Devon Lions ready for action against Somerset<br>credit: Phil Bayliss

Video from Bovey

DEVON Lions finished a long way short chasing 207 to win in a drawn game with Somerset Academy XI at Bovey Tracey.

Devon, 109 for five overnight, led by 137 on first innings after making 229 for nine for three declared.

Joe Hagan-Burt, 14 not out overnight, top scored with 93 and put on 79 with Jack Popham (43) to rescue Devon from the depths of 73 for five.

The good work continued with Bovey’s Will Christophers shoring up an end for 21 off 51 balls as he and Hagan-Burt put on 71 for the seventh wicket.

Left-arm spinner Louie Shaw was brought into the attack for a third spell and took three wickets in four balls to prompt the declaration.

Second time around Somerset cracked along to 243 for five declared in 50.5 overs.

Will Smeed (58) scored his second half-century of the game and Shaw rapped seven fours and six sixes in a brisk 85 off 61 balls.

Devon were left a fraction under two hours to reach 207, which was always a tall order.

Tom Popham (21) and Matt Skeemer (29no) had the only scores of note in the Lions’ reply of 101 for six.

Fionn Hand, the Ireland U17 pacer being looked at by Somerset while studying at Queen’s College in Taunton, was the pick of the bowlers with three for 17.

Torquay’s Tim Western, the Lions’ director of coaching, felt a number of players pressed their cases for future opportunities, potentially in the Minor Counties side.

“Tom Moore, our 15-year-old wicket keeper, again provided a flawless performance in the match with the gloves and has great potential to play for the full side in the future,” said Western.

“After losing the top order cheaply in the first innings, Jack Popham and Joe Hagan-Burt recovered the position

Popham and Hagan-Burt’s partnership and the next with Will Christophers was very important to gain a first innings lead

“Hagan-Burt's innings of 93 was the highlight of the game for us, showing skill and composure on a difficult wicket.”

“Somerset batted well in their second innings but it was a shame they set a very challenging target in just 27 overs with the game finishing in a draw.”

The Lions have no more games this season, but Western is already planning for next year.

“The two-day format, at this level, challenges the players in every dimension and we intend playing more longer form fixtures next season,” he said.

Wrapping up the season, Western added: “This year has been another positive year for the Devon Lions initiative.

“It has been pleasing to see players like Tom Ansell, Hugo Whitlock and Toby Codd show strong performances for the first team.

“Matt Skeemer, has had a tremendous year with the ball for us, backed-up by exceptional ground fielding.”

Somerset 192-9 dec (C Harding 49, W C F Smeed 54; M P Skeemer 3-37) & 243-5 (W C F Smeed 58, L J P Shaw 85; J F Popham 2-56), Devon 229-9 dec (J O Hagan-Burt 93, J R Popham 43; L J P Shaw 5-36) & 101-6 (M P Skeemer 29no; F Hand 3-17). Match drawn.