All in all a draw was a reasonable return from a match that lost nearly thirty percent of the allocated overs. It would have been unfair to risk giving the opposition sixteen points just for the sake of it as Devon had worked extremely hard to get ultimately two points ahead of the home side. It was somewhat disappointing that during fines some of our players were disappointed that we had not set a decent target for them to chase. It was understood that anything over 200 would not have been chased which restricted our options. Realistically it would have been necessary for another batsman to play a second innings of the standard of Harry Ward to set up a sixteen point chase. We returned to the Ormond House Hotel after a number of years and their breakfast remains one of the better ones. The journey across to Southampton has been worse in the past but it most certainly is not a favourite. We were unlucky at the Crown Sitrrup with no burger buns, limited steaks and chicken but promised a new summer menu for Tuesday. Discussions went into the early hours and annoyed some residents, first complaint of the summer but well delivered by the Hotels Management at breakfast. It was a short journey to one of Dan Pyle's favourite grounds and is was overcast but this time we had some decent boundaries both sides of the wickets. The railway line seemed busier than ever. Gibbs called correctly and batted. The openers put on a seasons best opening partnership of ninety-one. Bovey was caught behind in the twenty-fourth over and Sargent fell in a similar manner this time off the feared Hipwell. Apparently his video on YouTube had been viewed overnight with one offer to bat lower in the order! In fact he only bowled short spells and is coming back from injury so did not enhance his growing reputation. The replacement number three Harry Ward and Jamie Khan took Devon through to lunch after thirty-six overs two down for one hundred and thirty-five - par. The tenth post lunch ball saw Metzgner take his third catch to remove Ward. Devon had added one run. Phillips broke the keepers sequence when he was caught by J.Campbell off Organ - Devon now 155-4 off thirty-nine. Sam Taylor lasted eighteen balls when he was caught by Organ in the forty-fifth over with Devon still in difficulty on 170-5. Jamie Khan was doing his best to hold the batting together, passed his fifty when he was next out with his side two runs past their second batting point - 202-6. Khan had faced sixty-nine balls hitting nine fours and two sixes. He and Williams had added thirty-two. The Sandford batsman fell next bowled by the opening bowler Campbell. Devon were in a very awkward position now seven down with only two hundred and nine on the board. A partnership of grit, determination, character and skill added fifty-seven. Gibbs and Onley-Gregson did the basics and the ingredients of any meaningful partnership are the same. James Onley-Gregson has become an important member of the side offering on all fronts but most importantly on character. He has filled a void that had become a major problem. The keeper got back into the act catching him in the seventy-second over for a critical nineteen. He did expose Matt Parker to the new ball but the Bradninch bowler batted through it adding another twenty-eight with his captain before being caught by Carr off Curie. This brought Chris Yabsley to the crease and Devon six short of what would have been a fourth hard earnt batting point. Second ball Yabsley got down to the non strikers end where even his keenest fans would prefer him. Step up the captain straight drive four, straight drive two caught behind (his fifth) third. Mission accomplished An excellent recovery and the lower order had demonstrated what is needed to score runs at this level.
Hampshire would face twenty-one overs before close of play. Gibbs tried six bowlers and it was the last wicket partnership star Chris Yabsley who took the wicket removing keeper batsman Metzgner thanks to a magnificent one handed diving short leg catch from Taylor. Hampshire were 45-1 overnight. The Stag Hotel had most items in stock and looked after us well, Devon's pre lunch session was outstanding taking eight wickets for one hundred and fifty-two runs, then it rained. First Gibbs bowled his opposite number -54-2, had Campbell caught behind - 57-3; Harvey Sargent caught the Bunbury bound Middleton off Onley-Gregson at slip - 65-4 and Bovey also hovering in the slips caught another Bunbury player South off Sam Woodcock - 99-5. On the same score Parker bowled Gadd and thirty-three runs later Woodcock bowled Currie. Harry Ward ran out Carr and Devon were looking a decent side in the field. From 170-8 another twenty-seven were added for the ninth wicket, the last three partnerships had all be annoying. Organ eventually fell giving Sargent a second slip catch off Onley-Gregson and lunch was taken with Hampshire needing three runs for a second batting point. Lunch was taken and the players did not return to the field on the second day. Devon had performed really well as a unit. Tea was taken and it was back to the Ormond. The Summer menu had been delayed at the Crown Sitrrup but winter stock was now fully available
There was a delayed start to the third day as Hampshire picked up a third batting point and declared. Only an exceptional batting performance by Devon would set up any declaration thoughts and only Harry Ward batted well. Devon were one down in the ninth over, Bovey bowled South - 37-1, two down in the twelfth Sargent caught behind off Hipwell whose spray gun attach makes lining up somewhat difficult -60-2. Jamie Khan and Harry Ward added seventy-three in just over the hour off one hundred and eighteen balls. Both were then out quickly Ward for sixty-three. 158-5 two fifty-four ahead. Phillips quickly followed Williams, Taylor (on his birtday as he kept telling everyone), Gibbs and Onley-Gregson took Devon up to a declaration on 165 two hundred and sixty-one needed. Hampshire scored the sixty-one losing both openers to Parker and Gibbs, hands were shaken at half past five. Devon left with two more points than the home side after a reasonable all round performance but the batting still needs some really stand out innings from the top order. Reasonable return journey, with the Yeovil McDonalds the break, to Exeter where the sixteens were to take on Somerset the following day.