Devon Under 16's
1998 Season's Report
Played 11 Won 5 Lost 5 Abandoned 1
v MERENSKY HIGH SCHOOL at Ipplepen C.C. - Devon won by 41 runs
DEVON 128 all out
MERENSKY HIGH SCHOOL 87 all out (I.Gear 3-20; S.Prideaux 3-18)
v HABERDASHERS ASKE SCHOOL at Axminster C.C. - Devon lost by 9 wickets
DEVON 147 - 6 inns closed (I.Gear 40; A.Stocks 41*; T.Anning 26*)
v HEREFORDSHIRE at Budleigh Salterton C.C. - Devon won by 143 runs
DEVON 258-9 (T.Corrie 52; S.Edmonds 95; I.Gear 37)
HEREFORDSHIRE 115 all out (A.Westwood 5-19)
v DORSET at Redlands Sports Club - Match Abandoned
DORSET 128 -4
v ISLE OF WIGHT at Seaton C.C. - Devon won by 8 wickets
ISLE OF WIGHT 164 for 8 (T.Corrie 3-43)
DEVON 165-2 (T.Corrie 81*; I.Gear 50)
v WILTSHIRE at Seaton C. C. ‑ Devon won by 9 wickets
WILTSHIRE 172 -8 (T.Corrie 3-40)
DEVON 174-1 (T.Corrie 70*; S.Edmonds 50)
THE ISLE OF WIGHT FESTIVAL
v WARWICKSHIRE at Shanklin C.C. - Devon lost by 59 runs
WARWICKSHIRE 196-7 (T.Anning 4-42)
DEVON 137 all out (T.Wright 40)
v KENT at G.K.N. Seaclose C.C - Devon lost by 67 runs
KENT 164-8 (S.Prideaux 5-32)
DEVON 97 all out
v HERTFORDSHIRE at Braiding C.C. - Devon lost by 2 wickets
DEVON 159 all out (T.Anning 35
HERTFORDSHIRE 160 for 8 (T.Anning 4-26; A.Westwood 3-16)
v SHROPSHIRE at Ventnor C.C. - Devon won by 51 runs
SHROPSHIRE 213 -8 (T.Anning 3-45)
DEVON 162 all out (T.Wright 40)
v BERKSHIRE at Northwood C.C. - Devon won by 1 wicket
BERKSHIRE 161 all out (J.Wardrop 4-32; A.Westwood 3-19)
DEVON 163 for 9 (S.Edmonds 33)
THE 1998 SQUAD
P.Arnold, (Captain), T.Anning; T.Corrie; S.Edmonds, I.Gear, T.Jefferson; C.Laynon; D.Lobb; J.Nicholson; D.Pope; S.Prideaux; T.Robinson, A.Stocks; D.Waistell; J.Wardrop; A.Westwood; T.Wright.
This was a very mixed season which finished most disappointingly at the Isle of Wight Festival where we were perhaps found wanting in a number of departments. In particular when it was necessary to turn up the pressure on other sides we failed to do so. Throughout the season the killer instinct was not that obvious and this is one of the most important ingredients in a successful side. Players with a will and desire to win are needed when things get tough or do not necessarily go to plan and sides have to have the ability to make things happen. However much has been learnt about the players and the performance against the Merensky High School, a South African touring side, showed a lot of potential. Competing has to be a more important factor in the squad and this is an area that has to be improved. The side came with a glowing report from Les Belcher, by far the best report of a side that he had submitted and the season was approached with real optimism. The weather restricted the cricket played and the first fixture against Millfield School was lost totally without a ball being bowled. Ipplepen was the venue for the second game, arranged by Roger Mann, against the South African tourists. This was our first visit to the South Devon club and their hospitality was outstanding. The post match buffet was truly amazing. Devon won the toss and batted but disappointingly, with the exception of Trevor Anning, all of the batsmen struggled on a slow wicket. The highest partnership of the innings was 29 for the ninth wicket between Anning (25) and Wardrop, both players who have the attitude that is needed at this level and both developed into key members of the squad. Far too many careless shots were played by the upper order and not enough thought was given to running between the wickets, batsmen did not take the singles to take off the pressure. The side was bowled out for 128 in the final over. The visitors' management was so confident of the outcome that they requested that their side be allowed to bat on once they had passed the target! They were unbeaten at the time and, in fact, Devon were the only side to beat them on their tour. Devon bowled and fielded to the standard that is demanded and the tourists were bowled out for 87 in thirty-three overs, although we did not make a request to utilise the remaining overs to give our bowlers more practice!! Ian Gear and Simon Prideaux were the architects of this fine win with three wickets a piece with Steven Edmonds holding two excellent slip catches, he went on to hold a number of either important catches in this position. Wardrop, Anning and Andrew Westwood also picked up vital wickets. This was a most encouraging result that indicated that the side had a number of the qualities needed to succeed.
