The Under 21 2007 Season











Friendly Fixtures

v Devon C.C.C. at Exmouth C.C. – Under 21s lost by 167 runs


324 a/o

(T.Allin 3-67; J.Porter 3-41)



(S.Benton 31; J.Porter 31)




v Devon Overseas XI at Bovey Tracey C.C –. Devon lost by 72 runs


230 -8

(J.Porter 3-35)


158 a/o

(A.Kingdon 34)




Southern Counties Competition

v Wiltshire at Axminster C.C. – Devon won by 9 wickets


89 a/o

(J.Porter 3-20; R.Acton 3-1)



(J.Bess 32; S.Benton 32)




v Dorset at Exmouth C.C. – Devon won by 9 wickets


77 a/o

(S.Barlow 3-5; A.Parker 3-17)



(J.Bess 43)




v Isle of Wight at Exmouth C.C. – Devon won by 186 runs



(J.Bess 49; S.Benton 78; A.Kingdon 49)


65 a/o

(S.Barlow 4-11)




v Cornwall at Werington C.C. – Devon lost by 28 runs



(J.Porter 3-42)


221 a/o

(T.Piper 59)




v Wiltshire at South Wilts C.C. – Devon lost by 6 wickets


212 a/o

(N.Watkin 41; T.Piper 32; A.Parker 30)








The 2007 Squad

 N.Watkin (captain);  A.Parker (vice captain); E.Acton; R.Acton; T.Allin; S.Barlow; S.Benton; J.Bess; D.Bowser; M.Cooke; S.Evenden; S.George; A.Kingdon; T.Piper; J.Porter; M.Thompson; J.Toms; A.Williams; J.Yau.


For the third successive season the twenty-ones approached their final game needing a win to take the Southern Counties Competition and, although sharing the title in 2006, for the third time they failed. It is hoped that in 2008 the county will build up a sufficient points cushion that the annual agony will not be repeated. The competition was won by first time entrants Wiltshire who, when at full strength, were worthy winners, however if the Cornish had been beaten the title would again have been shared. Two friendly fixtures were also undertaken when some older age players were invited to take part.

An innovation in 2007 resulted from an invitation in December to play the full county side in April as part of its preparation for the one day competition. This was always going to be a daunting fixture, even before the amazing antics of Marcus Trescothick the previous Sunday when he scored a very quick fire 300 against the county. That remarkably high scoring game against Somerset ensured that there was every likelihood that there would be some sort of backlash from the county side in this fixture. Availability for this fixture was unusually poor with players either still to return to the country, injured, attending a cert 2 coaching assessment, playing for their university or more disappointingly not making themselves available to play. Before the start of play it was considered that the selection of a very young, inexperienced Development side, which included three of last summer’s under 16 squad, might be on to a hiding to nothing and, although on a couple of occasions they were extremely close to an enormous drubbing, they somehow came out of this new venture with some credit and real pluses. The team that took the field at Exmouth put on a very brave performance in initially overcast and humid conditions. Not surprisingly they were a little ring rusty but, after allowing Bobby Dawson and Richard Foan to put on 108 for the first wicket in 19 overs, Jack Porter took the wicket of Richard Foan with the help of the first of two fine Tom Allin outfield catches. This brought the 2006 Minor County Batsman of the Year to the crease and Neil Hancock enhanced his reputation as a high quality batsman with a 54 ball fifty. He started slowly with a couple of singles and a six off his first nineteen deliveries but then stepped up the pace. He lost his skipper at 164 when Dawson had been at the crease for 102 minutes and Matt Cooke enticed him to hole out to Tom Allin for a seventy-nine ball 68. At this stage sixteen year old Shane Evenden was delivering a mature spell, conceding only six an over as the fireworks continued with David Court now setting about the attack, the pair putting on a scintillating 90 in 38 minutes off 65 balls, and it was at this time that a possible hiding looked a distinct probability. The under 17 captain, Eliot Acton, took an important wicket as he had Hancock well caught by Adam Parker, whose long term knee injury, had flared up again in the winter, restricting his ability to bowl in this game. This had been a serious loss to the attack. Acton continued where Evenden had left off, producing another outstanding spell.  At 282 Court’s attack ended when he was bowled by Stephen George, whose ten over spell went for less than five an over. The Exmouth captain had faced only 53 balls in scoring the innings’ highest total of 74. It was now that the possible hiding was delayed as the Development side, well marshalled by captain Aaron Williams, went up a couple of gears, lifted their fielding standards and produced an excellent final ten overs, when the full county team could have taken their score up to a total in excess of 400. Instead they kept the run rate around four and a half an over and took the remaining six wickets for 38 runs - a superb effort. Somerset’s Rob Woodman, who had taken 90 off his own county the previous weekend, was caught by Porter off Allin; Hanson was Parker’s second catch off his Barton team mate Porter. Sandford’s Trevor Anning was caught behind by Matt Thompson, who not only did not look out of place at this level with his keeping and later batting but had fitted into the side like a glove. This was Jack Porter’s third and final victim and his spell of ten overs - 3-41 - made him the pick of the bowlers. Tom Allin then took two more wickets in his second spell, when he had James Burke caught by the captain and he bowled Ian Bishop, who had offered him some advice the previous ball! Allin's 3-67 had also been an important spell and helped earn the bowler a regular slot in the county side for the rest of the summer. Plympton’s Arwyn Jones was run out off the last ball of the innings, when Cooke and Allin combined as he decided to go for a second run. Taking in all the circumstances lunch arrived with a reasonably respectable total of 324 all out.

