Under 21s - Isle of Wight

An Idyllic Trip - 9 wicket Win

With dates becoming increasingly difficult to agree a mini tour combining two of Devon’s away games seemed, at the time, a sensible solution. When this mini-tour  in 48 hours actually took the players through Devon, Dorset, Hampshire, the Island, Hampshire, Dorset, Devon, Cornwall and finally Devon again it was a mini marathon. We will heed the scorer’s advice next time and combine the Island with Dorset. Virtually all of the squad had played on the Island before, hopefully with happy memories, so an early wake up call took the party to a ferry crossing in idyllic conditions with clear air, the sun building its heat, a light sea breeze and this was further enhanced when on the Island Devon took, the first time, the Freshwater to Ventnor coastal drive. This was of course totally lost on the players but the magnificent improvements to Ventnor were not. The Island won the toss and batted, Lloyd could have gone first ball when he edged the unlucky Allin to second slip whose mind was probably still on the boat. Allin went on to bowl an excellent spell. Bevan and Lloyd put on 35 in 50 balls when Lloyd fell to the old three card trick exploited over the years by Adam Parker and Marc Bettiss - a smart leg side stumping. Nineteen were added for the second with Bevan looking a class act. Murray swung one away took Russell's edge and now with Parker at second slip it was well held. It was Devon all the way from now on with their bowlers and fielders in charge. Gary Larcombe bowled another fine spell with Whitfield caught behind. Murray picked up another couple of wickets bowling one and Marc Bettiss taking his third victim. Nick Watkin came on to bowl 3.4 overs finishing it off taking 3-17. Two run outs one a ping pong affair ending with a direct hit from Larcombe left the Island all out for 124 in 39.4 overs. Bevan was undefeated on 58 off 109 balls. Devon had to bat before lunch and lost Williams just before lunch for 28. Neil Bettiss’s first scoring shot completed his hundred runs at the ground; he had been run out on 99 on his last visit. Nick Watkin continued his fine form and completed his third undefeated innings in succession scoring 38 and allowing Bettiss to take complete his 50. The target was reached in 23.2 overs shades of the under 16 victory over Oxfordshire at Ventnor in 2003. Time for a swim, the min-bus and passengers get on the earlier ferry but the scorer and dogs miss it! Some navigation from Williams gets us to the pub and the scorer catches us up. The Island hosted the game splendidly and we expressed our disappointment at for the second year running not having an under 16 festival game at Ventnor.

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