Exeter under-15s after defeating Hatherley & Reddings in the regional final of the ECB T20 Cup. Back row (left to right): Mark Gribble, George Gillingham, Mustavi Emdad, Oli Gribble, Freddie Cockram (capt) Zach Vukusic, Oli Rochester, James Mason; front: Alex Tipper, Josh Paget, Guy Watson, Jacob Cale, Seb Linnitt
EXETER under-15s are going for glory again at finals day in the ECB Club Twenty20 tournament.
Turn the clock back 12 months and Exeter were representing the South and West regions at Rugby School in the final of the national competition.
Having defeated New River CC from Leeds in the last four, Exeter went down heavily to Knowle & Dorridge in the final.
Twelve months on Exeter are back at Rugby School for another crack at the national title having won through county, area and regional rounds to get there.
As Devon champions Exeter squared up to St Austell in the area play-off and won through by 10 wickets.
Next up was a trip to Wembdon in Somerset where St Cross Symondians were swept aside by nine wickets.
Three wickets for Josh Paget and two for Seb Linnitt helped keep the Hampshire side to 89 for seven. Linnitt (51no) and Freddie Cockram (29) knocked off the runs with the minimum of fuss.
Hatherley & Reddings, the Gloucestershire champions, were seen off by 36 runs in the regional final. Three wickets each for Cockram and Alex Tipper, plus two for Josh Paget, had Hatherley & Reddings hanging on at 84 for nine in reply to Exeter’s 120 for seven.
Exeter don’t know who they will be playing in the last four as the draw has not been made yet. They do know who else is in the hat.
Cavaliers & Carrington CC from Nottinghamshire, who defeated New Rover in their regional final, are representing the North.
Oakham, the county town of Rutland, are the Midland representatives. And Wimbledon CC will be there as the London and South East champions.
Four members of this season’s squad – Cockram, Linnitt, Gribble and Vukusic – have the experience of last season’s finals day to draw on.
Exeter cruised past New Rover CC in last year’s semi-final with Fin Hill (35), Oli Gribble (32) and Zach Vukusic (23) all contributing to a total of 132 for six in 18 overs.
Knowle & Dorridge were too strong for Exeter in the final. They knocked off 126 to win for the loss of just one wicket. Seb Linnitt (50ret) and Gribble (30) both made runs for Exeter.
For Gribble, Vukusic and Cockram could it be a case of third time lucky? All three were in the Exeter squad that reached the under-13 finals day in 2019, only to lose to Hinkley Town.