It was unlikely that the Development side’s opponents would allow them to remotely approach this target but as always it was vital that the innings had a solid start - the best laid plans. James Toms drove Bishop for four but next over he found Richard Foan and was back to the farm shop, 7-1, four balls later it was 7-2 as the second opener Dan Bowser was bowled by Anning, seven balls passed and it was 13-3 with Matthew Cooke caught behind also off the Sandford all rounder.  It got worst, first ball Parker falls in identical fashion 15-4. That possible thrashing now looked a near certainty, but yet…..  The captain had brought his good form from Australia and looked in good nick and reassuringly Seb Benton looked, as he always does, a class act. The pair delayed what had looked inevitability, a score well under the hundred, but at 44 the captain was trapped in front and it then looked as if a score of a hundred was being very optimistic! However left hander Benton and Jack Porter showed tremendous determination against a very strong and varied bowling attack and put on a face saving 71 off 127 balls in 65 minutes. The county captain had then had enough and after 30 overs he brought back the impressive Anning whose fourth ball had the Development side’s man of the match, Jack Porter, brilliantly caught by a diving Court. His innings had again demonstrated what he had last properly shown in 2004, a real ability with the bat. As often happens in these circumstances his stalwart partner Benton followed eight balls later, having completed an innings out of the top drawer which subsequently brought out a Minor County registration form. The diamond encrusted Benton’s all round performance had pushed his name right to the top of the list for the second spinner’s berth in the twenty-ones, another major plus from the game. Unfortunately this was not to be as a winter with the Gloucestershire spin bowling academy and the dreadful weather, which resulted in little premier league bowling, resulted in a loss of confidence and by the end of the summer he had just become an important batsman. This, along with Matt Cooke’s limited availability, had a serious effect on the side’s balance and will have to be resolved, hopefully by one of our promising youngsters, in 2008. The question at 122-7 was whether the final 18 overs would be needed or would the Development side fold? To the great credit of the side they were needed as the two youngest players on show, Shane Evenden and Matt Thompson, batted 96 balls against the front line county attack as they put on 29 but in the forty-eighth over Thompson’s splendid debut ended when he was keeper Hanson’s third catch and Rob Newman’s first wicket. Evenden completed his debut undefeated, having batted eight minutes over the hour against the best attack he is likely to have faced in his short career. Eliot Acton batted the remaining three minutes and was also a red inker. All three under 17 players are all rounders in the truest sense and this game was a splendid springboard for their county seasons. They let no one down with three exceptional performances. At close of play the final score of 157-8 showed clearly that, if those early wickets had not fallen against what was a very talented opening attack, a more than respectable score of around 220 might have been achieved. All in all this had been a far better day than had looked likely on a couple of occasions and a number of players had thrown their hats into the ring for selection for the year’s twenty-ones in 2007.

