TOM Dinnis turned in a devastating spell of bowling to send Devon crashing to an 86-run defeat against Cornwall at Exeter.
Cornwall supporters still talk fondly of the day back in 2004 when Gary Thomas, Tom Sharp and Ryan Driver all completed tons on the same day against Devon at Exmouth in a 10-wicket win.
In years to come the next generation of Cornwall followers will recall what Dinnis did to Devon in a game that looked almost lost at the end of the second day.
First and foremost the game will be remembered for Dinnis taking eight wickets for 32 runs conceded in his second spell for figures of eight for 47 overall as Devon were bowled out for 120 chasing 207 to win in the last innings.
What might just be overlooked is what Dinnis did with the bat either side of lunch that helped turn almost certain defeat into a game there to be won.
Cornwall, 100 behind on first innings, were 185 for six going into the third day and with everything to do to set Devon a target that would make them break sweat.
Matt Robins was first to go, caught behind off Hugo Whitlock (4-88), then James Turpin and Dan Lello followed in quick succession as 185 for six became 236 for nine.
Godfrey Furse, the Cornwall team manager, had set his side a target of 160 to make Devon work for a win.
Scoring 24 more to reach Furse’s target was do-able when last man Dinnis went in to join Andrew Libby. What no one anticipated was a stand of 70 for the last wicket that gave Cornwall a lift and sapped Devon’s spirit.
Devon’s bowlers created chances, but slip catches eluded grasping fingers and balls dropped just out of reach of fielders in the ring.
Dinnis went on to make 41 and Libby 34 not out before James Burke (4-41) broke the stand by having the former caught behind with the score on 306.
Devon had a minimum of 61 overs to make 207 to win and made a sprightly start through openers Mitch Pugh (18) and Harry Ward (22).
Dinnis was pulled from the attack after Ward drilled him for two fours in succession at the end of his second over.
Tom Wells accounted for Pugh (18) on 38, Dinnis had Ward (22) caught behind with the first ball of his second spell and when Tim Wyatt removed Luke Bess (13) Devon were 59 for three.
The chase resumed in earnest as Burke (31) and Peter Trego (12) reached 95 for three without further mishap. Then Dennis made it all go wrong for Devon.
Trego and Burke fell five runs apart and at 115 Matt Thompson was sixth out when Dinnis twanged his middle and off stumps.
Matt Skeemer and Toby Codd went in the same over from Dinnis, who accounted for tail-enders Ed Middleton and Whitlock after a token resistance. The chorus line from ‘Trelawny’ could be heard drifting across the ground from the Callington Supporters Club seating area as the players clapped each other off the field.
Devon lost their last six wickets for 20 runs on the way to a defeat that cost them a place in the Western Division top five. They will be with Cornwall in the new Western Division Two next season.
Furse said the Cornwall team got what they deserved, adding: “There are games this season when we have shown little of no fight when it got tough, but this time we got stuck in and look what happened.”
Reaction from the Devon camp to follow
Cornwall 252 (G M Smith 48, J R Turpin 42, C D Lello 43; J E Burke 3-34, D J Goodey 3-46) & 305 (M L Robins 63, C B F Purchase 57, A C Libby 34no, T J Dinnis 41; J E Burke 4-41, H M Whitlock 4-88), Devon 352-7 (M Pugh 78, P D Trego 72, J E Burke 55, M W Thompson 65no; T J Dinnis 3-122) & 120 (J E Burke 31; T J Dinnis 8-49). Cornwall (21pts) bt Devon (8) by 86 runs.