Holders start defence with re-run of last year's final
THE Euro Shopper Devon Cup swings into action on Sunday with the first round of matches.
Holders Plymouth visit Cornwood in a repeat of last season’s final at Heathcoat.
“I'm sure that'll make the stakes even higher when playing against them on Sunday,” said Plymouth captain Sam Stein.
“It was a massive event for the club and we are very proud to say that we won it last season.
“It is a cup competition we enjoy playing in and it usually gives a few other players a chance to express themselves when playing for the first team.”
Barton – four-times winners in the 1980 and 1990s – hit the cup trail by visiting Plymstock.
“Sundays can always be hit or miss with availability,” said Plymstock captain Scott Mansfield.
“But we have the majority of Saturday's first team available so we look forward to testing ourselves against Barton.”
The winners will be at home to Plympton in the quarter-finals.
Chudleigh have a bye in the first round. They will be away to Bradninch, who went through on Tuesday night when Tavistock cried off.
“Half our side are going up to London on Sunday to watch Argyle at Wembley on Monday so I have handed Bradninch the game,” said skipper Shaun Daymond.
Paignton, who last won the cup in 2004, were due to go to Exeter in the first round. However, completing calls for county fixtures left Paignton short handed and they have withdrawn from the game.
The reward for the winners is a home game against Bovey Tracey or Budleigh Salterton, who meet at Ashburton Road.
Bovey will be without opening bowler Hugo Whitlock, who is playing for the Devon Lions against Somerset 2nd XI.
Skipper Sam Hickinbottom has made a handful of changes, but not too many as he knows Budleigh pose a threat despite their lower-division status.
“We will have a good, young side out,” said Hickinbottom.
“Budleigh have some match winners in their side so we need to make sure we do our basics right and try and get over this first hurdle and book ourselves a place in the next round.
“I just hope the weather holds so we have a good contest.”
The competition celebrates its 50th anniversary this year and to mark the occasion there will be extra prizes from the sponsor in the latter stages.
Any player who scores a 50 in the semi-finals or final will win a £50 voucher for his club to spend in branch of Booker Wholesale in Devon.
This year’s final is at Tavistock on August 21.