Devon Under 19s
2000 Season's Report
Played 5 Won 0 Lost 1 Drawn 1 Won on first innings 3 Lost on first innings 0
Quarter-Finalist ECB National Two Day Competition
v BERKSHIRE at Finchampstead C.C. - Devon won on first innings
BERKSHIRE 179 all out (J.Wardrop 5-34)
79-6 (B.Latchem 3-38)
DEVON 235 all out (R.Hopkins 31, S.Edmonds 45, T.Anning 40)
v DORSET at Dean Park, Bournemouth Match Drawn
DEVON 403-3 (B.Latchem 70, D.Court 161, T.Anning 95)
DORSET 260-9 (W.Murray 5-39)
v WILTSHIRE at Seaton C.C. - Devon won on first innings
WILTSHIRE 196 all out (B.Latchem 5-52)
DEVON 300-7 (W.Murray 79, S.Edmonds 54, T.Anning 57*, D.Manning 32)
v CORNWALL at United Services C.C. - Devon won on first innings
CORNWALL 152 all out (T.Wright 5-15)
196 all out (T.Wright 4-60, W.Murray 3-56)
DEVON 185 all out (S.Edmonds 32, W.Murray 67)
Quarter Final - 100 Overs
v WARWICKSHIRE at Wellington College - Devon lost by 92 runs
WARWICKSHIRE 202 all out (T.Anning 4-35)
DEVON 110 all out (B.Latchem 33)
The 2000 Squad D.Manning (Captain), T.Anning, T.Beer, R.Carr, D.Court, S.Edmonds, D.Field, R.Foan, J.Gibson, R.Hopkins, I.Jack, B.Latchem, D.Lobb, W.Murray, S.Prideaux, A.Wallace, J.Wardrop, T.Wright.
The national final in 1998, the semi-final in 1999 and a quarter-final in 2000, a steady decline! In truth the squad did well to win their group again this year and for ninety percent of the first day of the quarter final with Warwickshire were in total command but it all then went visibly horribly wrong. But let us start at the beginning a very hot day in July at the well appointed Finchampstead cricket ground in Berkshire. On what looked a perfect track Berkshire won the toss and elected to bat and Devon prepared for a long day in the field. Our opening bowlers David Court and Jamie Wardrop had other ideas as they put on an inspired spell. Wardrop was all line and length; Court was fired up and bowled as quickly as anyone could remember. It was what was to become a typical under 19 wicket for the season that set the ball rolling, as at 15 Wardrop found the edge and the skipper did the rest. At 20 Wardrop broke through again with under 16 skipper James Gibson picking up a neat catch at cover. William Murray took over and removed Brinsford. The fourth wicket put on 66 but the last six wickets could only muster 62 runs between them as Wardrop took three more to finish with an excellent 5-34 off 21 overs, Court picked up the three wickets his bowling had deserved and Anning took the final wicket. David Manning took four catches behind the stumps to cap an outstanding bowling and fielding performance, which was to prove to be the side's strength throughout the season.
Faced with just over an hour's batting the side lost two wickets for 40 runs before close of play. Next day on an equally pleasant day Richard Foan and Ryan Hopkins set out to make up the deficit and build a decent lead. Hopkins played just as we had hoped as he was very positive and hit the ball very hard. With Foan playing the anchor role the pair put on 61 valuable runs when Ryan lifted just one too many and was caught, a good start to his under 19 season. The under 17 pairing of Foan and Steven Edmonds then put on another 37 but with seven minutes to bat before lunch Foan walked past one and was stumped exposing the captain. David Manning in defensive mode is not an attractive sight and because of his nasty rugby injury he had not batted much before the under 19 season started. He battled out the seven minutes but then immediately after lunch gave a tame return catch to the bowler to leave Devon 132-6. It was time for something positive and Court scored 25 off 23 balls in an attempt to take the initiative. He nearly succeeded but he too was caught at 158 and 21 runs were still needed. Tense stuff. Edmonds after 99 minutes at the crease followed Manning's example and fell five short of his fifty with the side still eleven runs short. Trevor Anning was batting sensible, he was to become one of the key players of the season with his all round ability, but it was the inexperienced Gibson that achieved our first innings win with two identical shots which have yet to reach the ECB coaching manual. They were sort of fore arm bashes which somehow ended up straight and, more importantly, over the boundary line. His 15 runs were critical in the context of the game. Once past the total it was just a matter of scoring as many runs as possible as Anning went on to score an excellent 40 and Wardrop a more than useful 10 in a Sidmouth last wicket stand of 37. At 3.35pm Berkshire were not keen to go in again but Devon asked them to bat and picked up some very useful bowling points as they had their hosts at 79-6 at close of play. Bryn Latchem took three wickets, one with an unplayable leg break and with another he bowled their number six third bounce!! A good performance, which clearly indicated our strengths and gave the first clue that runs, might be a problem. One frustrating and indeed annoying comment that was made more than once during the course of the season by the Berkshire management was that Berkshire had allegedly batted badly (twice!!) when the truth was of course that Devon had bowled exceptionally well.
