TORQUAY overcame an attack of the jitters to beat Exmouth by four wickets and retain the Servicemaster Devon T20 title they won last year.
Exmouth made 140 for seven when they batted, a total Torquay appeared to have under control when they were 101 for four with five overs to go.
Losing Dan Wightman and James McMurray in the space of five balls for one run added put a different complexion on the game.
Exmouth kept the runs down through David Lye, Husnan Kazmi, and George Greenway, but couldn’t shift opener Mitch Pugh, who kept cool under pressure to make 66 out and see Torquay home with two balls to spare.
Ben Francis at the other end chugged along to 16 not out in the match-winning partnership.
Exmouth, who had a close shave in the lunchtime semi-final against Bradninch, had Bob Dawson (31), David Lye (26) and Callum French (21no) to thank for getting them to 140 for seven Dan Pyle chipped in 19 of 13 balls.
Anything under five an over in T20 is good bowing so Matt Petherbridge (1-19) and Matt Beasant (1-15) were the star turns.
Pugh and Szymanski – identical figures of one for 19 off three – did their bit too.
Winning skipper Justin Yau said restricting Exmouth to 140 for seven was only half the battle
“Kazi Szymanski, Matt Beasant, Mitch Pugh and Matt Petherbridge bowled exceptionally well and chasing 141 we knew we'd always be in the game,” said Yau.
“Mitch played a blinder to see us home and Ben Francis came of age with a crucial contribution at the end.
“Full credit to Exmouth who pushed us all the way. We did extremely well to get over the line in the final.
“It was a great game and the boys have done so well to come through extremely tough opposition to win the title again.”
Yau also had a word of praise for the competition organiser and host club Budleigh Salterton.
“It was a superb event and Budleigh Salterton hosted a great finals day,” said Yau.
“A big thanks to the tournament organiser Richard Stevenson and Budleigh chairman Greg Evans for their work throughout the day.”
Exmouth 140-7 (D Lye 26, R Dawson 31, C French 21), Torquay 141-6 (M Pugh 66no; D Pyle 2-26, D Lye 2-35). Torquay bt Exmouth by 4 wkts.