By CONRAD SUTCLIFFE
HOLDERS Ipplepen have drawn a derby date away to South Devon in the first round of the 2021 Brockman Cup, sponsored by Valeport.
Pens ended a 29-year wait for Brockman Cup glory last season when they defeated Lustleigh by eight wickets in the final at Torquay.
You have to go back to 1991 for the last time Pens lifted the trophy, which was thanks to a 31-run win over Totnes. Jeff Heath, now a veteran, was a winner for Ipplepen in both finals – and the 1989 one as well!
South Devon last won the Brockman Cup in 2005 when they triumphed over Brixham. They lost to Paignton in the 2019 final.
Lustleigh, six-times winners and beaten finalists on six more occasions, will visit newcomers Ashburton in the first round.
Spurred on by the success of their 1stXI in winning the Aaron Printers Cup last summer, Ashburton have entered the Brockman Cup for the first time to give their 2ndXI a crack at some silverware.
Paignton, beaten by Ipplepen at the semi-final stage in 2021, are away to Barton in round one. Torquay, the other losing semi-finalists, will go to Stokeinteignhead.
Covid-19 restrictions meant a delayed start to the Brockman Cup last season and the innovation of a Sunday semi-finals and final day in early September as weekday evening games were not possible that late in the summer.
Playing two semi-finals with 11am starts – one at Paignton CC, the other at Torquay CC – followed by an afternoon final at Torquay proved popular with players and spectators alike.
“Provided there are no on-going issues with Covid by then, finals day will be June 27,” said Tim Chapman, the competition chairman.
“We had lots of positive feedback about finals day last year and felt it was worth sticking with that format.”
First round draw: Barton v Paignton, Chelston & Kingskerswell v Bovey Tracey and South Devon v Ipplepen (all Tuesday, May 11); Stokeinteignhead v Torquay, Ashburton v Lustleigh and Teignmouth v Stoke Gabriel (all Tuesday, May 18). Byes: Abbotskerswell, Babbacombe.
Second round draw: Ashburton or Lustleigh v Stokeinteignhead or Torquay, South Devon or Ipplepen v Barton or Paignton (all Tuesday, June 1); Teignmouth or Stoke Gabriel v Babbacombe, Chelston & Kingskerswell or Bovey Tracey v Abbotskerswell (all Tuesday, June 8).
Semi-finals: Sunday, June 27 at Paignton CC and Torquay CC (both 11am).
Final: Sunday, June 27 at Torquay CC (3pm).