The second match was our annual game at Axminster against the Haberdashers Aske School. It is amazing that despite the success achieved at older age groups by previous under 16 squads we have only won this fixture once and that was not in 1998. The game clashed with an under 15 fixture and this gave an opportunity to some other prospective squad players. The all round performance was patchy and generally disappointing. Phil Arnold won the toss and batted. Despite Ian Gear scoring a well constructed 40 off 64 balls, wickets fell at regular intervals and stands of 10; 9; 12; 22; 19 and 5 are just not acceptable. Again the only worthwhile partnership featured Trevor Anning and this time his partner was Andrew Stocks, with the pair put on an undefeated 69 for the seventh wicket. Stocks topped scored with 41 (61 balls, 71 minutes, two fours and a six) and he was supported for sixty-five minutes by Anning who scored 26. A target of under three an over is not generally sufficient in a 50 over match and, thanks to a brilliant century by Wilson, the School side romped home in thirty-seven overs. The one wicket taken was a run out. Were we back to square one?
The answer was no. Budleigh Salterton was our host for Herefordshire's first visit to Devon at this age group. When the Midland tour was a regular feature of the under 16 programme this county had annually hosted fixtures against us and it was a pleasure to reciprocate the hospitality. Heathcoat's Tom Corrie joined his club colleagues captain Phil Arnold and Tom Wright, to make his county debut. The visitors asked Devon to bat and at last the upper order strung together some meaningful partnerships. Corrie, in the company of the West of England Under 15 player Steven Edmonds, put on 119 for the first wicket in 88 minutes off 165 balls. Corrie reached his maiden fifty but was caught two runs later. The pair showed that they had the ingredients of what in the long term could be an important partnership. Ian Gear joined the under 15 captain and put on 51 runs in twenty-five minutes at more than a run a ball, Gear scoring a quickfire 37 off 25 balls. Edmonds was in outstanding form and with Phil Arnold took the score to 200 after forty overs. After Arnold's departure, Nicholson quickly followed and nine runs later Edmonds was bowled five runs short of the hundred he deserved. He batted 152 minutes, faced 125 balls and this was to be the highest individual score of the season and he demonstrated his outstanding potential. Brixham's Tim Robinson scored 20 and the side reached 258 at the end of their allotted overs. A good team effort. Herefordshire were never in contention and were bowled out for 115 utilising forty-six overs. Andrew Westwood took 5-19 off eight overs in an outstanding all round performance.
The next game involved our only away fixture and the side embarked on a long trip to Weymouth. Sadly the weather again had the final word and the match was abandoned after lunch. Dorset had elected to bat and they had reached 128-4 off forty-four overs. Wardrop, Prideaux, Anning and Westwood took a wicket apiece with Arnold taking a stunning catch and a good stumping.