The mini-tour to Dorset and the Isle of Wight was cancelled well before the booked mini-bus was due to travel from West Buckland to Exeter and our first visit to Instow was another casualty, resulting in Devon being three points down before a ball had been bowled in the Southern Counties Competition. It was fourth time lucky for the twenty-ones as Axminster, the outstanding host club in 2007, phoned at 7.30am to confirm that despite heavy overnight rain the game would go ahead. The internet radar forecast was near perfect as showers reached Axminster at 12.30pm and had left the area by the scheduled 3.00pm. We were playing Wiltshire, the eventual champions and new comers to the competition. There were three heavy but brief showers, one just before the revised early start time of 12.45pm and two during the Wiltshire innings, the second at 1.44pm which caused the players to come off for 17 minutes and resulted in the loss of an over to each side. Nick Watkin won the toss and from that moment the home side was in the driving seat, as the Devon bowlers put on an outstanding spell of seam bowling in what were very good bowling conditions. Senior Minor County matches had robbed both sides of players with Wiltshire fielding four under 17s who would play their Devon counterparts later in the week at Exmouth. One of them, Pearce, dug in and was fourth out at 29 after being caught earlier by debutant Andy Kingdon off a Scott Barlow no ball! Previously Barlow had trapped the visitor’s skipper on the back foot in front on 4, Jack Porter had dismissed Rowson in a similar fashion six runs later and then the Barton seamer had last year’s under 17 captain, Kelly, caught by Bess on 26. Batting had looked very difficult. Three runs later Pearce gave Adam Parker his one wicket when he was held by Bowser. Under 15 West of England Pittman was looking good and holding up the now rampant Devon attack. However he immediately lost Young on the same score, when he was splendidly stumped by Justin Yau down the leg side to give Ross Acton his first wicket in what was to be a remarkable spell. One run later he had Tom Bowler trapped leg before. Another six runs were added before he picked up his third and final wicket and Wiltshire’s fourth leg before victim. Ross Acton had bowled his seven overs conceding just one run. Barlow and Porter returned to the attack and the visitors were perilously placed on 45-8, when Tim Piper held another neat slip catch to remove Adams off Porter. Pittman and Earl (18) then shared in the one meaningful partnership of the innings as they put on 33. To wind up the innings Watkin turned to Josh Bess, who the previous day had taken 5-11 in his club’s Senior Cup tie with Plympton. In his seven ball spell he took 2-3 aided by another sharp slip catch by Piper to remove Pittman for an excellent 60 ball 28 – he had batted ten minutes over the hour - and enticing Earl to pull the ball to Seb Benton. Wiltshire was all out in 128 minutes having facing 37.1 overs for their 89. For the third day running the in form Porter had a three wicket return and he was to go on to break the under 21 record for dismissals and to be a key all rounder in the side. Devon had to face a tricky 36 minutes before tea when they lost their captain on 12 but then navigated the period safely although Bess had offered a couple of difficult chances. It was plain sailing after tea with the weather more like a proper summer as Seb Benton and Bess put on 79. Both hit four fours and reached an undefeated 32. Bess had batted for 105 minutes and faced 93 balls, while Benton was in for 81 minutes and took 65 deliveries. It had been worth the wait as a thoroughly first class performance was completed.

Devon made it two wins by nine wickets in succession as they outplayed Dorset at Exmouth after Nick Watkin had won the toss and fielded. In his second over Scott Barlow had Arshad caught by Jack Parker and forty-two overs later the visitors were all out for 77. Tim Piper failed to live up to his slip catching reputation as he shelled two and, although he had an outstanding game behind the stumps, Justin Yau also missed a simple chance. Otherwise it was an excellent team effort with Scott Barlow picking up three wickets for five runs off seven and a half overs; Jack Porter took 2-9 off ten. His Barton team mate Adam Parker took 3-17 also off ten and the new bowling sensation Josh Bess took 2-16 off seven – both bowled. Catches were held by Parker, Benton (2) and Bowser with Yau having a caught and a stumping. Extras, including 14 wides, was the major contributor with 19, whilst Ridley and Stickland were the only Dorset batters to reach double figures.

The captain was again the unlucky batsman when he was caught behind for 9 in an opening partnership of 50. Josh Bess (43 – 86m – 58b - 5 fours) and Seb Benton (12 off 33) were again the unbeaten batsmen. Andy Kingdon, who had gained selection to the squad after a number of fine innings for his new club Bovey Tracey, was now working towards some kind of entry into the Guinness Book of Records as after five games he had yet to get to the crease, new to county cricket he must have wondered when he would get a chance!

