Devon Under 19s
1999 Season 's Report
Played 7 Won 2 Lost 1 Drawn 1 Won on first innings 2 Lost on first innings 1
Semi-Finalist ECB National Two Day Competition
The ECB Under 19 County Championship
v CORNWALL at St, Buryan C.C. - Devon won by 4 wickets
CORNWALL 176 all out (B.Latchem 4-61)
150 all out (B.Latchem 4-51; T.Alldis 4-18)
DEVON 204 all out (I.Gamble 42; S.Edmonds 48*)
126-6 (I.Gamble 41)
v BERKSHIRE at Sandford C.C. - Devon lost on first innings
BERKSHIRE 236 all out (D.Court 4-39)
DEVON 190 all out (T.Alldis 32; P.Escourt 86)
v BUCKINGHAMSHIRE at West Buckland School - Devon won on first innings
BUCKINGHAMSHIRE 357 -6 dec.
DEVON 365-6 (I.Gamble 47; T.Alldis 55; J.Cruft 54; A.Wallace 88;S.Edmonds 40*; D.Court 44)
v WILTSHIRE at Swindon C.C. – Match Drawn
DEVON 379-6 dec. (T.Alldis 54; P.Estcourt 63; A.Wallace 137*; D.Manning 40*)
v DORSET at Braunton C.C. - Devon won on first innings
DORSET 270 all out (P.Escourt 5-63)
DEVON 279-8 (T.Alldis 117; J.Cruft 80)
Quarter Final - 100 Overs
v KENT at Wellington College., - Devon won by 38 runs
DEVON 195 all out (T.Alldis 67; M.Wood 83 )
KENT 157 all out (P.Escourt 3-41)
Semi Final - 100 Overs
v WARWICKSHIRE at Shenley Cricket Centre. - Devon lost by 54 runs
WARWICKSHIRE 275 all out (after 98.1 overs) (R.Bryan 3-47; D.Court 3-70))
DEVON 221 all out (after 61.3 overs) (I.Gamble 58; M.Wood 57)
The 1999 Squad T.Alldis (Captain); I.Gamble (Vice Captain); T.Anning; P.Arnold; R.Bryan; D.Court; J.Cruft; P.Escourt; S.Edmonds; A.Green; B.Latchem; D.Manning; W.Murray; A.Theedom; A.Wallace, M.Wood; T.Wright.
To reach the national semi-final for a second year running was a major achievement and for the majority of the semi-final it looked as if we would repeat our 1998 success and reach the final. Sadly a post lunch batting collapse on the second day resulted in our not attaining our goal. Despite this the season can be considered a success as many of our younger players were given the opportunity of playing a high standard of competitive cricket in a team that continued the exceptional spirit of previous squads.
For our first match we travelled to deepest Cornwall to play on the St Buryan ground where Cornwall won the toss and elected to bat. We welcomed Andy Theedom back into the fold after a season out and he took a wicket in his first over when Ian Gamble snapped up a catch at slip. Andy Green then joined in the act by having Shilton caught behind in his second over and, when David Manning took his second catch in Green's third over, Cornwall were on the rocks at 14-3. Theedom confirmed our superiority by taking the fourth wicket at 27. Leg spinner Bryn Latchem then joined in as Cornwall were reduced to 106-8 at lunch having been at one time 68-7. Lavender hit his side out of real trouble with a 66 ball fifty. Latchem took 4-61, Gamble 2-0 off his one over as Cornwall were dismissed for 176 off 46 overs. Ian Gamble led the reply with an excellent 42 off 80 balls but it was not until the Devon Under 16 captain Steven Edmonds came to the wicket that the side steadied itself. He featured in a key sixth wicket stand with Trevor Anning that took us close to Cornwall's total. A quickfire innings from Andy Theedom took us past the target and then it was a question of gaining bonus points and building a lead. At close of play Devon were 195-9. Next day rain delayed the start for over an hour before Andy Green and Edmonds took the score past 200 with Edmonds undefeated on 48. He deserved a fifty having battled for over two hours facing 94 balls in an innings of great maturity. Devon then bowled out Cornwall in 43 overs for 140 with Latchem taking his second four-wicket haul and skipper Alldis 4-18 off 9 overs. The fielding and catching in both innings had been excellent and Devon was faced with a target of 122 off 37 overs. Gamble and Alldis put on 55 for the first wicket with Gamble again in imperious mood. However Devon were reduced to 86-3 when Gamble was unlucky to be given run out. John Cruft steadied the ship and Theedom hit a crucial 8 off five balls to regain the momentum and Devon was home with four wickets and four overs to spare. A workman like start to the season and a crucial haul of 26 points.
