TORQUAY got home by 11 runs in the Rothmans Cup final to avenge last season’s defeat, but their gamesmanship riled Plymouth supporters at Paignton’s Queens Park.

At one stage Plymouth supporters jeered as Torquay took 12 minutes to bowl two overs, but they were handicapped by a wet ball, even if they made no attempt to hide their intentions.Alan Sibley - key runs for Torquay

Plymouth were humbled for 119 in 35.5 overs in reply to Torquay’s 130 in 38.2 overs.

The brilliance of John Solanky, their most dangerous batsman, made victory for Plymouth look possible. The game was very much in the balance when he decided on more hustle to take Plymouth to their target. The runs kept flowing but in a last, desperate gamble Torquay brought back their fast bowler David Post.

Barrie Matthews – four wickets in the finalPlymouth fans cheered as Solanky drove Post straight for four – his tenth boundary – then groaned when the next delivery secured Torquay the most vital wicket of Solanky, who scored a splendid 52 out of 112.

Thereafter it was never on for Plymouth as the tail-enders followed in a rapid, dismal procession, although Dennis Triniman dealt severely with Barrie Matthews, hitting him for a huge six.

But it was Matthews and Post who took the wickets that left Plymouth with an impossible task. Matthews had final figures of four for 34 in 8.5 overs. Post, no-balled seven times, took two for 13.

Plymouth started without a flourish. Ben Williams in particular keeping the batsmen quite and only conceding 18 runs in his nine overs.

Ex-Somerset player Chris Greetham also weighed in with an economical spell. His first six overs only produced 11 runs.

Indeed, Plymouth were restricted to 41 runs with 20 overs to go. Then, with Solanky monopolising the batting, the pendulum swung back in Plymouth’s favour. Torquay looked to be in a desperate position until Post was Brough back.

Torquay started disastrously, losing Greetham, magnificently caught by Roger Ackroyd, and Matthews with five runs on the board. Alan Sibley provided really positive resistance and his fine innings of 54 ended when he was run-out,. In the process he collected his 1,000th run of the season.

Mike Osborne (23) and Jack Fox (18) gave able support and Torquay totalled a respectable 130, Plymouth paying dearly for dropped catches. If they had been held Torquay might well have been dismissed for under a hundred.


Torquay 130 (A Sibley 54, M Osborne 23; J Solanky 2-26, D Triniman 2-40), Plymouth 119 (J Solankey 57; B Matthews 4-34, D Post 2-13, C Greetham 2-36). Torquay bt Plymouth by 11 runs.


Torquay: A Sibley, B Matthews, C Greetham, J Tolchard, G Patel, R Matthews, M Osborne, J Fox, P Goodrich, D Post, B Williams. Plymouth: T Waldock, K Baker, J Solanky, C U’ren, H Jones, R Ackroyd, B Crawford, D Triniman, B Hughes, A Ward, M Woodward.

Torquay’s team contained nine players who had represented the county. Patel and Goodrich were the odd ones out.

[O] Plymouth reached the final thanks to a 100-run win at Exmouth, where Waldock (49), Ackroyd (48), Baker (42), Brian Crawford (23) and U'ren (20) were the main run getters in a tally of 240 for six. Graham Smith (3-41) and Roger Newman (2-19) were Exmouth's leading wicket takers.

Harold Stephenson. the former Somerset keeper-batter, made 38 in a losing cause for Exmouth and Cecil Wensley (23) chipped in to a total of 140 for eight. Brian Hughes (4-44) dominated the bowling returns for Plymouth. Torquay were six-wicket winners over North Devon at Instow in the other semi-final.