It was another sunny day that greeted the twenty-ones at Exmouth for their second fixture at the Maer, with the only cloud being the fact that their captain Nick Watkin was at Exeter Crown Court but surprisingly the majority of the squad hoped that he would be acquitted in time for the start! Fortunately the news came through that the jury had been released and he would be free to lead the side but not so reassuring was his firm belief that Devon should field, surely not, most of our batters had not yet reached the crease in this most inclement of summers. Fortuitously he lost the toss and his side was inserted by the Isle of Wight skipper. The end product of 251 was still made up of major contributions from Bess, 49 off ninety balls and in the same number of minutes – the all rounder was now averaging over a hundred, Nick Watkin, who reached 24 before being stumped, and Seb Benton 78 off 72 balls. The good news was that new boy Andy Kingdon at last made a batting county debut but displayed a lack of temperament by getting out one short of a maiden fifty! With his former club colleague, Benton, he put on 129 for the third wicket which was by a distance the largest partnership of the summer and the only one over a hundred. Kingdon had batted for 72 minutes facing 80 balls. Watkin felt that a final charge was needed and, to Bowser’s obvious disappointment, he sent in Parker at the demise of Kingdon, who was caught going for the landmark. Parker hit 12 off seven and Dan Bowser did reach the crease to face a ball!

The Devon seam attack then destroyed the Island’s aspirations, as Barlow had Hatt stumped by Yau, and Morris followed four runs later in the same manner. In his fifth over the Sidmouth seamer made it 3-10 as Bess took the catch. Parker bowled Brown and Yau completed his third dismissal, when he caught Calloway off Porter, to leave the visitors on 27-5. It then became 37-7 as Bowser caught Woodhouse off Parker and Porter bowled Friend. The Island was all out in the thirty-seventh over for a record lowest score of 65 as Yau made it four with another catch, this time off Acton, Bess bowled another batsman and Barlow completed the task when he bowled Cotton.  In fairness to the island they had experienced some in-house problems which had resulted in a reshuffle of their touring party.

Two difficult away games now faced the side in a hard final week of August when they would also take on the League Overseas stars. To coin a phrase more suited to The Bill it all went pear shaped with three straight defeats. The last week in August is not proving a happy hunting ground for the twenty-ones. The result against the Overseas eleven seems to alternate and 2007 was the year for the side from abroad to win. They batted first and were four down for 126 after 30 overs with the Exeter’s prolific Hood (775 @64) caught by the captain off Porter for 17, Feddee caught behind off Bess, Budleigh's star batsman Spolaric bowled by Parker for a 73 ball 61 and it was a complete Barton display, as their pro Abbas was caught by Porter off a delivery from Adam Parker. The Paignton pair of Jeggels and Ewing (interestingly classed as overseas for this game) put on 39 when Ross Acton took his first wicket having Jeggels caught by Yau. Ewing and Wass took the score up to three short of the two hundred when the Premier league’s leading bowler, Jack Porter, bowled the opposition’s captain, Ewing.  The Overseas reached 230 at the end of the 45 overs with Porter taking 3-35.

Devon was on the back foot after just twenty balls when they had scored at a run a ball but had lost three wickets, Watkin, Bess and the Devon League Young Player of the Year, Seb Benton, now back under the thatch. Last year’s captain, Aaron Williams, and Andy Kingdon, playing in front of his home crowd, put on 33 when Williams departed. The second highest partnership of the innings – 40 – was then put on by Adam Parker and Kingdon off 45 balls. When Parker was stumped, Matt Cooke came to the crease for one of his unfortunately rare appearances of 2007. He was the first of three wickets to fall on 97 which virtually killed off the side’s chance of victory as Acton and Kingdon were also dismissed. Kingdon had battled hard for a top score of 34 in 82 minutes off 66 balls. At 97-8 it was now a matter of how long the side would last but again the tail wagged, facing another 69 balls with Justin Yau undefeated on 16, Jack Porter adding 14 and Scott Barlow hitting four fours in his 19 ball 20 and with Yau putting on a season’s best last wicket stand of 42.

The next day the side travelled to Werrington without the manager, who was tucked up in bed at home. This was another critical game against our rivals Cornwall and again Cornwall came out on top, they have reversed the trend of results and are now winning games against us at this level. Nick Watkin inserted Cornwall who showed their appreciation by putting on 113 without loss, Jarman and Churcher taking only 80 balls and 53 minutes to reach this score. It did not look promising but Seb Benton broke up the partnership by catching Churcher off his own bowling and his partner fell four runs later when Ross Acton trapped him in front. The tide turned as Williams was dismissed on 120 when Acton gave Benton his second wicket. Forty-five were added by West of England under 17 and full county regular, Matt Robins, and keeper Kendall, taking the home side up to 165 after 34 overs when Dan Bowser took his first wicket as Kendall was caught behind. Cornwall had been scoring at just below five an over but then took the rate up to five and a quarter for the remaining 16 overs, as their captain, Smeeth, who had also represented Cornwall in 2007, was caught and bowled by Bowser and Porter removed Hocking, Stephens and Watson with the help of Acton, Parker and an umpire. However Matt Robins was showing his pedigree and why Nottinghamshire are so keen, being undefeated on 68 (85 minutes; 88 balls) and his side was comfortably placed at tea on 249-9. The catering at Werrington was again exceptional but the thought on most people’s minds, including the bedridden, was whether a run chase of 4.98 an over was achievable on a ground that favours sides who bat first.