Sandford and its wonderful new pavilion was the next port of call as we put on our worst performance of the year. The ground was in superb condition as Berkshire won the toss and batted. Devon started well with David Court and Will Murray ripping out the first three batsman for 15. The fourth wicket partnership rallied our visitors but three further wickets fell in the nineties and Berkshire were 96-6 after 52 overs – pretty slow going. Peter Escourt took two of these wickets in his first telling spell of off spin bowling. Peter was to prove to be a most vital member of the squad throughout the season with both bat and ball. The seventh wicket pairing took the score to 142 and then things went completely downhill. Having been in control of the game we lost our way and allowed Berkshire to reach 236 off 106 overs – very disappointing. Devon's top order took the score to 118 for 3 with Peter Escourt playing a major innings. He was set for a maiden century when he was run out for 86 having faced 119 balls hitting 13 fours. Then, what was to prove to be more costly later in the season, the lower order folded as Devon fell from 164-6 to 190 all out in 57 overs. A very poor performance that lacked application. Having lost first innings points Devon returned to the field in a very determined manner and had Berkshire at 21 –3. The grip for the second time in the match was released as Berkshire ended on a healthy 185-6 off 43 overs. The points and honours to Berkshire.
We visited West Buckland School for their first ever two-day match and Jim Alldis provided us with a real belter. Buckinghamshire had the benefit of first use and scored 357-6 off 97 overs. In sweltering heat Devon stuck to their task in the field and, after seven minutes batting, went to the Wallaces unscathed. On another perfect day Gamble and Alldis put on 89 before Gamble was bowled three short of his fifty. Escourt could not repeat his previous innings and Devon was 104-2. The skipper fell thirty runs later for a competent 55 but we were not batting on when well set. John Cruft played a fine innings but again was out four runs past his fifty. He put on an invaluable 99 with Alex Wallace who was batting on his home ground. Wallace was in superb form batting 103 minutes, facing 79 balls, hitting 16 fours and two sixes in an amazing 88. Having hit two fours off successive balls he tried a third and was caught at mid wicket – annoying. Steve Edmonds had been giving him solid support in a stand of 44 for the fifth wicket. Eighty runs were still needed and David Court joined Edmonds. With the county captain watching, Court had a point to prove and batted really well hitting 44 off 52 balls (six fours and a six). He had virtually ensured first innings points when he was out at 346. Edmonds and Manning took Devon past the target and Alldis declared at 365-6 off 93 overs. Edmonds was not out 40 (91 balls, 101 minutes) in another extremely mature innings. To chase such a high score was a remarkable team achievement and showed tremendous character. Alldis decided that Buckinghamshire could bat again but called it a day at 36-1 off eight overs. A very fine first innings win on a perfect batting track, which had allowed Devon to get back on track .
Swindon was the venue for our second away game and Devon batted first and hoisted an excellent 379-6 off 112 overs. The batting was generally excellent. Gamble failed for once but Escourt and Alldis put on 66 for the second wicket before Alldis was stumped for 54 (still not batting on). Escourt was leg before at 155 for a 154 ball 63. Cruft went at the same score and Edmonds for once did not make a major contribution and Devon was 178-5. Alex Wallace was this time in superlative form, batting first with Tom Wright (23 off 44 balls on his debut) putting on 67 for the sixth wicket and then with David Manning. This pair put on an undefeated 134 in 75 minutes off 106 balls. At close of play Devon was 336 and off four overs next morning the pair scored at over ten an over. Wallace scored an undefeated 137 off 162 balls in 177 minutes striking 14 fours and three sixes. An outstanding innings showing true confidence and self-belief. Manning batted 75 minutes facing 39 balls for his 40. A great batting performance. All was going to plan as Wiltshire were 151-5 after 60 overs when Devon contrived to put on the worst session of the season as they allowed Wiltshire to put on an undefeated 173 for the next wicket and eventually allow them to reach 324-5 off 99 overs. Bedbrook's 124 came amazingly quickly as he kept penetrating the field and Devon were really on the back foot and very relieved when close of play eventually came.
