DEVON bowed out of the Unicorns Trophy at the quarter-final stage when they lost by five wickets to Lincolnshire at Grantham.
Skipper Josh Bess top scored for Devon with 54 in a below-par total of 211 all out. No one else made more than Ben Green, who carved out a patient 31.
Devon found the bowling hard to get away at times, not hugely surprising as Lincolnshire’s attack was bristling with First Class county talent.
Both Carters – off-spinner Matt and medium pacer Andy – are attached to Notts. Adam Tillcock is bowling slow left-armers for Lougborough in MCCU First Class cricket.
Lincolnshire went off at a cracking pace in reply – they were 26 for none after three overs – and were never seriously troubled from then on.
Once the bowlers settled down Devon didn’t make it easy for Lincolnshire, but an asking rate barely above four an over meant they could be patient.
Dan Freeman (64no) finished the job started by Louis Kimber (77) as Lincolnshire eased over the line with nine balls to spare.
Keith Donohue, Devon’s director of cricket, said there was little to choose between the sides, apart from the bowling.
“We didn’t maximize our batting opportunities and really needed another 20-30,” said Dononue.
‘There was a professional quality to Lincolnshire’s bowling, which made a decisive difference.
“As batting units there was little between the sides, but in the field they had a little bit more. They were well grooved.
“We fought hard to defend our total and I could not ask for any more than that.”
Devon lost opener Rob Woodman before he could get going, well caught at mid-wicket for one in the fifth over, and were 37 for two when Liam Lewis was caught hooking.
Alex Barrow was third out for 28 – he got the pull out and found a fielder – which brought skipper Bess in at 66 for three.
By the time Bess was bowled by Alex Willerton he had added 41 with Green, 42 with Matt Thompson (21) and 37 with Tom Lammonby.
Thompson was caught at long-on trying to up the tempo having a go at Tillcock as the last 10 overs approached.
Lammonby did quicken the beat a bit, clattering 30 off 23 balls.
Willerton (3-39) shaded the Carters – Matt (2-28) and Adam (2-32) – in the Lincolnshire bowling stats.
Devon had an early boost when opener Jonny Tattersall, dual registered for Yorkshire and averaging 96 before the game in this competition, was caught behind for 20 off Bess.
Matt Lineker came and went for seven and another wicket then may have made it interesting.
Devon had to wait another 91 runs for a breakthrough: Kimber falling to Scott Barlow.
Freeman was going nowhere though and with Tillcock (23) for company put the game beyond Devon’s reach.
Matt Golding (2-37) was the only Devon bowler to take more than one wicket. Green was the most economical, bowling eight overs for 23 runs.
Lincolnshire move on to the semi-finals and a date with Hertfordshire, who defeated Cheshire by five wickets.
Devon turn their attention to the three-day MCCA Championship, which resumes on Sunday when they start a game against Oxfordshire at Banbury.
Devon 211 (J J Bess 54, B G F Green 31, T A Lammonby 30; A J Willerton 3-39), Lincolnshire 212-5 (L P J Kimber 77, D D Freeman 64no; M C Golding 2-37). Lincolnshire bt Devon by 5 wkts.