credit: Mark Lockett Photography


The season began at Taunton School with two T20s against Somerset which we both won convincingly - and against some of their Under 18s.

Joe Hopkins and Zak Vukusic put us on the front foot from the word go with a 67-first wicket partnership in the first game.

Vukusic smashed seven fours and two sixes in just 21 balls for his 52. Joe Gillett was just as brutal with shots around the ground for his undefeated 54 in just 29 balls. Matt Whalley weighed in with 38 as we finished on 190-4.

Somerset were never in the game ending well short of 116-7 and a 74-run victory for us. Luke Thomas took 2-13.

In the second game it was Somerset's turn to bat first and we were again dominant from ball one.

Alex Shutt (3-14) and Elijah Pyne (2-12) did the damage with the ball as the hosts were reduced to just 69-8 in their 20 overs .  Vukusic again led the way with the bat with 28no as we eased past the required total in the eighth over and with just two wickets down.


Devon 190-4 (Vukusic 52, Whalley 38, Gillett 54 no), Somerset u18s 116-7 (Thomas 2-13) Devon won T20 by 74 runs.


Somerset 69-8 (Shutt 3-14, Pyne 2-12); Devon  70-2 (Vukusic 28no) Devon won T20 by 8 wickets.


It was back down to earth with a bump for our first 50-over game against Cornwall at Camborne CC 

A batting collapse saw us bowled out for just 122 after 39 overs. The only successes with the bat were Whalley with 37 and a defiant 20 from Shutt at the end of the innings.

Cornwall won in the 23rd over for the loss of just two wickets.


Devon 122 (Whalley 37); Cornwall 126 -2 Cornwall won by 8 wickets


Our batting was a bit better in our next encounter with Dorset at Dorchester CC. It was helped by a determined 92-run third wicket partnership between Henry Squire (76) - he had a great chance to land his maiden county century - and Harvey Cronkshaw (28). We ended up on 194-9.

The turnaround was disappointing as Dorset were put under little pressure in the run chase. A rain-reduced target of 175 saw them home comfortably for an eight-wicket win after 33 overs.


Devon 194-9 (Cronkshaw 28, Squire 76); Dorset 175-2  Dorset won reduced game by 8 wickets.


Victory at last against Wiltshire in our next game at Topsham and it was Squire and Cronkshaw who showed the way with the bat - but not before Squire had struck with the ball taking 3-20 as Wiltshire were dismissed for just 134. Squire (53) and Cronkshaw (38) put on 83 for the second wicket as the total was chased down in the 39th over for a five-wicket triumph.


Wiltshire134 (Squire 3-20), Devon 135-5 (Squire 53, Cronkshaw 38).

Devon won by 5 wickets.


Weather got the better of our trip to Somerset and Wombat CC



Our batting fired on all cylinders for our next game with Dorset at Exmouth CC and it was great to see runs coming from up and down the order.

Matt Whalley top scored with 63 from 58 balls which included six 4s.

There were also contributions from Joe Hopkins (44) and Squire (36) who put on 64 for the first wicket and Vukusic (30) in our total of 231-6.

Wickets were shared around with Shutt leading the way with 3-10 as the visitors were skittled out for just 119 in the 46th victory for a 112-run victory.


Devon 231-6 (Hopkins 44, Squire 36, Whalley 63,Vukusic 30); Dorset 119 (3-10) Devon won by 112 runs.


Just how far we had come as a side was evident in the next outing against Gloucestershire and a trip to Weston-super-Mare

Josh Pagett came up from the 14s and didn't look at all out of place. He finished with 4-27. Fellow spinner Luke Thomas also bagged four as the home side were reduced to 145 all out.

It was the day Vukusic came into his own with a spectacular array of shots accompanied by sensible and considered batting  - his 77 came from just 71 balls including nine fours and one six.

A fourth wicket partnership of 48 with Matt Matravers (14) proved crucial as we won in the 35th over with seven wickets down.


