DEVON CLINCH T20 SUCCESS
The National Senior Women's County T20 competitions came to a climax on Sunday May 8th. Heathcoat CC once again hosted all four sides from Group 8 and a huge thank you must go to Dean Welden-Edwards and the team at Knightshayes for their outstanding support over the past few weeks.
Captain Steph Hutchins led the team well, supporting a young side with all her experience.
Having navigated the group stages comfortably winning all of their games Devon were paired with fourth placed Dorset in the opening semi final and the match got underway at 10:30 with Devon skipper Steph Hutchins winning the toss and inserting the opposition. Opening bowlers Katie Donovan and Katie Harman were soon into their stride picking up a brace of wickets each, aided by some excellent catching. With a superb direct hit from Jemima Vereker Dorset were in a heap of trouble at 18-5. A brief period of recovery led by M Kothiyal who made 21 from 22 balls, supported well by captain Emily Roberts was broken by an excellent return catch from her own bowling by Evie Privett the innings petered out as Dorset were dismissed for 62 one ball into the final over.
The early loss of opener Georgia Read did little to slow the Devon charge to victory as Claire Varcoe made a quickfire 34 from 19 balls, including six boundaries. When she fell with score on 46, soon to be followed by Steph Hutchins, a loose shot she would tell everyone at the end things might have got a little nervy. However once again youngsters Ellie Bishop (15no) and Erin Vukusic (6no), quickly establishing herself as the team's finisher calmly took Devon to victory with more than 9 overs to spare and await the winners of the Cornwall and Wiltshire semi final.
Pictured: Ellie Bishop and Erin Vukusic leaving the field.
Near neighbours Cornwall having beaten Wiltshire in an entertaining second match won the toss and asked Devon to bat first. Losing Claire Varcoe without scoring was a blow with the side without both senior batters Rebecca Halliday, who remained sidelined due to a head injury sustained in club cricket and then Amelie Munday who reported in with tonsillitis. Georgia Read was going along nicely with Ellie Bishop until it was generally agreed that she was unlucky to be given out from a direct hit. Ellie Bishop was also soon to follow in similar fashion leaving Devon on 53-3. So, it was once again Erin Vukusic, who found herself in a tough situation as she was joined by Steph Hutchins as they set about re-building the innings. Vukusic succumbed to yet another direct throw leaving as top scorer wil 37 off 38 balls - all credit to Cornwall for some fine ground fielding . Losing skipper Hutchins soon after as she walked past one and was stumped for 24 from 21 allowed Cornwall to reel Devon back in and despite some late resistance led by Eva Lewis the hosts were only able to post 109-8 from their 20 overs.
Cornwall set about the chase in calm fashion and got to 32 before Katie Donovan, bravely kept going by skipper Hutchins once again struck to remove the dangerous Robyn Edge to a sharp catch behind from Georgia Read, and when she castled Caitlin Burnett without scoring Devon sensed that they remained in with a chance, although it was not until Emily Geach was superbly caught by Jemima Vereker from the offspin of Ellie Bishop to leave Cornwall 59-3 that the tide truly turned Devon's way as leg spinner Eva Lewis once again took centre stage bowling with superb control as she claimed four victims for just nine runs from her allotted four overs. Vereker completed an excellent day with the ball as she picked up two wickets as Cornwall eventually subsided to 98 all out.
Vereker (centre picture) taking the last two wickets, had a great day with the ball.
A wonderful achievement by Devon, missing a host of senior players to remain unbeaten throughout the group games and secure the Group 8 Regional Title. A side packed with young talent and with bright futures within the game for sure.
A huge thank you to Heathcoat CC who hosted the side in pre-season games against Western Storm and also the home round against Dorset. Dean Welden-Edwards and the team worked tirelessly throughout all of the games to ensure the ground looked in great condition and excellent pitches provided throughout.
Devon Women Team Manager