EXETER under-15s are heading to finals day in the ECB U15 Cup competition after claiming the South West title on a festival day at Wembdon CC.
It is next stop Rugby School in Warwickshire on August 9 for the Exeter side for the national finals day against the other three regional winners.
Exeter dispatched Southampton-based Totton & Eling CC by 91 runs at the semi-final stage, a result never really in doubt after the city side amassed 205 for five in their 20 overs.
Exeter openers Freddie Cockram and Fin Hill were both forcibly retired on 50, but the runs kept coming from Seb Linnett (39), Oliver Gribble (38no) and Harry Williams (12).
The running total had reached 169 by the time Totton & Eling actually got an Exeter batsman out.
Totton & Eling got as far as 114 for seven before their overs ran out. Linnett (2-16) was the pick of the bowlers to use their full four-over allocation.
Hamworthy Recreation CC proved a tougher proposition in the final, but Exeter eased home by seven wickets with more than two overs to go.
Alex Jarman (3-16) took three wickets and there were two more for Hill (2-16) as Exeter limited the Dorset side to 108 for nine.
When Exeter batted Cockram (35) picked up where he left off in the semi-final – as did Hill, who was obliged to retire on 50 for the second time in the day!
Linnett (12no) and Zach Vukusic were the not-out batsmen when Exeter knocked off the winning runs.
Mark Gribble, the team coach and manager, said Exeter are the first team through to finals day at Rugby School.
“The weather has got in the way of the other regional finals, although I believe two of them have been rearranged for this week,” said Gribble.
“The majority of the current squad went to Rugby School two years ago when they were under-13s and lost in the semi-finals for that age group. This time we are hoping to go all the way.”
To reach the regional finals Exeter first had to win the Devon title then defeat the Cornwall and Somerset champions in play-off games.
Ipplepen were the opposition in the Devon final, which Exeter won by 10 wickets after holding the villagers to 69 for nine. Cockram (32no) and Hill (35no) had the game won in the tenth over.
Exeter easily won by 108 runs in against Cornish champions Helston after Cockram (50), Linnett (27) and Oliver Gribble (23) under-pinned a score of 165 for six. A five-wicket haul for Jarman (4-2-6-5) helped skittle Helston for just 57 in reply.
Exeter were always favourites to beat Taunton St Andrews in the area final after Hill and Linnett made unbeaten half-centuries in a total of 203 for one. The Somerset champs were all out for 42 in reply – Hill taking four of their wickets for seven runs.