lammonby on his way to a ton in the drawn game against Wales earlier in the season

DEVON have named three debutants – two of them teenagers – for the away game with Shropshire that will wind-up the Unicorns Championship season.

Abraham Kopparambil, a Mount Kelly student, has been catching the eye batting for Bovey Tracey in the Devon League Premier Division this season.

Ed Middleton, a King’s, Taunton scholar, has bowled leg-spin and batted for Exeter in Premier cricket and not looked out place.

Middleton, who was playing tier four league cricket for Clyst St George last season, has improved dramatically at a higher level.

The third new face at Bridgnorth belongs to Plymouth’s batting all-rounder Hal Kerton, who has gone through the Devon Lions Development progamme over the past few seasons.

Seamer Josh King has been recalled to the side having been left out of the last two matches, a defeat against Herefordshire and a win over Dorset.

Also restored to the side after a game out is off-spinner Toby Codd.

Tom Lammonby, the dual-registered Somerset all-rounder, has recovered from a foot injury that has kept him out of action for nearly eight weeks.

The last time Lammonby played for Devon he scored a ton in both innings of the drawn game against Wales at Sandford.

The Minor Counties season has been extended by two weeks this year to accommodate the new Unicorns T20 Cup competition, in which Devon were beaten semi-finalists last Sunday.

The problem with extending the season is the knock-on effect for players either in education or teaching.  Devon have a number of both, which rules out batters such as Alex Barrow and Zak Bess and spinners Jamie Stephens and Max Hancock.

Others – paceman George Benton among them – just can’t get any more time off work.

Keith Donohue, Devon’s director of cricket, admitted it had been a challenge getting a competitive squad out for the game.

“On one hand it has caused problems, but on the other there are opportunities to be taken,” said Donohue.

“Of course you got out trying to win every game, but we are not at the top of the table challenging to win it so there is no real pressure on us.

“Players don’t improve by watching, but by getting out there and testing themselves against good players.

“Young players like Kopparambil and Middleton have shown what they can do at the level below. This is their chance to improve and learn at the same time.

“Hal Kerton has been on our radar for a while and under different circumstances had he not been injured would almost certainly have played before.”

Devon’s record this season is one win and one draw in five games. Beating Dorset at Sidmouth two weeks ago banished fears of the wooden spoon, which was last claimed in 2015.

Devon: J J Bess (Sidmouth), M W Thompson (Torquay), L F O Bess (Sidmouth), D R Pyle (Exmouth), E W O Middleton, T A Lammonby (both Exeter), A S Kopparambil , J H J Mailling, T J R Codd (all Bovey Tracey), H J Kerton, D J Goodey (both Plymouth), J V King (North Devon).

Shropshire: S G Leach, O M Ali, A Quiney, W Paton, J D Carrasco, W F S Fynn, A N Kervezee, R C J Aucott, R Lockley, S P Whitney, A C F Wyatt.

Umpires: D J Gower, A Harris.