THREE weeks out the omens for this proposed two-day Development game were not good and a horrendous unchanging forecast ten days in advance did not help either.
In reality the forecast was wrong as play took place in a couple of other county games in Devon on the first day. It had been hoped that by introducing new opponents to the U16s this would enable them to apply all the processes needed for a successful three day side next year.
A most depressing catch-up discussion took place before the proposed, early first-day lunch and there obviously is much work to be undertaken with this group, not least the essential ingredient of being involved in two-way discussions. Much one-to-one work is undertaken but unless the group are prepared to speak and indeed challenge many opportunities will be missed to learn or debate. It was the worst 25 minutes of this important element in memory.
The next day they were challenged to demonstrate, as opposed to communicate. It was agreed that they should do it their way and their every action would be scrutinised. The tick list and Player Pathway's Managers note book did not really improve the mood. With a full day's play at Exmouth with an early start available it was decided to play two T20 games to enable those who had travelled the four hours a second opportunity of succeeding.
What followed was two rather meaningless games not enabling either county to prepare for the 2020 season. On the plus side Dylan Hurst showed he could bowl wicket to wicket (4-10 and five in both), Will Scott Munden bowled an improved spell and importantly agreed opening was now an option, Charlie Ward and Josh Farley took four and three wickets respectively and Joe Du Gay scored 33.
The side met the coaches challenge with balls to spare. A challenging two days' cricket it was not. This was our last visit to Exmouth and a disappointing end but they have been very patient with us all summer and the catering is as good as ever.