AFTER three, comprehensive victories over Cornwall (64 runs at Filleigh CC ), Cardiff and Vale of Cardiff (74 runs at St Fagans CC o) and Somerset (7 wickets at North Curry CC on 11 June), the Under-11 Boys returned to action against Somerset at Ivybridge.
Devon won the toss and decided to take first use of a batsman-friendly looking pitch. Recent batting performances had been built on good partnerships throughout the innings, but on this occasion things did not go to plan against a Somerset side that had 'upped their game' from the previous match.
The opening bowlers reduced Devon to 47-4 after 14 overs, with Mount (0), Hayter (3), Maunder (2) and Popham (5) all back in the hutch. This left the Hill and Couch to rescue the innings.
A 34-run partnership saw some of the damage repaired, before Couch was run out for 12.
Tapley (12) was next to go after a few lusty blows and Devon were struggling on 91-6, but with Hill still at the crease all was not lost (hopefully).
A partnership of 48 by Hill and Williams (29) took the score to 139 and an outside chance of setting a reasonable target.
The last few overs of the innings added another 40 runs, with some boundary hitting from Hill and hard running between the wickets by the tail and 179-9 was achieved - was this enough?.
Fin Hill batted superbly through the innings after coming in first wicket down in the first over to notch an impressive 88 not out of 122 balls.
Devon knew they had to start well and restrict the scoring opportunities for the Somerset.
At the first drinks break after 14 overs, Somerset had reached 47-1 so the game was on.
Devon's bowling didn't look like taking wickets and this matched with sloppy fielding allowed the Somerset batters to calmly knock off the runs at above the required run rate.
The last drinks break proved decisive and with Heardy asking for a response, the team responded and pressure finally started to be applied. This initially was achieved by the spin options of Suresh and Hill and then the 'death' bowling of Williams (2-33) and Popham (1-17).
The run rate climbed and vital wickets were pouched. The last two overs were mayhem as Somerset decided to run everything as 18 runs were needed and they lost six for one, including 4 run outs!!
Devon finally ran out winners by 14 runs, but it was day when Devon had used a 'Get Out of Jail' card.
Next up for the boys is Gloucestershire at Heathcoat on Sunday, July 16. This will be a tough match, given last season's hard fought game in which we lost our 100 per cent record.