By CONRAD SUTCLIFFE
HEATHCOAT blitzed Ivybridge in the semi then cruised to victory over Paignton to lift the Devon U19. T20 Cup on finals day at Cornwood.
Ivybridge gave it everything they had in their semi-final on pitch two at Cornwood CC, but went down by 108 runs.
While Ivybridge were losing to Heathcoat, down on pitch one Paignton were easing to an 80-run win over Hatherleigh, who were late stand-ins when North Devon withdrew due to a clash of fixtures.
Joe Du’Gay, the Heathcoat captain, chose to bat first in the final against Paignton and was rewarded with an impressive 20-over total of 177 for six.
Openers Tom Hatton (47) and Will Bucknell (25) gave Heathcoat a 51-run start then Du’Gay and Hatton took the score up to 120 for two.
Tom Reynolds (16) and Ed Butler (18) kept the board ticking over in the later overs.
Paignton’s most effective bowlers were Rio Koyikkara – three wickets for 21 runs conceded – and George Woodcock (1-20).
Paignton had to score at six an over from the start, or something close to it, to stay up with the clock and were soon in trouble against Heathcoat paceman Joe Hancock.
Two wickets for Hancock, who twanged the off-stumps of Charlie Ward and Luke Medlock, plus a third for Tom Hatton had Paignton labouring at 26 for three early in the fifth over.
Fourth-wicket pair Rory Medlock (37) and Ollie Woodcock (32) gave Paignton some hope and when Woodcock launched spinner Fin Stoneman for two sixes in the same over it looked like the chase was back on. But not for long.
Woodcock perished in the next over from Tom Reynolds (2-14) and, for all practical purposes, that was game over.
Hancock returned to take a third wicket and there were two for Harry Pryce as Paignton slowed to 126 for eight.
Winning skipper Du’Gay said he was always confident after Paignton’s stumbling start.
“I felt we were in a good position when we had all of their top three out for less than 30,” said Du’Gay.
“Joe Hancock (3-20) bowled well – the ball that got Luke Medlock was a good one – and all the others bowlers backed him up.”
Although the margin was a comfortable one at the end, Du’Gay said the game had to be won.
“I thought Paignton were a good side but that we had a bit more depth than they did,” said Du’Gay.
The majority of Paignton’s side featured in the second and third teams beaten by Bovey Tracey and Lustleigh respectively in the Brockman Cup and Aaron Printers Cup finals this season.
Tim Ward, the Paignton chairman, said although it was a disappointment not to win at least one of them the future looks bright through the Queen’s Park pavilion windows.
“We have reached three finals in the same season – most clubs are lucky to reach one,” said Ward.
“Our under-19 side is a young one – Rio is only 14 and we have a number of 15 and 16 year olds too – and if they can get this far now how good are they going to be at 18, 19, 20?”
Ivybridge had been outgunned in just about every department by Heathcoat in the morning semi-final.
Heathcoat’s side contained a clutch of players who had featured in the 1st XI that won the Devon Premier Division title this season and made light work of a 108-run win.
Hatton and Du’Gay both made half-centuries then retired as per competition rules as Heathcoat sped to 239 for four in 20 overs. Reynolds hit 44 and Butler made 48 in a hurry from just 19 balls faced.
Keeping the runs down was an issue for Ivybridge, although Jacob Kopparambil’s four overs for 29 runs and the wicket of Reynolds stood out.
James Ferriman did not have a lot of luck bowling to either Reynolds or Du’Gay: his three overs went for 11, 25 and 18.
The Ivybridge reply reached 131 for seven before time ran out. Top scorer by a distance was James Grigg, who made 54 off 38 balls. He hit two fours and six sixes, the last of which prompted his compulsory retirement.
While Ivybridge were losing to Heathcoat, down on pitch one Paignton were cruising to an 80-run win over Hatherleigh, who were late stand-ins when North Devon withdrew due to a clash of fixtures.
Luke Medlock (54ret) and Charlie Ward (46) were Paignton’s leading run makers in their total of 179 for four.
Hatherleigh fell behind the clock early and the absence of any scores greater than Harry Arden’s 24 and Jasper Presswell’s 20 meant they only reached 99 all out. The stand out bowler for Paignton was 14-year-old Koyikkkara. He bowled three overs – two of which were maidens – and took three wickets for one run.
Paignton 179-4 (Luke Medlock 54ret, Charlie Ward 46, Ollie Woodcock 29; Cameron Rowlands 2-34), Hatherleigh 99 (H Arden 24, J Presswell 20; R Koyikkkara 3-1, Jack Hemus (2-19). Paignton bt Hatherleigh by 80 runs.
Heathcoat 239-4 (Tom Hatton 50, Joe Du’Gay 52, Will Bucknell 23, Tom Reynolds 44, Ed Butler 38no), Ivybridge 131-7 (James Grigg 54, extras 36; Tom Hatton 2-2, Finn Stoneman 2-34). Heathcoat bt Ivybridge by 108 runs.
Heathcoat 177-6 (Tom Hatton 47, Will Bucknell 25, Joe Du’Gay 38; Rio Koyikkkara 3-21), Paignton 126-8 (Rory Medlock 37, Ollie Woodcock 32; Joe Hancock 3-20, Tom Reynolds 2-14, Harry Pryce 2-16). Heathcoat bt Paignton by 51 runs.