ROB Holman hit an unbeaten 73 as Heathcoat stormed to a nine-wicket win over Sidmouth in the Servicemaster Clean Devon T20 final at Instow.
Heathcoat, comfortable 90-run winners over Cornwood in the morning semi-final thanks to a Jackson Thompson century, were asked to make 137 to win in the final and got them with more than two overs to spare.
Sidmouth had laboured to 136 for eight in their 20 overs, pinned down by naggingly accurate bowling from Matt Hague, Malcolm Cloete, Callum French and in particular Jamie Drew, who took three for 12 in three overs.
Drew removed the ever-dangerous Alex Barrow, Rory Thomas and Nick Gingell, who was dismissed hit-wicket.
Gingell shaped to play the delivery through cover, but lost his footing executing the shot and slipped into the stumps.
Byron Knowles (25) and Ed Hurley (28no) chipped and ran at the end to get the score up to 136.
Holman (73) and French (38) got Heathcoat away to a 56-run start. Jack Dart (21no) and Holman took Heathcoat the rest of the way.
Three overs out Heathcoat needed eight to win. Two hits from Dart – the first a six off Jordan Fowler – got the job done.
Man of the match went to Holman, who was a little embarrassed by the award.
“I did nothing really – it was our bowlers who set it up,” said Holman.
Skipper Thompson agreed, adding: “Malcolm Cloete and Matt Hague hit the straps early to get rid of some of Sidmouth’s gun batters.
“The imperious Holman took us through to the end. He was majestic and shared a very good opening stand with Callum French who showed great character and intent against some decent seamers.
“All in all a great day for Heathcoat. We completed outclassed the oppositions
“Our first Devon county cup and, hopefully, many more to come.”
For one Heathcoat player, man for all seasons Matt Hague, it was his second county cup this year! Hague was a member of the Barnstaple rugby team that lifted the Devon Senior Cup by beating Exmouth back in early May.
Nick Gingell, the Sidmouth club captain, said there was no disgrace being beaten by a better side.
He added: “We didn't have enough runs, which meant Heathcoat didn't have to take any risks.
“We were given a bit of a lesson in how to bat as they just played strong cricket shots.
“Positives from the day were the performances of our young lads. Ed Hurley, Jordan Fowler and Byron Knowles all performed with credit and it was a great experience for them.”
Sidmouth 136-8 (E Hurley 28, B Knowles 25; J Drew 3-12, J Thompson 2-24), Heathcoat 137-1 (R J Holman 73no, C French 38, J F S Dart 21no). Heathcoat bt Sidmouth by 9 wkts.
THOMPSON was the undoubted star of the show in the semi-final win over Cornwood after cracking 105 not out off just 59 balls. Seven sixes and nine fours showed his disregard for the bowling.
Dart was not out 61 in a total of 200 for two. He and Thompson put on 182 for the second wicket.
Cornwood were 43 for three at halfway and out of the running. They pottered along to 110 for seven. Aaron Richards (43no) top scored.
Heathcoat 200-2 (J G Thompson 105no, J F S Dart 61; A Goodliffe 2-32), Cornwood 110-7 (A Richards 43no; C Cabburn 2-14, J K Drew 2-20). Heathcoat bt Cornwood by 90 runs.
SIDMOUTH’S five-wicket win over North Devon in the second semi-final was a largely routine affair,
A J Isherwood hit a top score of 47 for North Devon, who were all out for 136 in the last over. Charlie Miles (3-36) followed up behind Josh Bess (2-28) and was supported by Jordan Fowler (2-28) keeping the pressure on North Devon.
The Bess brothers – Josh (63) and Zak (42) – got Sidmouth to 98 for one and tey were on 123 when the second wicket fell to Ben Howe.
Howe (4-24) and Jack Popham took four wickets for seven runs in nine balls – Howe taking three in an over – but Sidmouth were so close they could stumble over the line.
North Devon 136 (A J Isherwood 47, J Rothery 27; C L Miles 3-36, J J Bess 2-28, J Fowler 2-28), Sidmouth 139-5 (J J Bess 63, Z G G Bess 42; B Howe 4-24). Sidmouth bt North Devon by 5 wkts.