The Isle of Wight were our next visitors and we had chosen to play at Seaton. Devon demonstrated, for perhaps the first time that they did not have the killer instinct. The Island side won the toss and batted and were 87-6 after twenty-eight overs. Ian Gear, in his final game before departing for South Africa to play rugby, had a fine all round game. He dismissed both openers, Wardrop then took a wicket and our new off spinner Tom Corrie took three. The side was very well placed and should have finished their visitors off. Sloppy fielding and some careless cricket not only allowed the Isle of Wight to complete their fifty overs but we only took two more wickets. We contributed 29 extras including 18 wides in the final score of 164-8. It is in situations such as this that the advantage has to be rammed home. The side had no trouble reaching the target in the thirty-seventh over with Corrie undefeated on 81. He hit ten fours and faced 127 balls and had learnt the lesson to bat on, once well set. Few have made such an impact in their initial two games, as he also took 3-43 off twelve overs, it was some introduction to county cricket. Gear also showed what a loss he was to be with a seventy ball fifty. Arnold was unbeaten as Devon finished on 165-2. A reasonable performance but the Island was allowed to score too many runs, this type of lapse was to prove more costly later in the season.
The final friendly fixture was also at Seaton and we arrived to find that Wiltshire was having problems with their administration. They arrived with no manager and nine players. The game was taken as an opportunity of blooding some more of the under 15 squad and they fielded particularly well. Arnold lost the toss and Wiltshire batted, they were eventually bowled out in the penultimate over for 172-8. A useful opening partnership put on 54 before Trevor Anning took his first wicket. Twenty-five runs later he took his second with another good catch by Arnold. Tom Corrie struck at 86 and again ten balls later at 92-4 Devon were in another comfortable position, two partnerships of 32 and 42 took the visitors past the 150 mark when Tom Wright struck with his first two wickets at this level to leave Wiltshire all out. Again in the circumstances this was too many, the long term lesson is to ram home the initiative whenever possible. Again our batting was not a problem as Corrie took his aggregate to 203 in three innings for being once out - a great start. His undefeated 70 included 10 fours and he batted 128 minutes. Steve Edmonds again was his partner and in equally good form in a stand of 87 but he was careless once he reached his fifty and was caught. Phil Arnold made his highest contribution of the season in a second wicket partnership which equalled the opening one.
The Isle of Wight festival was the climax to the season but sadly having pressed home the importance of commitment I was caught between the under 16's and the success of the 19's. An unenviable choice had to be made and, on the basis that help could be obtained to manage the festival I chose the 19's. Len and Lynne Edmonds had already agreed to assist at the Festival and with the help on Monty Thorns, our umpire, the under 15's manager Matt Evans and the under 14's coach Matt Hunt cover was provided. My real thanks to them all. The side took up where they had left off in 1997 with a game against Warwickshire. The previous years result was not repeated as the side came unstuck. Warwickshire were inserted and scored 196-7 off their fifty overs. Trevor Anning maintained his fine form with the ball taking 4-42 off eleven overs. Chasing at just under 4 an over, the side were confronted by a reasonable bowling attack and was scoring at 3½ when the first wicket fell in the tenth over. Tom Wright showed what an all round asset he will be to the side with a fine 40 off 100 balls hitting three fours and two sixes. One problem that was to become increasingly evident as the week passed was that the side were not scoring runs in partnerships with the best in this innings being 40 for the fifth wicket between Wright and Andrew Stocks. This aspect of our game must be improved. The two batsman at the crease have to set themselves targets and bat together with an initial aim of putting on at least 50. Devon were all out for 137 having at least batted forty-nine overs but disappointingly the last five wickets put on only 22 runs. Devon's success over recent seasons has been that we have always batted the whole way down. No one should be disappointed at batting at 7/8/9/10/11 as there is often an opportunity to shine and play a crucial part in the team's performance. Not a good performance.
