This year the delay in reaching Axminster was not a tractor, caravan or a drugs raid it was a really nasty accident that resulted in the Air Ambulance being called. The diversion brought stuck articulated lorries and cows. It was easier this year to find the ground and their hard working Chairman, Peter Kiy, was highly active ensuring everything was right for us. The coach decided on the intensive approach and Sandy set the bar very high and the players responded well. The weather was set fair but overhead cloud came in as the day progressed. Taylor made it two out of two and Haberdashers invited Devon to bat. Elliott Adams advanced from ten to two, not a time check, and opened with Jason Degg. They put on eighteen when Degg was bowled. Max Mejzner joined Adams and the pair took Devon up to fifty off seventy-two balls when Adams was run out. Most run outs are a totally unnecessary dismissal and this one was. All the standard points of good running - communication, trust, head down and run, get your bat down or dive and so on. Based on the information gained this summer we cannot afford to have too many run outs. Conversely if we are the fielding side we think we are we should be getting the opposition out in this way. The pair had been going well and we were now two down after eleven overs. Mejzner was providing the glue that had been missing in Bristol and with Sam Taylor put on the best partnership of the innings - 75. Now on 125 at the half way stage Devon were well placed when the captain patted back a simple caught and bowled. Fortunately Mejzner continued in a sensible manner and added forty-one with Sam Read. However twenty-five runs short of a maiden county hundred he too was caught and bowled. This was an excellent start to his summer but as he was so well set he should have reached three figures also providing a platform for the other batters to bat around him. Hopefully he will achieve this when he returns from Scotland. Read was out in the thirty-eighth over with Devon on 180-5. Final scores were calculated with sixty-six balls remaining, one a ball would take the home side to around 250. Devon lost their most likely source of a quick fifty eight balls later. Daley Holmes, on debut, added thirty-nine very valuable runs with Freddie Ford. Ford skied Lakhani with sixteen balls remaining. Jash Patidar was trapped leg before first ball and three balls later Holmes encouraging start ended. Devon's last three wickets fell on 229. Probably at least thirty short. Pasta Bolognese and fruit salad and ice cream.
Devon would have to exert great pressure, give nothing away and take wickets. Sutton struck in the fifth over with Read taking the perfect slip catch. Everything about the catch was right, balance, pose, technique and outstanding hands. We might have found a most important ingredient. Adams took out Lakhani in the tenth over when the captain took his first catch of the summer. From 41-2 Haberdashers rushed to 181 off one hundred and fifty nine balls. The bowling was shared, Patidar recovered from a nervous first over and Taylor employed eight bowlers. Haberdashers Captain Urban took the game away from Devon scoring an undefeated one hundred and six on his last appearance for the School. He was aided and abetted by his keeper Kaye. Devon took two more wickets an outfield catch from Read to remove Kaye and Sapiecha and Degg combined to remove Rasakulas. The players had their say, then the coach joined in overall it was not that bad but for a so called fifty over side much still has to be learnt and implemented. Axminster who have been hosting this fixture for nearly a quarter of a century were fine hosts and it was good to meet up with some outstanding servants of both the DCB and the Club.