JAMIE Drew broke a performance record that had stood for 110-years in Devon’s tied match against Herefordshire at Eastnor.
In a game of twists and turns, Devon were bowled out for 97 before lunch on the third and final day to trail by 102 on first innings.
How they came to need 208 to win in around 51 overs was almost entirely due to Drew’s seven-wicket haul that put the skids under Herefordshire second time around.
The chase started ominously with the first three wickets down for 34 on the board and Jack Dart dismissed swinging from the hip in the last over before tea, leaving Devon 55 for four.
Josh Bess made 94 - batting with a runner for the last 17 overs due to a back injury – and his fifth-wicket stand of 79 with Joe Hagan-Burt (26) gave Devon real hope of winning.
In a breathless finish Devon lost their last three wickets for 16 runs – all to Peter Burgoyne (4-52) – to tie a game they looked like losing at lunch.
With the scores level Josh King chopped the ball into his own stumps to leave it all square with nine balls left in the day.
Most of day two was lost to bad weather and when Devon did get out to bat they were reduced to 71 for eight by the close.
Drew bowled Devon back into the game with seven wickets for15 runs in 14 overs as Herefordshire were skittled out second time round for 105.
Herefordshire were 16 for six in the tenth over and Drew had taken all the wickets to fall for just three runs conceded,
David Exall stuck around for a little under two hours to make 50 and stop Devon running through the side too easily.
Drew’s second spell earned him the wicket of Andy Sutton and put him out in front of the rest as far as debut-bowling performances are concerned.
The previous best bowling return by a debutant in a Minor Counties game was the seven for 22 taken by Mark Hawksworth against Cornwall at Kelly College, Tavistock in July 1906.
Keith Donohue, Devon’s director of cricket, said Drew turned an almost lost cause into a contest again.
“Jamie found a length early on, got the ball swinging and a rhythm going and was on a sticky track that suited him,” said Donohue.
“Not only did Jamie bowl well, but we backed him up in the field by taking our catches, some of them pretty good ones.
“Hereford started to panic a bit, they played some injudicious shots and we were able to capitalise.
“It went from a 90-10 game in their favour to 50-50 which, having been bowled out for under a hundred, was a result in itself.
“Having got to close to winning it was gutting not to, but from the position we were in we did well to even have a chance.
“We played all the cricket on the last day and have to be pleased with that.”
Herefordshire 199 (C J Whittock 43, D J R Exall 31, P I Burgoyne 31; J V King 3-18, C L Miles 3-29) & 105 (D J R Exall 50; J K Drew 7-15, T R J Codd 3-38) Devon 97 (A R Wilkinson 4-23, P I Burgoyne 2-20) & 207 (J J Bess 94, J O Hagan-Burt 26; P I Burgoyne 4-53, D O Conway 3-33). Match tied. Herefordshire (13pts), Devon (12).