Bowser and Hockin put hands up when it matters for North Devon
NORTH Devon could have been in trouble has they lost to Bovey Tracey so a 35-run win was more than welcome.
Opener Dan Bowser carried his bat for 113 in North Devon’s 50-over total of 212 for six.
Bowser – 14 fours, two sixes – put on 65 with Ben Howe (34) for the second wicket and 69 for the sixth with Steffan James (25).
Wickets were shared by Bovey’s bowlers. Minhaj Jalill (2-41) was the only one to strike twice. Chris Yablsey bowled eight overs for just 17 runs given away.
Abraham Kopparambil (23) and Jalill (46) got Bovey up to 167 for six.
Spinner Jack Hockin then took four for 41 as Bovey collapsed to 177 all out. Pete Bradley (54) was among the four wickets to fall for 10 runs scored.
Bovey, as defending champions, and North Devon both expected better from the season than finishing below halfway.
One more defeat for either would have put them in real relegation jeopardy. Both sides only won three of their nine games after halfway, which explains a lot.
Bovey only won once in their first four starts and were only concerned with survival after that.
“After our start I think the season was a success,” said rookie skipper Toby Codd.
“We have a strong core of young players who will only get stronger with experience.
“Hopefully we all stay together and build for next season.”
North Devon lost five on the trot before running into Bovey Tracey and could have gone down instead of Bradninch had they lost heavily.
Matt Westaway, the North Devon captain, said when the pressure was on two players came up with the goods.
“When you need to put in a performance you always look for players to put their hand up,” said Westaway.
“Dan Bowser and Jack Hockin certainly did that.
“Dan’s match winning knock was truly top drawer. He showed all his class and the way he assessed the wicket was excellent.
“In the field we always felt just in front but Bovey have some very dangerous players and it was crucial to keep the pressure on.
“All the bowlers bowled tight but it was Jack who put in the outstanding performance bowling with great control and his four wickets were crucial.”
Looking back on the campaign, Westaway said: “With the talent North Devon has in its ranks the assessment has to be the side under achieved,
“It was important we remained in the Premier Division so the lads can go again next year.”