Gloucester 145 (Thomas 4-43; Paget 4-27); Devon 148-6 (Vukusic 77no) Devon won by 3 wickets.


We turned to the two-day game format next time out against Cornwall at Ivybridge.

With the 16s on ECB Cup duty and drafting in some of our players, we were missing some key players. But it gave the likes of Alfie Mason, Luka Pemberthy, Jack Baker, and Farzad Saif the chance to come into the side. With Vukusic missing, it also gave Elijah Pyne the opportunity to lead the side for the first time.

Pyne led from the front with his county maiden half-century and Farzad hit a quick-fire 38no as we were bowled out for 169 in our first innings.

Luke Thomas grabbed the bowling headlines with his first five-wicket haul for the county. Pyne completed a great all-rounder day with 2-7 as Cornwall decided to declare on 145-8.

Hopkins notched his first, patient 50 for Devon and there were also runs from Cronkshaw (25), Mason (32) and 21 more from Pyne as we declared after 46 overs on 174-4. 

Shutt (2-55) and Saif (2-15) made a go of it with the ball but the visitors made it over the finishing line on 199-6 and a four-wicket win.

There were no complaints, only positives to come from the two days. The team stuck together and never gave up.


Devon 1st innings 169 all out (Pyne 50, Farzad 38no); Cornwall 1st innings 145-8 dec (Thomas 5-30, Pyne 2-7)

Devon 2nd innings 174-4 dec  (Hopkins 59, Cronkshaw 25, Pyne 21, Mason 32); Cornwall 2nd innings 199-6 (Shutt 2-55, Farzad Saif 2-15).

Cornwall won by 4 wickets.


A 152-run partnership between Vukusic and Hopkins was key to our win against Wales at Lisvane CC.

Hopkins (57) scored another half-century with five fours in 111 balls. Vukusic showed a maturity with his shot selection as he hit another impressive 76 with five fours and two sixes in his 89-ball knock as we finished on 201.

Thomas (3-24) again did the damage with the ball ably supported by Gillett, Whalley who all bagged two wickets each. Wales were dismissed for 183.


Devon 201 (Hopkins 57, Vukusic 76), Wales 183 (Gillett 2-42, Thomas 3-24, Whalley 2-38, Bell 2-28) Devon won by 18 runs.


Joe Gillett took four wickets as Cornwall batted first in our next game at Helston CC. Pyne also chipped in with 2-30 as the hosts tallied 256.

We were on  49-1 when the heavens opened and the game was abandoned in in the sixth over.

Match abandoned


The same fate befell the first day of our planned two-dayer against Somerset at Ivybridge with no play possible.

The 50-over game on day two saw Hopkins (72) in the runs again with useful knocks from Squire (37) in a first-wicket partnership of 107 and Matravers (20no) as we finished on 257.

The score appeared to be 30 or so runs short and so it turned out to be. Whalley finished with 2-42 but it was a disappointing performance especially in the bowling department as the visitors sailed home by six wickets.


Devon 257 (Squire 37, Hopkins 72,Matravers 20no), Somerset 259-4 (Whalley 2-42)  Somerset won by 6 wickets.


Season's thoughts:

The squad has been developing well compared to previous seasons together. They expected to lose and were used to losing. The challenge was to instil some confidence in them both as a team and individuals.

The tour to South Africa helped tremendously. Not only is it the trip of a lifetime, it is also an opportunity for the team to spend time together and get to know each other better both on and off the field.

They returned to the county a totally different group of lads.

The challenge from me and Sandy was for them to believe that they could win games and succeed as individuals.

Now they were expecting to win games and were disappointed when they didn't. They began to understand their roles in the team and were taking wickets and scoring runs, 50s and 100s. One of the most pleasing aspects was that everybody was contributing and not just leaving it to two or three others.

We go into the important 16s ECB Cup competition this summer brimming with confidence. It will be a tough, challenging season but the squad is up for it and quite rightly so

Jim Parker