Matchday 7 was Game 2 in the 'Jam and Cream Derby' against Cornwall at the seaside with Bideford CC hosting.
This match was about building on the solid team performance of the last match and levelling the three match series.
The pitch looked good and hard and with a quick outfield it offered much to both batter and bowler. Alfie Mason was in the seat for this one. We lost of the toss and Cornwall decided to set us a target this time around.
Matthew Whalley and Henry Squire mixed great control and hostility to leave Cornwall on 16-1 after 8 overs. The pressure was released in the next few overs as the score moved on 36 in the 10th over before Henry Hassell dismissed the Cornwall Captain. Once again the scoring rate was controlled by Hassell (2-28) and Tom Hellewell (1-21) as Cornwall moved slowly to 69-4 after 17 overs. Devon looked in control at this point!
The wheels started to wobble as the over rate fell to a unacceptable level and the fielding standards dropped. Cornwall lifted the score to 124-6 at the second drinks break (26 overs). The highlights of this period of play were Whalley's direct hit from point and Edward Wilson's sharp catch behind the sticks of Tobias Alsop (2-35).
Heardy's team talk was to pick up the pace in the over rate and be a lot sharper in the field to keep Cornwall to around 150 - 160. This was either lost in translation or a wavering concentration as Cornwall posted 181-8 after some quality quick single running by the tail.
It had taken Devon nearly 3 hours to bowl 40 overs and this became the theme of Bricey's 'hairdryer chat' in the changing room!!
A quick mention at this stage to Jenny Ford who served up a fantastic tea for players and coaches. Sometimes these breaks are just not long enough.
Heardy laid out the game plan to the top order, so now it was time to deliver. Devon started well with Rory Oram-Evenett (37) and Alfie Mason (22) putting on 65 for the first wicket in 20 overs. We were in pole position. The next 6 overs changed all that as the run rate plummeted and with the loss of both openers, we were now chasing the game.
The batting order was changed as first Whalley (26), Talbot (9), Squire (18) and Martin (22 no) tried to repair the damage of this batting lapse. Big hits (9 x 4s) and a barrage of quick singles got us going again but unfortunately it was too much to make up as Devon closed 14 runs short of victory. This was definitely a game lost by earlier misdemeanors in the field and that 6 over spell in the middle of our innings.
So with a second defeat Devon are now 2-0 down in the series. Double or quits at the Kings Festival in August?
Choosing a Man of the Match for this one was tricky as there were 4 or 5 good performances, but the Coaches vote went to Matthew Whalley for his all round performance (7-3-16-0, a stunning run out and a punchy 26 (incl. 5 x 4s).
The post-match chat was about to starting to put into practice what we have been learning from our performances over the season, achieve a over rate of 17 - 18 overs per hour to reduce the fielding time by at least 30 minutes and maintain the excellent team spirit we have despite the number of losses clocking up.
Next up for the Boys is Somerset at Whimple CC on Tuesday 31st July.