The wheels fell off early, Bess went for one, Benton for 10, the captain for 28, Kingdon reached 12 and Parker was changing as Devon had lost half their side for 85 in 28 overs. Alex Smeeth, who had previously been the most miserly slow bowler, had converted to a seamer but was now bowling his original fashion. Parker fell to the first ball of his seventh over and Devon needed 164 off 137 balls. Dan Bowser and Tim Piper put on 33, the Bradninch pair of Piper and Acton put on 53, the best partnership of the innings, and at 171- 6, another 79 were now needed off 40 balls with four wickets intact. Acton was then caught for an impressive 28 and Yau fell immediately but Piper and Porter put on a rapid 46 in fourteen minutes utilising another 26 balls. It was then that Piper’s exceptional innings came to an end as he was bowled by Stephens for 59 (70 minutes; 63 balls). One ball later it was all over as Devon was all out 28 runs short with 13 balls unused, much closer than it had once looked, and Porter having scored 24 off fourteen.

Having lost badly to Cornwall two days earlier, Devon knew that, if they were to win the Southern Counties title, they would have to beat Wiltshire on their own patch at South Wilts in the final county youth game of the 2007 summer. The last game of any twenty-ones season is always a trip down memory lane, as it is likely to be the last county youth game for a number of the players involved. This trip was even more nostalgic as the squad decided that, in order to compensate for the aborted mini-tour, they wanted to travel away together and stay overnight as a group. The music on the way up was sheer bliss with the first appearance in the summer of Walking, a reprise for Yogi and a Christmas track in August. Full use of the Inn was made followed by an enjoyable meal together. Later in the evening Barton Rules were applied, much to the delight of the barman, as Parker's twenty-first was celebrated. A reasonable breakfast was to be followed by a supposedly short journey, which was made more interesting as the ground was passed necessitating a five mile detour with the dreaded mini-bus three point turn! In his last game Nick Watkin won the toss and batted, what followed was one of the strangest ever under 21 innings with an incredibly tempo. Josh Bess completed an unfortunate three days by leaving one and was bowled neck and crop but, typical of the man, he made no excuse for his massive misjudgement. He completed a difficult week by scoring runs at the weekend but might like to read Nick Knight's golden memories (no. 16) in the September Wisden Cricketer. Seb Benton, who had still not recovered from the injury that interrupted his bowling against Cornwall, watched his captain in a mega aggressive mode as the pair put on 25. Benton became Wazir's second victim in the ninth over, as Devon was scoring at seven an over with Watkin wiping it. The in form Piper and the captain took the score up to 82 in twelve overs when Watkin was caught for a thirty-eight ball 41 (9 fours). We have watched with immense pleasure this young man develop as a batsmen, cricketer and person, we witnessed his maiden county hundred at Exmouth but never anticipated that he would play an innings of this style. If he had lasted anther ten overs, the rest of the game would have been very interesting. The run rate was exceptional but three key wickets were now down. At 101 after fifteen overs it became four down, as Dan Bowser was caught after hitting sixteen off fifteen. It was then decided to try and stabilise the innings and it was considered that Andy Kingdon was the ideal man. He lasted three balls and Devon was now five down after only sixteen overs and in big trouble, they had scored at just under seven but were confronted with the task of batting a further 35 overs to score at least another one hundred and fifty. In their favour was the fact that this was undoubtedly the best track of the summer. For the third time in four days they were all out, this time with 21 balls unused. They had ultimately scored at four and a half but the final product of 212 was at least forty short of par and once again the additional balls would have been useful. This message should have been learnt years before. Piper and Parker put on 54 off 77 balls, Devon's best partnership of the day, and Piper and Acton another 12 in twenty-one balls when Piper was bowled for a typical 32. Ross Acton lasted another twelve balls departing at 174-8, Justin Yau and Jack Porter took the score past two hundred and the tenth wicket added ten runs. Porter came off for the second time in the week unable to hide his great disappointment, as he was again left high and dry. The home side’s captain, county regular James Hayward, took 3-21 with two caught and bowled.

