Devon Women miss out on promotion

For the second year running Devon Women just missed out on promotion into Division 2 of the NatWest Women’s County T20.  Going into this weekend joint second with Derbyshire the ladies knew they needed to beat both Derbyshire and Oxfordshire to gain promotion.

Following the recent loss to Scotland, where the team was clearly affected by player availability, expectations were high with the return of a number of senior players.

Derbyshire won the toss and, as expected, elected to field.  Captain Jodie Dibble and Amara Carr opened the batting and Devon soon found themselves 1 down with Dibble getting a leading edge to extra cover. Four overs later Sophie Mackenzie was caught at slip and Cait O’Keefe soon followed without scoring.  Another wicket fell, meaning at the half way stage Devon were 31/4.  The next 6 overs saw only 7 runs scored for the loss of 4 wickets - and something unseen in modern T20 cricket 3 maiden overs.  Poor calling and questionable shot selection resulted in Devon being bowled out before the end for a paltry 48 runs.

Devon came out for the second half clearly focused and whatever was said in the interval had an impact.  Off spinner Becca Silk continued her fine performance with a maiden for the first over, Dibble went one better with a wicket maiden and Silk then returned with a wicket herself in the 3rd over.   At the half way stage Derby needed 26 to win with 7 wickets in hand.  Devon continued with spin and Derby continued to make hard work of the situation.  Whilst dots were building the odd boundary helped Derby to stay on top.  With 4 overs to go Derby were 6 down and needed 9 to win.  A boundary in the 18th followed by a wicket in the same over meant Derby needed 4 to win with 3 wickets remaining.  Lydia Harris continued to bowl tight but 2 singles and a leg bye meant Derby entered the last over needing 1 to win.  2 Dot balls were bowled by 17 year old Steph Hutchins, sparking talk of a super over but a single to deep midwicket then ended the game and as well as the promotion hopes for Devon.

“We’re bitterly disappointed” said Head Coach Trevor Griffin.  “Promotion was our main focus this year, our planning and tactics to win the league was based on player availability and the skills they worked so hard on over the winter.  We played some outstanding T20 cricket throughout the competition but yet again we’ve come up short.  The players are rightly upset at their performance and now’s not the time but it’s vital we all review the season to understand what went wrong” continued Trevor.  “What I would say is I asked the players to show character and fight at the interval and they did exactly that.”

Devon finished the competition by beating Oxfordshire by 8 wickets in the 2nd game, chasing 110 in 17.1 overs .  Captain Dibble scoring 55 not out with stands of 56 with Amara Carr (27) and 54 with Cait O’Keefe (21).

Players Player was Jodie Dibble sponsored by Silver Lynx Travel