CONRAD SUTCLIFFE REPORTING
DEVON team manager Dave Tall is hoping to the team’s competitive edge gets sharper still during the NCA Championship game against Cornwall at Truro.
Devon’s last outing before tomorrow’s trip to Truro was a frustrating rain-off against Wales at Sandford earlier this week.
When rain stopped play after lunch both sides were in a position to win or lose the game in the time left.
Tall said to be in that position with a developing team comprised largely of under-20 players was a massive step forward in a short time.
“We went into that game on the back of a 10-wicket defeat by Herefordshire and you worry there might be a hangover from that,” said Tall.
“Day one was roughly even – Wales and ourselves could both claim to have won sessions – but on day two we found it hard.
“Kolk and Herring batted together for more than three hours and it is challenging for a team to go that long without taking a wicket.
“Heads did not to down, we came back strongly on the morning of day three to force a declaration and batted well until lunch to set the game up. Then it rained.
“I am not saying we were going to win it from there, but with 200 needed, two sessions to get them and eight wickets still standing we are in the game.
“We showed the sort of fight you need to have to win matches and I hope we can show more of the same against Cornwall.
“I see from the team sheet a couple of Cornwall’s big names are missing, but I am more interested in what we do and how we hone our competitive edge still further.”
Devon have made three changes to the 12 that faced Wales, one of which sees fit against skipper and spinner Jamie Stephens back in the team. Matt Thompson hands back the captaincy and left-arm spinner Fahad Sabir drops out.
With a gap in the bowling attack there is room to bring back pacer Dan Goodey, who missed the Wales game. Batter James Degg, 12thman against Wales, makes way.
Middle order batter Ben Beaumont had to pull-out of the Wales when he was tracked-and-traced into self-isolation. Beaumont now has the all-clear to resume playing and is back in the side as a straight swap for the work-tied Matt Golding.
Devon paired Elliot Hamilton with Exmouth’s James Horler against Herefordshire and Wales. Team boss Dave Tall wants to see more of that combination.
“The Hamilton-Horler partnership is becoming an effective one and in a development season for us I would like to see a bit more of how they are coming along,” said Tall.
“To have two under-19s opening the batting for Devon is not something I can ever remember – it definitely did not happen when I was playing for the county – and is a sign of the quality of our young players.
“With James Degg, Ben Beaumont, Sam Read and others all in that 18 19-20 age-range all developing quickly as batters I am confident this team is moving forward and doing it quickly.”
Cornwall make three changes from the team that drew with Wales three weeks ago. Charlie Kent, Matt Robins and James Turpin replace Ben Twohig, Kian Burns and Scott Kellow. Paul Smith has officially been appointed vice-captain.
Cornwall: S A Harvey (Truro), O E Westbury (Himley), C F Gibson (Camborne), C J Kent (Truro), M L Robins (Wadebridge), P S Smith (Castle Bromwich), J R Turpin (Wadebridge), T G Sturgess (Swarkestone), E A F Whiteford (Redruth), B A Ellis (St Just), Craig Johnson (Redruth). 12th: J M Brierley (Truro).
Devon (from): J A Stephens (Taunton Deane), M W Thompson (Port Talbot), C J Haggett (Bridgwater), E H Hamilton (Plympton), J D Horler (Exmouth), K B Szymanski (Swansea), D J Goodey (Plymouth), E W O Middleton, S O Read (both Exeter), A J Small (Sandford), M P Skeemer, B A Beaumont (both Cornwood).
Umpires: Ben Peverall, Alasdair Shaikh