We needed a good performance in our last group game and got one. Dorset batted first at Braunton, who again made us very welcome, and put on 91 for the first wicket. When David Court returned for a second spell, he removed Davies with the help of an Alldis slip catch. Dorset's middle order batted consistently and they were 241-4 after 78 overs. With Peter Escourt again bowling well and Tom Wright bowling his best spell of the season, our visitors lost their last four wickets for 29 runs. Escourt took 5-63 off thirty overs and Wright 2-8 off six. An amazing turn about and just reward for the home side's perseverance. Devon had an uncomfortable 46 minutes batting and soon lost Gamble, finishing the day on 39 –1 after 9 overs. Worst was to follow as Escourt was caught first ball next day but what followed was a remarkable partnership between the captain and John Cruft. The pair put on 146 in 160 minutes of pulsating batting. Cruft was to fall twelve minutes before lunch for an 82 ball 80. His batting was typical Crufty , taking the initiative and hitting sixteen fours. It was most unfortunate that he did not bat on to reach three figures. Wallace came and went within four balls as Devon were 185-4. Tim Alldis was batting on in totally commanding form and either side of lunch put on 65 for the fifth wicket with Edmonds who again made a major contribution in giving solid support. The captain passed his deserved century but was the seventh batsman to fall one run short of the target for a memorable 117. He had batted 4 hours and faced 191 balls, hitting 15 fours and a six and leading very much from the front. One problem that had raised its head was the weather and Dorset looked for help from the elements. Fortunately a win on first innings was achieved before rain had the final say. For the second year running Devon were through to the knock out stage of the competition as group winners. Just reward for a hard working and very sociable squad.
For the first time in my management experience, illness was to play a major part in our quarter final at Wellington College against Kent. Our second visit to the College proved as successful as our first but it most certainly was not all plain sailing. Before the game our keeper David Manning reported unwell and Matt Wood volunteered to take over the gloves. It had rained for nearly a full week before the game and somewhat alarmingly we arrived to discover that only a sheet covered the pitch and virtually no preparation had been undertaken on the track. After a delayed start Devon batted first on an interesting pitch and the two key innings of the game were played by Devon batsmen. After partnerships of 30 and 22 Tim Alldis and Matt Wood put on 96 for the third wicket. This was to prove to be the key partnership of the match. Alldis faced 170 balls batting 136 minutes for an outstanding 67 in very difficult circumstances. He hit 9 fours and a six. Matthew Wood demonstrated why he is rated a batsman of such great potential with 83 (13 fours) in 141 minutes off 140 balls. The pair showed tremendous character and technique as they took Devon to 148-3 after 59 overs and with sensible batting a reasonable target could be set. Unfortunately Wood was seventh out at 182 and the later order folded to 195 all out in 81 overs. We welcomed Russell Bryan back for this game and he struck twice before close of play reducing Kent to 23-2. William Murray and Bryn Latchem then took wickets to leave our opponents at 57-4 at close of play. The Kent skipper had delayed his appearance and the match was very evenly poised with Devon needing six wickets and our opponents 138 runs. Our position went from reasonable to bad to worse overnight when first twelfth man Andy Theedom, then bowlers Will Murray and Bryn Latchem fell ill with a most unpleasant and mysterious bug (not related to alcohol!). To lose four players in a match could be considered rather unlucky and it was indeed fortunate that because of the importance of the match we had taken 15 players and we were now down to a bare 11. A miracle was now perhaps needed. As usual Devon pulled out all the stops in adversity. Kent's fifth wicket put on 54 and the game was swinging away at 111-5 but David Court put in a magnificent spell of swing bowling and helped by an amazing catch behind the stumps the game started to swing back Devon's way as Kent were 116 – 7 with Peter Escourt picking up his fifth wicket. Wood took three vital catches behind the stumps and kept exceedingly well but the shortage of bowling was beginning to tell as 36 runs were put on for the eighth wicket It was a run out that virtually sealed the game as Russell Bryan's amazing direct hit from 30 metres ran out the non striker Watson who was looking in ominous form and with Coleman had taken the score to 157. At lunch Devon were in the driving seat. First ball after the interval Cruft, fielding at short leg as he had all season, picked up a fine catch and then Peter Estcourt trapped the last batsman leg before with his fourth ball of the same over and game over. Most memorable certainly taking into account all the problems faced by the squad who had responded really magnificently.