The next day we played against the eventual Festival winners and again did not perform up to our potential. It is totally irrelevant whether we play a first class or a minor county, as it is always going to be 11 against 11 and the side with the biggest heart and desire to succeed will invariably come out on top. A positive approach from the eleven and the reserves will overcome most adversities, however the approach must be unified. The first half went reasonable well with Simon Prideaux bowling another fine spell bringing him the excellent return of 15-5-32-5. Kent were 164 -8 at they ran out of overs. Our batting, on a not very brilliant track, was poor. Six partnerships in single figures and a highest one of only 24 left the side 97 all out in forty-four overs. The first time an under 16 side have failed to reach three figures in my memory. Only four players reached double figures with Anning top scoring with 20, in 1999 every member of the team must set their first batting target as double figures and then build on that foundation to aim to reach three figures.
The final group match was against Hertfordshire and the scorer and I made a fleeting appearance on the Island. The intention was to reverse the recent decline in results and, to the justice of the side, they took this match to the penultimate ball of the final over. There were further encouraging signs and in particular the lower order batted well and the commitment in the field was good. Hertfordshire invited Devon to bat and we lost our first two wickets in two balls with the score standing at 27. Nicholson reached double figures for the first time in the season but Devon was still facing an uphill task at 87-7 off twenty-nine overs. The stalwarts of side Trevor Anning (35 off 66 balls) and Jamie Wardrop (26 off 42 balls) put on 27 for the eight wicket, Wardrop and Westwood (21) put on 20 for the ninth and Westwood and Prideaux a vital 25 for the last wicket. These partnerships displayed the necessary qualities that are being sought. One hundred and fifty-nine all out in the final over again was well under the minimum target score of 180 that is sought in a 50 over game but it was a good recovery.
Hertfordshire was cruising as the opening pair put on 103 in ninety-eight minutes off 33 overs. Chances and half chances were missed but to the eternal credit of Devon, they stuck to their task. Sixth change bowler Trevor Anning made the initial breakthrough and finished with the excellent figures off 4-26 off nine overs. Andrew Westwood also made a useful contribution picking up 3-16 off 4.5 overs. Hertfordshire lost eight wickets for 50 runs and needed fifteen off the last two overs, this reduced to six off the last. Westwood took a wicket with the first ball, a bye was conceded off the second, the third and fourth balls went for singles. Four needed off two and sadly for Devon the boundary was crossed off the fifth ball. An exciting end to a game that Devon had forced their way back into, full credit to the side.
After the Festival Dinner that night, with the team we caught the 10.15pm ferry as the mini-bus collected the incoming Matt Hunt. Would he be able to help to bring the first win of the Festival? Shropshire were the opponents in the first of Hunt's two games and they chose to bat and scored 213-8 off their fifty overs. Their opener scored an undefeated century, with Anning taking another three wickets. On the unusual Ventnor ground this was a very gettable target provided someone played a major innings. Corrie was not to be that player on this occasion as he was bowled on the last ball of the first over. The under 15's Edmonds and Wright again reinforced their potential with a second wicket partnership of 58. Wright scored his second forty of the week and he must now set his sights on converting the forties into big hundreds, he has the talent. Two wickets then fell at 68, it is most important that the team learn that wickets can often fall in pairs and they must ensure that this sort of situation does not occur when we are batting in the future, well not too often. The fifth wicket fell at 100 in the thirty-first over. One hundred and thirteen off nineteen a difficult task and in fact the side were all out in forty-eight overs for 162. Trevor Anning and Tim Robinson both reached the twenties but they also must learn to bat on.
