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The triumphant Exeter team celebrate their Devon Cup win over Plympton


PLYMPTON suffered the agony of a second successive defeat in the Devon KO Cup final when Exeter defeated them by five wickets at Torquay yesterday.

   Jeremy Williams hit a century, his third of the season in league and cup, as Plympton made 230 for seven in their 40-over allocation.

   Aussie run machine Marshall Hood cracked 128 not out as Exeter won with 10 balls to spare and ended Plympton hopes of going one better than last season, when Sandford defeated them in the final at Tavistock.

   Hood was dropped twice before reaching 50 and made Plympton pay for those slips by batting through from start to finish. The Western Australian has made more than 900 runs in all competitions this season and it's easy to see why.

   Anything pitched up was driven ferociously, anything short was pulled or hooked and anything wide outside off-stump was carved through the off-side.

   Plympton had a dream start when Exeter opener Glenn Lammonby was run out in the third over, but good news was in short supply for a while after that.

   Hood and former Tavistock batsman Arnie Searle plundered 62 for the second wicket in a stand that ended when Searle was bowled for 29 aiming to hit Keith Donohue's quicker off-spinner over mid-wicket.

   Tom Gower and Hood took the game by the scruff of the neck by adding 91 for the fourth wicket and the longer they stayed together the less likely a Plympton win became.

   Jame Pfeiffer wheedled Gower out with a catch at mid-wicket and Plympton hopes flared again when Mark Gribble was lbw to Danny Hawker trying to pull.

   Hawker then bowled Simon Yeo round his legs and at 188 for five the game was in the balanceā€¦ briefly.

   Plympton's bowlers were running out of puff – Hawker was hit around a second spell – and the game was won and lost in a flurry of boundaries as Hood and Will Hanson knocked off the last 42 without mishap.

   Plympton's total was built around a century from Jeremy Williams, who came in at 12 for one and kept going until he was last man out with the score on 208 for seven.

   Andy Walter went cheaply – he was caught in the gully by Adam Gribble off Simon Bird – and Williams was just getting settled when Dave Wrench holed out to deep square-leg, where Hood took the catch.

   At 13 for two Plympton needed to regroup and Williams, in concert with Dan Robotham, did just that by compiling a stand of 103 for the third wicket.

   Exeter captain Tipper, back for a second spell, broke the stand when he had Robotham stumped for 36.

   Williams then saw a succession of partners come and go at the other end as a promising 116 for two became 138 for six.

   Alex Trevarthan went caught behind off former Tavistock left-armer Tschepo Legodi, Craig Miles was caught and bowled by a diving Mark Gribble, who followed up by bowling Donohue for a duck.

   Plympton were down to the last 10 overs when Saddiq Mohammad came out to replace Donohue and in desperate need of some fresh impetus. They got it.

   Williams, who had got to 50 in 49 balls, added his second 50 in 43 more as Exeter's bowling got a little ragged as the overs ticked down.

   Saddiq proved a willing running mate. Matching Williams almost run for run as he accelerated from a standing start to 47 not out off 35 balls.

   Plympton added 92 runs in the final 10 overs – most of them in the Williams-Saddiq partnership of 72.

   Bird suffered under the lash as he came back for three overs at the death and was clubbed for 33 runs. The usually miserly Adam Gribble fared worse: his last two overs were milked for 29 runs.

   Williams, who hit seven fours, two sixes and an heroic number of singles on a baking hot day, was finally out on 108 when an intended big hit off Bird ended up in the clutches of Hood at mid-off.

   Plympton 230-6 (J Williams 108, S Mohammed 47no, A Trevarthan 36; S Bird 2-48, J Tipper 2-34, M Gribble 2-40), Exeter 233-5 (M Hood 128no, A Searle 29, T Gower 38; D Hawker 2-46). Exeter bt Plympton by 5 wkts.




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