The semi-final was played at the same venue as last year's final so we returned to the excellent MCC Shenley Park. Sadly it had been announced the same week that the MCC was not renewing their lease – a great loss to cricket. Warwickshire won the toss and batted. The openers put on an unbeaten 103 at lunch and seemed in little difficulty, indeed they seemed in total control. First ball after lunch Bryan bowled the dangerous Shipp and two overs later Wood held a superb diving catch at slip off Bryan to remove the other opener Clifford who had scored 175 the previous week. Court, Latchem and Escourt all chipped in with wickets and Warwickshire were bowled out in the ninety-ninth over for 275 – interesting 2.75 an over next day on a good pitch!
Alldis and Gamble put on 50 for the first wicket when Alldis and Escourt went within three balls to leave Devon 51-2. The third wicket partnership between Gamble and Wood was a wonderful effort with both batting tremendously well, Warwickshire heads were dropping as the pair destroyed a more than useful attack. They put on 99 and at lunch Devon was 150-2 with two batsmen at the top of their game – Home and Dry!! As the previous day a wicket fell first ball after lunch as Wood was adjudged leg before. His 57 had taken 63 minutes, he faced 59 balls, hit 10 fours and deserved a hundred. The thud of his bat against the dressing room wall said it all. Now it was up to Ian Gamble. Gamble's influence on this side has been enormous, from a manager's viewpoint there is fortunately only one Ian Gamble but his importance to the side is immense, it certainly does not just revolve around his batting and bowling. Thank you Ian for four very interesting years. Unfortunately he went three overs later when he patted back a caught and bowled and Devon were not so handily placed at 158-4. Gamble batted 137 minutes, hit five fours and faced 117 balls for an excellent 58. We now needed a third fifty from someone. It did not materialise as Warwickshire's body language totally changed and we were bowled out for 221 in sixty-two overs. Total and absolute disappointment. At lunch the game was virtually won, we had won three sessions to one, we then lost the vital one and we were not to play in a second final – a terrible anticlimax
A great squad, tremendous attitude, outstanding spirit and desire to do well. It really was so very sad to say farewell to those moving out of this age group as it has been a real pleasure to be involved with a great set of cricketers whose attitude could not be faulted. Tin Alldis returned to the helm and lead from the front. His innings against Dorset and Kent were truly outstanding. He was a fine captain who perhaps did not bowl himself enough. His father Jim has been a great friend of Devon youth cricket and again played a vital role this year. His pitch at West Buckland was perhaps too good but as we lost the toss and had to chase 350 plus we are not complaining. We will miss the Alldis family. Crufty, Theeds and Greeny will all be missed but have played an important part in Devon cricket and are wished every success in their futures. We still have a large number of this year's squad available next year. Our annual thank you to our hosts – Sandford, West Buckland School and Braunton for tremendous facilities and catering. Our splendid umpires and their Society – thank you. Our programme would not be possible without the additional funding from the County Club so a big thank you to them. The scorer was, as she has been for the past eight seasons, a vital member of the squad and does far more behind the scenes than meets the eye.
Another great season thank you everyone – it really is a pleasure to watch the Devon's Under 19's.
The Peter Atkinson Young Cricketer of the Year Trophy was awarded to captain Tim Alldis .