This was always likely to be a difficult score to defend but Devon enhanced their reputation by fighting to the very end. The balance of their attack had been adversely affected by the injury to Benton and Matt Cooke being laid low the day before with influenza. Attempts to secure the services of the promising slow left armer, Chris Metters, had failed due to transportation difficulties so it would be a mainly seam attack trying to defend the 4.24 per over needed to give Wiltshire the Southern Counties title at the first crack. Josh Bess opened up and allegedly took the edge of Able’s bat for a disputed caught behind, still a key wicket as he was also a full county regular. Wiltshire was fielding their full side, which due to clashes with Minor county games, had only been possible to select on a few occasions. The key ingredient in playing Minor County players is their attitude when playing for what really is a development side. Able and Hayward, as Matt Robins had been earlier in the week, were outstanding, demonstrating totally the right attitude and were exceptional examples. The loss of Abel only heralded the arrival at the crease of the captain, who had recently scored his maiden Minor County hundred. With keeper Morton starting slowly but gradually getting into overdrive, the pair put on 70 off eighty-seven balls. Acton, who had performed well all week with the ball, bowled Morton, who showed his displeasure with a swipe. Wiltshire was pacing their innings to perfection and after twenty-eight overs were five past the hundred. Despite a couple of unacceptable misfields, Devon was giving it their all and receiving genuine compliments from their opponents. Bowser was given the responsibility of taking the pace off the ball, but it was Parker who trapped Rowson in front for his last age group wicket. Under fifteen Pittman, who had batted well at Axminster, put on 49 with Hayward, although he was exceptionally lucky to survive a stumping appeal. Hayward was sheer class, interspersing classical shots with improvisation, his reverse sweeping was as clean as any and he was playing by far the best innings of the summer against Devon. Acton took out Pittman at 154 after thirty-nine overs but there were no further alarms as Kelly deprived his captain of a hundred by being undefeated on 18 off fifteen balls. Hayward's single off Bowser's last ball of the forty-seventh took his side to 213 and his own personal score to 99. He had faced 146 balls and richly deserved all the applause. It was a low key good bye with the Villa featuring again and really sad goodbyes. Nick Watkin and Adam Parker have developed into fine young men, it has been an interesting journey from Sidmouth via South Africa to South Wilts. The Little Chef provided the slowest service ever and even made the infamous Portuguese seem like a very happy memory. There will be many happy memories from 2007 but will the music ever be so good again.

The loss of the three early games to the weather had an important bearing on Devon coming second again as the ability to field a consistently strong side, unaffected by county calls, over an eight game programme was a distinct advantage over the other four counties. The experience gained by a relatively young side should show dividends in the future. It was also a plus to watch Tom Allin’s progress into a full county regular but his absence meant that the side’s cutting edge had been removed. Jack Porter’s return was the best ever at this age group and, with fellow all rounder Josh Bess, he shared the Peter Atkinson Player of the Year cup. Nick Watkin has become an outstanding leader and his dry whit will be missed as much as his all round ability – he is a rarity, a first class batsman, bowler, fielder and keeper. The batting fired early but when it came to the crunch, too much was left to the lower order, the seam bowling was acceptable but the spin bowling department a disappointment. The equilibrium of the side was greatly affected by Benton’s loss of confidence in his bowling and the fact that Matt Cooke only played three games and this will have to be addressed in 2008. Justin Yau again showed he is a top keeper and it was one of the summer’s great pleasures watching his enthusiasm for keeping return. Generally the fielding was exceptional but some of this year’s squad do need to lift their own individual standards. Adam Parker has always been an exceptional fielder and a key performer since he made his county debut. Unfortunately his long term injury affected his effectiveness but as always he never gave less than a hundred percent. We will greatly miss the Barton pair of Watkin and Parker who were the only two to reach the old age of consent. The annual thanks to our excellent hosts Exmouth and Axminster, who enabled games to be played when the weather did not offer any help to their ground staff, the Devon umpires who were also up to their own high standard and the scorer, who had to take on more responsibility ably assisted by Vernon Watkin. Like their sons, the Watkin and Parker families, who are outstanding supporters of youth cricket, will also be missed. Fortunately the anti-climatic final week did not completely ruin another worthwhile summer.