Despite the shortened season, the under 15 girls came together for 3 fixtures during the summer - two against Wales separated by a single fixture against Gloucester. The first two games were great wins by the girls and they just avoided a clean sweep of victories by 6 runs in their final game against Wales.
20th August: Devon vs Wales
On a beautiful sunny day, Devon took to the field after winning the toss and electing to field. The whole team proved that this decision was the correct one. In the whole 23.4 overs at the crease, Wales only managed to score one boundary and at no time did Wales manage to build a partnership - no player scoring over 15 runs during the innings. With only 10 extras, the scorecard below shows how the bowling was very much a team effort, leaving Devon with only 58 to score to win.
Eliza takes 4 wickets in 15 balls to close the game with two wickets in succession.
Openers Ellie Bishop and Jemima Vereker went out to the crease and took just 13 overs with no loss of wicket to reach the required total. Devon win by 10 wickets.
With time to spare, it was decided to play a quick T10 game. Devon again won the toss, but elected to bat this time. With only 10 overs, Ellie went out positively and knocked off a quick 16 in 10 balls before being caught and bowled. Jemima carried her bat, scoring 31 off 35 balls, taking Devon to 64 off their 10 overs.
Once again, Devon bowled tightly and again only one batsmen could reach a double figure score, before being run out by Ellie Bishop. At the end of the 10 overs, Wales were 20 runs short, giving Devon their second victory of the day.
17th August Gloucestershire vs Devon
Having won the toss Gloucester asked Devon to bat first on a damp and green looking track which the hosts took advantage of. Georgia Read was the only Devon batter to handle the conditions with plenty of seam and swing on offer for the Gloucestershire attack. 20 runs for the 2nd wicket between Read and Jemima Vereker and then a further 20 from Read and Ruby Davis did get Devon to 44-2 but with the run out of Read for 22 from 35 balls the innings fell away very quickly as wickets tumbled regularly as Devon were bundled out for just 64 in 21.2 overs.
Openers Katie Jones and Izzy Patel made light work of the chase as they shared a half century opening stand before Jones was bowled by Maddie Turner for 23 with the score on 55. Turner claimed a second wicket immediately having Greer Barnes well caught by Abbie Locket but it was too little as Patel, 36 no, steered Gloucester home inside 13 overs.
A chastening defeat but one that the girls would rectify in the following T20 game.
The T20 against Gloucester and saw Devon losing the toss and being sent out to field. The start could not have been better with Chloe Dennis taking a wicket in her fist over, only to return for her second and bowl a double wicket maiden. This gave them great confidence after the earlier game. Gloucester worked hard to rebuild their innings, but wickets fell at regular intervals to see Gloucestershire finish on 84 for the loss of 9 wickets.
Chloe Dennis and Abbie Lockett
After a short break, Ellie Bishop and Georgia Read went out to bat. Making a partnership of 61, Ellie and Georgia took the game away from Gloucester. Batting well, Georgia was unlucky not to reach the 50 marl, out on 45 off 35 balls. With 7.2 overs to spare, Devon under 15 girls comfortably took another victory.
5th September: Wales vs Devon
Traveling to Wales for their final fixture at Cowbridge CC, Devon took advantage of winning the toss and once again elected to field. It looked like the game would follow the pattern of the first, with Erin Vukusic taking a wicket in her first over. It wasn't until the 14th over that Wales made their first boundary, but this was coupled with 3 devastating overs from Zara Maynard, who took a wicket in each. However, Wales showed resilience in the middle order and put on a partnership of 48 before Georgia Read returned to bowl and broke it. With some quick wickets in the lower order, Wales were bowled out with 5 balls to spare, reaching a more challenging total of 134 runs.
Once again Ellie Bishop and Georgia Read came out to open the batting and started well. With 41 on the board, the first wicket fell, closely followed by two more and in the space of 9 balls, Devon were 44 for 3. Ellie Bishop showed her experience and nerve as 6 wickets fell around her, she continued to score steadily, keeping Devon up with the score needed to reach the total. Having scored 57 off 116 and keeping her team in with a chance, Ellie lost her wicket with just 7 runs needed in 21 balls. Wales took advantage of the new batter at the crease and with 6 runs needed Devon lost their final wicket. An exciting game with a tense finish that didn't quite give the girls the result they would have liked.
Ellie Bishop holds her nerve as wickets fall around her
Thanks to the coaches and managers that made the games possible during this unusual season and for the continued support of parents and the girls themselves. Special thanks go to Mark Lockett for the use of the pictures.