SOUTH Devon are the first side through to this season’s Brockman Cup final after a thrilling five-run win over Lustleigh in tonight’s (Monday) semi-final at Torquay.
Skipper James Allen top scored with 57, which came off 40 balls and included five fours and two sixes, in South Devon’s 20-over total of 126 for seven.
Allen opened up with Jonty Tupman (28) and the pair put on 97 without loss in 14 overs before Lustleigh made a breakthrough.
Wickets tumbled in the dash for runs at the end, three of them to run-outs in the final over.
Lustleigh bowlers Ed Griffin (1-20) and Jon Wright (1-18) did an effective job keeping the lid on South Devon’s batters.
Lustleigh were never quite up with the asking rate – 54 for three at halfway, 80 for five with five overs to go – but never far enough behind for South Devon to feel comfortable.
Off-spinner Allen (1-13 off 4) gave Lustleigh little to hit and neither did Joe Kitto (2-19) or Dave Lear (3-29).
James Fulner (26) and Steve Wright (18) made initial inroads into the deficit and Mike Wright (15) and Duncan Manners-Chapman kept chipping away.
In a nail-bitting finish the initiate swung backwards and forwards virtually ball by ball.
Lustleigh needed Twenty-four to win from the final two overs with four wickets in hand – and got 15 of them for one man out from Lear’s last set of six.
Kitto bowled the last over defending a lead of eight runs and dismissed both Manners-Chapman brothers with successive balls.
Last pair Ben Mitson and Shaun Wright knew they could not do it when they got down to the last ball needing seven to win.
The second semi-final between Abbotskerswell and Paignton will take place at Torquay Recreation Ground tomorrow (Tuesday) night.
South Devon 126-7 (J B Allen 57, J Tupman 28, I Shepherd 10), Lustleigh 121-9 (J Fulner 26, St Wright 18, D Manners-Chapman 15, M Wright 15; J Kitto 2-19, D Salinda 2-28, D Lear 2-29). South Devon bt Lustleigh by 5 runs.