DEVON'S U12 cricketers lost for the first time this season when Somerset beat them by two wickets at Exeter in a game that swung this way and that.
Devon were bowled out for 135 with more than four overs to come, which was very nearly enough.
Somerset were into the last over when the scraped home with four balls to spare thanks to some lusty blows from tail-ender Bobby Mulvey.
“It was a chastening experience for the side whose fielding has been exceptional this season,” said manager Warren Carr.
“Had we taken our chances, despite posting a below-par total, we would and should have won the game comfortably.”
Opener Jake Pascoe went early to a ball that nipped back, but Lawrence Harvey (25) and Cameron Ford (18) added 51 for the second wicket.
Devon looked set for a sizeable total at Exeter, however the loss of Ford and Walker in quick succession then skipper Harry Passenger had the hosts struggling at 67-4.
Alec Holifield (9) and Ed Butler (25) looked to have repaired some of the damage, but spinner Daniel Broome dismissed both which put the brakes on just as Devon were beginning to accelerate things.
Wickets fell regularly from then on. Plenty of players got in but failed to capitalise and make the significant score that would have taken Devon to a competitive total. Mulvey (3-21) and Broome (3-13) were the pick of the bowlers.
Somerset were on the back foot at 30 for three as Jacob Kopparambil, Butler and a run-out gave Devon hope.
Ollie Harrison threatened to take the game away in a hurry with a powerful display of hitting which saw him make 39.
Passenger rotated his bowlers trying to get a foothold in the game.
Two more wickets for leg-spinner Kopparambil (3-28) and wicket for Butler (2-32) had Somerset worried at 97 for seven.
Devon hadn’t shifted Davis Trego – or held all their catches – and both cost them dearly.
Davis – son of Somerset all-rounder Peter Trego – made a patient 28 to keep Devon’s bowlers as bay.
When Pryce spun out Trego, Somerset needed 15 to win from balls with two wickets left.
Mulvey – three fours in his 16 not out – closed out the game with four balls to go.
Devon play Cornwall at Bovey Tracey on August 1 then head to King’s, Taunton for the ESCA Festival.