The Under 11 Boys started their season with a T20 'double header' against Dorset at a sunny Seaton Cricket Club. This would prove to be a tough start for the boys against a side that outplayed them in all departments last season.
The Devon matchday squad included 4 debutants in Fletcher Byrne, Joel Kopparambil, Joe Gillett, Elijah Pyne.
Tobias Alsop, the Devon Captain, won the toss asked Dorset to bat first on what looked like a green but good pitch for age-group cricket.
Devon started well and a smart catch in the first over by Ed Wilson in the covers off Joe Gillett boosted the boys confidence levels. Gillett struck again in the 5th over to leave Dorset on 19-2. Dorset rebuilt over the next 5 overs as the change bowlers struggled with their length which led to a number of boundaries being conceded. A third wicket was taken in the 8th over as Gillett caught a full toss delivery off by Fletcher Byrne.
Devon continued to struggle with maintiaing pressure on the Dorset batters as Leo Cooke (29), Ben Jack (61 no) and Regan Norman (21 no) mixed strike rotation and powerful strokeplay to set a imposing total of 138-4 off their 20 overs. Gillet (4-2-9-2), Fletcher Byrne (3-0-23-1) and Tobias Alsop (3-0-19-1) were the successful bowlers for Devon.
The Devon reply did not start well and after 3 overs the innings was in trouble at 17-3. Matt Whalley batting at 4 steadied the ship with a solid 21 before a sharp catch at square leg set him back to the pavilion. The innings never really got going after this and Devon laboured to 81-9 off their 20 overs. There was some late order resistance from Elijah Pyne (14) and Gillett (11 no) which was pleasing to see.
A 57 run defeat meant Devon would need to up their performance levels in game 2 to be more competitive.
Dorset won the toss and asked Devon to bat. A collection of poor shot selections and some outstanding catching by Dorset left Devon struggling at 18-4 after 5 overs. Rory Oram-Evennett, last year's leading run scorer, decided to attack and 3 well struck boundaries took the score to 35 before he was bowled for going one too many expansive shots. Another clutch of wickets as Dorset's leg spinner Cooke took 5-10 left Devon on 38-9 after 10 overs.
Alfie Mason and Henry Squire who opened the batting in game 1 batted very sensibly and compiled a partnership of 32 for the last wicket . Mason being the last man out for 25, including 4 fours. A target of 70 was set, would this be enough?
During the innings break some light rain started to fall, but the match restarted as planned. Devon started fast and Whalley struck first ball with a beauty to bowl Dorset opener. Mason struck in the second over with another good delivery cleaning up number 3.
The rain was now getting harder and the Umpires took the players from the field of play. The weather situation only got worse over the next 20 minutes and it was decided that to abandon the match as the pitch condition became unplayable. A real shame as the Boys looked fired up in the field!
The boys will be back in action against Gwent on Sunday 2nd June at Braunton CC were they will be hoping to build on the positives and reduce the negatives.