TORQUAY came up against the big guns engaged by Penzance in the regional final of the ECB T20 Clubs Cup – and crashed to a 141-run defeat.
Having cruised to a six-wicket in over hosts Shapwick & Polden in the morning semi-final, Torquay found themselves up against Cornish champions Penzance in the afternoon final.
Former Essex and Derbyshire all-rounder Greg Smith plays and coaches full-time at Penzance, aided and abetted by Brad Wadlan, who has been a pro in this country and overseas.
Penzance smashed 202 for five in their 20 overs – Smith making 81 off 41 balls – then dismissed Torquay for 61 in reply.
It may have been a disappointing end to Torquay’s T20 campaign, but skipper Justin Yau said the players could be proud of getting as far as they did,
“It was a great learning experience for all of us and I couldn't be more proud of our efforts through the whole T20 season,” said Yau.
“It's been a good campaign to reach the last 16 round of the competition.
“Unfortunately, we came across an exceptional Penzance side who were too good for us in the final.
“We were missing a couple but still with those resources it would have been difficult to beat them.
“It was a really good day and I'm pleased with the boys who we went one stage further than last season.”
Shapwick & Polden were bowled out in the 18th over by slow bowlers Matt Petherbridge and Matt Beasant.
Petherbridge took four for 19 and Beasant three for 20 as the Somerset side lost their lost five wickets for 10 runs.
George Allen (44) and Mitch Pugh (20) got Torquay to 53 for one. Pugh, Yau and Tom Drake went in the space of eight balls, but Allen and Joe Thompson (14no) saw Torquay most of the way home.
“We played well to win the first game with some excellent performances from all our bowlers particularly our spinners,” said Yau.
“Matt Petherbridge has really come of age this year and has bowled brilliantly all season.”
The Penzance batters really went to town in the final, starting with opener Wadlan (31) and followed up by Josh Fletcher (43) and Smith.
Smith and Fletcher put on 130 in 11 and a half overs – pretty big hitting even by T20 standards.
Kazi Szymanski (2-37) had Wadlan and James Sykes in successive balls, making him Torquay’s most successful bowler.
Torquay were without Pugh for the final although whether he would have made the difference needed is open to discussion.
Once the top five went for 49 – the wickets were shared round – Piran Kent went through the bottom half with the minimum of fuss to finish with six Torquay wickets for five runs.
Shapwick & Polden 93 (T Smith 34; M Petherbridge 4-19, M Beasant 3-20), Torquay 94-4 (G Allen 44, M Pugh 20; S Coppell 2-19). Torquay bt Shapwick & Polden by 6 wkts.
Penzance 202-5 (G Smith 81, J Fletcher 43, B Wadlan 31; K Szymanski 2-37), Torquay 61 (J Thmpson 18; P Kent 6-5). Penzance bt Torquay by 141 runs.