ABOVE - the winning Sandford team. Below - Sandford captain Richard Foan receives the Devon Cup from league chairman David Gambie

Sunday, August 24 - Devon KO Cup Final

SIDMOUTH'S treble dream was shattered when they slipped to a 65-run defeat against Sandford in yesterday's   Devon Senior Cup final at Exeter.

   Cup kings Sandford – who have won the competition three times in the last four seasons – must have wondered if their 40-over total of 166 for seven was enough against the Devon League Premier champions in waiting and county Twenty20 semi-finalists.

   Sidmouth just didn't get out of the blocks in reply though and with 10 overs gone were labouring at 36 for four with dangerman Neil Hancock out.

   Hancock, one of Devon's batting heroes when they beat Berkshire in the Minor Counties Cup final at Lord's two weeks ago, was bowled trying to force the pace against Sandford spinner Simon Ashplant for a modest score of six.

   Spinner Ashplant, who took the new ball with Devon paceman Trevor Anning, had a lot to do with keeping Sidmouth quiet in the first few overs as he offered the batsmen no pace in the ball to work into the gaps.

   With Anning striking twice at the other end – Josh Bess going to a low slip catch by skipper Richard Foan then Trent Ovens lbw – Sidmouth were in trouble before Hancock went.

   Sidmouth were still in with a chance while surviving opener Anthony Griffiths stayed in, but pressure mounted as the asking rate crept into five-an-over territory.

   When Griffiths was fifth out at 87 for 33 – former Zimbabwe paceman Douglas Hondo squirming a delivery through his defence - the game was almost up for Sidmouth.

   Aussie Louis Talay resisted long enough to make 20, but he didn't have much to work with in the bottom half of the order. What there was got into difficulties against the slow left-arm spin of Richard Coupe (3-25) and Foan (1-10) as Sidmouth's last four wickets went down for five runs.

   Coupe finished Sidmouth off with two wickets in four balls as Sidmouth were dismissed for 101 with more than eight overs to go.

   The man of the match award went to Sandford opener Adrian Small, who top scored with 60 against one of his former clubs.

   On a day when runs were hard to come by, Small's knock was the difference between the two sides when the final adding up was done.

   After losing opener Matt Theedom to a brilliant   running catch by Nick Gingell, Sandford pressed on from 23 for one to 91 for two as Small and Foan (23) worked hard for every run.

   Spinner Talay broke the stand when he floated a delivery up to Foan, who went for a shot and was undone by a bit of bounce and turn.

   Small, who hit six fours and a six from 61 balls faced, perished when he tried to up the tempo and found Hancock waiting out at long-off for the ball to come down.

   Talay (2-26) and Will Murray (2-27) kept the pressure on Sandford in tight eight-over spells and picked up wickets as batters had to chance their arm to push the score along.

   In the context of a low-scoing game, chip-in scores from David Lye (19), Marc Bettis (23no) and Richard Tucker (12) were worth more than their face value.

   Small won man off the match – and rightly so – although there were other champagne moments worth a mention. Gingell's catch to dismiss Theedom was top draw – although Theedom got his revenge with a smart pick-up and throw to run-out Gingell.

   Shot of the day went to Bettis, who cheekily stepped inside the line of a   delivery from Bess and belted it away for four over long leg.

   Sandford 166-7 (A Smalll 60, R Foan 23, M Bettis 23; L Talay 2-26), Sidmouth 101 (A Griffiths 33; T Anning 2-25, D Hondo 2-9, R Coupe 3-25). Sandford bt Sidmouth by 65 runs.

Foan revels in tactical triumph


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