Would Devon collect the wooden spoon on Friday from Graham Gooch? Fortunately not as the first victory of the week was achieved in another exciting contest. Berkshire batted first, using all but one ball of their 42 overs in scoring 161. Jamie Wardrop was to be the man of the match and his initial contribution was to take four wickets for 32 off twelve overs. Andrew Westwood took three and Simon Prideaux two in a reasonable fielding and bowling performance. The batting order was altered with the captain Phil Arnold opening with his Heathcoat colleague Tom Wright and they put on 29 in twenty-seven minutes. Wright was the first to depart but Arnold was again giving some glimpses of his normal form with the bat. Devon again contrived to get themselves in trouble by losing their next four wickets for thirty-one runs and were 60-5 after eighteen overs, the run rate was only just short of the required rate but vital wickets had been lost. Steven Edmonds (33) in the company of Andrew Stocks recovered the situation with a seventh wicket partnership of 42. Edmonds and Nicholson then put on 27 to put their side in sight of victory. Nicholson batting at 8 scored 22 off 39 balls and the side were scenting victory. He was eighth out at 148 leaving the last two wickets to score thirteen runs off nineteen balls, interestingly poised. Prideaux was run out ten runs later and Wardrop and the promising Chris Lanyon were faced with eight balls to score four runs. Wardrop took two off the first ball, ball two was a dot, ball three was also a dot, Lanyon took a single off the next ball and Jamie decided to make the watching side by not scoring off the next three balls. Obviously having had the situation under total control he then struck a four off the last ball to complete a memorable win. Thus ended Devon's most unsuccessful week at the Festival but provided that the many lessons are learnt it will be worth while in the long term. Unfortunately the accommodation, which was demolished within days after our departure, was not up to the normal standard and a new base has been reserved for next year.
Without a National Competition, the under 16 year age group provides an ideal year of finding out the strengths and weakness of the players and management. This year there were sufficient positive signs to give everyone encouragement for the two-day competition that beckons at 17's and 19's over the next three years. The bowling was general satisfactory but Simon Prideaux needs a partner to bowl in tandem for the key mid innings spell in the two day game. Gear's attacking instincts with both bat and ball and in the field were missed and it is hoped that he will be available next season. The fielding was patchy, there is no excuse for poor fielding, everyone makes mistakes in the field but the general standard MUST improve by at least 30% in 1999. It is accepted of a player who has a desire to play for Devon that he will work individually at this aspect of the game during the winter and pre season. Phil Arnold is an outstanding keeper, which should be an inspiration to the others. His batting was not up to the standards he set in 1997, this was a major problem - his runs were missed. Although a number of players made useful contributions with the bat, no one scored a hundred and the lesson to bat on must be learnt. In the Isle of Wight there was a general shortage of runs and a lack of consistency with the bat, although the pitch's were small. Next year scores of 300 plus are needed and that is going to involve consistency and large individual scores with everyone chipping in with major contributions. The 1999 under 16 squad will also increase the pressure for places and, provided the right blend can be achieved, we can build on the form displayed in the early part of the 1998 season.
Festival tankards were awarded to Jamie Wardrop - Batting, Trevor Anning - Bowling and Phil Arnold won the Managers Award. My thanks to Phil who did not have a nominated vice captain, for leading the side in a competent manner. His persistence with close fielders in the match against Hertfordshire proved a masterstroke and he proved to be an inventive captain. He must learn on occasions to stem the flow of runs. It is hoped that with a hard winter's work with Nick Folland that he will recover his form with the bat as the side missed his dominating batting.
My annual thanks go out to the Devon Society of Umpires for their exceptional efficiency in providing umpires of the highest quality and especially to the festival Umpire 'Monty' Thorns who for the third year running was very much a part of the squad; the host clubs Ipplepen, Axminster, Seaton (on two occasions) and Budleigh Salterton for the use of their splendid facilities and excellent teas; Len and Lynne Edmonds for the exceptional way they looked after the Isle of Wight festival squad with Lynne sharing the scoring responsibilities as the regular scorer was involved elsewhere but she too played her normal vital role. To the counties development officer Matt Evans for kindly agreeing to take the side to the Isle of Wight at the eleventh hour and to Matt Hunt for agreeing to complete the week on the Island at the twelfth hour!! Without their help I am unsure what would have happened. Finally once again invaluable financial support was received from the Devon County Cricket Club and the Cricket Foundation. An interesting year but the report reads - Can do better.
The Cecil Wensley Player of the Year Cup was awarded to Trevor Anning for his outstanding all round performances throughout the season.