THE weather for this now annual game against the South & West 15s was better than the APP had predicted and the sun shone almost the entire game.
Devon had six members of their Under 15 squad all with genuine aspirations to make the ECB's regional squad.
Add in five 17s and under 16, Ben Sapiecha it looked as if this would be an interesting encounter and so it proved to be.
With Matt Cooke leading the pre-match preparations where the attitude and endeavour was spot on which was reflected in a very positive fielding and bowling performance later in the day.
The South and West elected to field and Ashley Causey and Sam Read opened up against Jardine and Charlsworth, who had played in the corresponding fixture last year. Causey was bowled by the former in the fourth over and Devon were 13-1.
Abraham Kopparambi joined the Clyst St George all rounder and the pair put on thirty-three off seventy-six deliveries. In fact there were only 15 scoring shots i.e. 18% such a percentage creates huge difficulties later in the innings and it is essential that batsman, throughout the order, understand how to not just rotate the strike but to put the opposition under some pressure.
Kopparambi fell in the seventeenth over with Devon on 46-2 off one 105 deliveries. The captain, Jamie Khan, joined his school colleague but the pair added just three.
Read was the second victim of the Horton /Startin combination for his sides top score of thirty-two. He had contributed virtually 70 per cent of his sides total in an innings of sixty-one minutes facing sixty-four balls. This innings and his bowling later in the game reinforced the potential he had demonstrated in the winter.
The Exeter pairing of Khan and Sapiecha then put on the one meaningful partnership of the innings - fifty-four off 60 balls.
At the half way stage Devon were on 86-3 with an awful lot still to do if they were to score two hundred and forty. The captain fell in the twenty-ninth over bowled by Phillips. He had scored a thirty-eight ball twenty-nine with two fours and sixes.
First ball of the thirty-second over saw the demise of Sapiecha caught and bowled by Naish. He had contributed twenty-three.
Devon now had 119 balls left and their score stood at one hundred and seventeen. The remaining six batsmen added sixty-three.
Morison was out in the thirty-fourth over and Jack Moore sweeping in the thirty-fifth - 125-7 and not well placed. Kazi Szymanski fell in the thirty-eighth and Devon were in their first hole of 2017.
Fortunately Tom Williams, Ben Abrahams and Max Hancock batted very sensibly, putting on forty-six valuable runs.
Devon were halfway through the forty-seventh when Williams was caught by Charlesworth but Ben Abrahams and Hancock added 19 in copybook fashion with the best running of the innings.
Hancock was run-out going for an impossible second off the penultimate ball of the final over. Devon all out 180 - normally this would be too light unless an outstanding fielding performance was given.
Pasta for lunch with bread and butter pudding with custard. Szymanski took the first wicket with his fourth ball caught Causey.
Twenty-six were added for the second wicket with a short rain break and the other opening bowler Tom Simmons bowled Hall with the last ball of the eighth over. Twenty-three runs later a smart piece of fielding by Simmons ran out Smeed.
Khan had introduced the spinners Hancock and Read in the twelfth and thirteenth overs and the pair bowled splendidly in tandem.
Their twenty overs went for 53 runs with two wickets for the bowlers and two run outs .Read trapped Findley-Wilson in the seventeenth over 49-4, another neat piece of fielding this time from Moore ran out Naish - 69-5.
Louise Morison executed a neat stumping to remove the glue of the South's side captain Bevans who topped scored with thirty-eight. The bowler Hancock; the score after twenty-five overs 76-6.
The visitors were playing 15 so it was likely that they would bat all the way and they did.
The captain completed a hat trick of run-outs (very encouraging) in the thirty-first over 91-7.
The final three wickets put on 67 with the best partnership of the innings -fifty-six for the eighth wicket.
Langston was leg before to Simmons who bowled beautifully, He also bowled Jardine and finished with figures of 3-41 off eight.
Szymanski had taken the first wicket and he took the tenth bowling Horton.
The fifteens had added energy to the side and the group had bought into the Devon fielding ethos - something that had been a problem in 2016.
This was a beneficial run out for both teams and Khan on his debut as captain made an outstanding impression.