Our next game was at Dean Park, Bournemouth where the previous afternoon we watched the Dorset minor county side, led by a fine innings by Barton's Darren Cowley, defeat Cheshire, but not without some late scares. David Manning won the toss and elected to bat and Bryn Latchem who has been a very significant member of this squad scored a brilliant 70 off 135 balls in 148 minutes. He hit ten fours and was third out at 115. At 133 for six, on a beautiful batting track, Devon were not ideally placed. Time then for a record-breaking partnership for any wicket at this age group. Trevor Anning joined another Feniton product in David Court at 2.26pm and the pair put on an extraordinary batting performance. Anning was out at 5.49pm just five short of his maiden county century, never was a century more deserved, the score then stood at 384. The pair put on 251 runs off 272 balls in 160 minutes with Anning facing 130 balls and hitting ten fours. His partner was now past his maiden county hundred and one run short of his first 150! Court went on to score 161 of which 80 were in fours, off only 157 balls before fatigue and 171 minutes of scoring runs allowed him to miss a straight one. The side was in a quandary whether to declare at 392 as the previous week the under 17's had declared at 351-5 on the same ground and they had lost by one wicket. In addition bowlers Court and Anning were knackered! Devon batted on to 4038 off 102 overs and declared overnight. This was sadly the only time in the whole season that our batting had dominated our opponents bowling and this was to prove a key factor later in the season. The game plan seemed to be working out to perfection as William Murray reduced Dorset to 86-7 at lunch. Murray's spell was quite extraordinary as he varied his swing with such skill that he enabled each of his three slips in turn to take a catch. Perhaps the bigger surprise was that they caught them. After his first twenty overs Murray's figures were 4-13 and he finished with 5-39 off 26 overs. The Wardrop/Manning combination took the first wicket and Hopkins held a remarkable diving catch at mid off also off Murray. Lunch was taken with great confidence. Cricket is a great leveller, as the next session did not bring a wicket! The Dorset eighth wicket proceeded to put on 173 and worse was to come as it was not until four minutes before the designated close of play that the eighth wicket finally fell, the ninth wicket was taken almost immediately but two balls were not sufficient to remove the last man. The home side had clung on and although Devon had dropped a straightforward catch with an hour to go it was hoped that this result would not affect the side's chances of winning their group. This was to be David Court's last match.
Seaton was the venue for Wiltshire's visit to Devon and David Manning won the toss and inserted his visitors. Despite the fact that Court was now in Greece and his replacement Alex Wallace was not fully fit after his South African rugby injury, the side were still buoyant and Anning and Wardrop took early wickets to leave Wiltshire 18-2. Spinners Bryn Latchem (5-25) and Simon Prideaux (2-41) then bowled well in tandem and bowled Wiltshire out for 196 off 84.2 overs. They bowled well and were again capably supported in the field. Devon was confronted with just over an hour and a half's batting to cut back the total but immediately lost the important wicket of Latchem. Phil Arnold and Richard Foan put on 45 before Arnold was out for 20 with twenty minutes remaining. Enter night watchman William Murray and, in the company of the rapidly maturing Richard Foan, Devon was 66-2 at close of play.
Next day for the second time this season Foan, having done all the hard work, got himself out with a big score beckoning when as he was once again stumped. Steven Edmonds then put on a more than useful 109 with the night watchman who was making the point that perhaps at 4 he was actually batting in his correct position. He scored a county career best of 79 (123 balls; 140 minutes) hitting 14 fours. He fell with the side still needing eight runs to pass the Wiltshire total. Unfortunately wickets often annoyingly fall in pairs and Edmonds departed at the same score within three balls of his partner. Edmonds scored a fine 54 (4 fours) in 109 minutes off 99 balls but again lost his wicket when he should have been looking for a hundred. Trevor Anning's rich vein of runs continued as he and the skipper took Devon past their target and on to 248 with Manning, now back in attacking mode, hitting a thirty-two ball 32. Hopkins fell at 261 and Richard Carr and Anning put on an undefeated 39 as Devon declared with full batting points at 300. Anning was 57 not out and proved once again that he was making himself a vital batsman in this line up. In their second innings Wiltshire were 91-3 after 54 overs at close of play as another point was picked up.
Cornwall were to be the final group match at United Services. They brought a strong side and we welcomed Alex Wallace back into the fold. Cornwall were asked to bat by David Manning against opening bowlers Wardrop and Anning and it was Jamie Wardrop who again made an early inroad with Manning as usual taking the catch. In fact Manning was going to take five catches in the innings as Devon and Tom Wright in particular bowled magnificently. Wright annoyed at not taking the new ball bowled a superlative spell taking 3-8 off his first six overs with four maidens. Latcham took a wicket as Cornwall were 58-5 but with their skipper Price looking in very fine form. The visitors advanced to 102 when Wright retuned to the attack to bowl another unplayable spell bowling five straight maidens and then taking a wicket and giving away three runs in his last over. Jamie Wardrop took the key wicket of Price for 78 at 145 and Cornwall were bowled out 152 in 67.3 overs with Wright returning to finish off the innings with the exceptional figures of 13-9-15-5. Match winning stuff. Devon faced two hours batting and our frailties again surfaced as we lost 4 wickets for 46 runs. The old stalwarts Edmonds and Murray took the score to 92-4 at close of play. The following day the pair took their stand to 62 when Edmonds was caught for 32. He hit 4 fours in his 89 minutes at the crease facing 88 balls. It was now up to the old warhorses Murray and Wallace to gain first innings points and to build up a lead. Just three runs short Wallace (17) was out but first innings points were achieved and the group title looked to be coming our way as, although our nearest rivals Berkshire were closely following our exploits, they were behind us in points and were not in total control of the situation. A charge to 250 was the order of the day but sadly the side were all out in 65.2 overs for only 185. For the second successive game Murray had passed 50 and he was eighth out for 67 (125 balls; 130 minutes 9 fours). The target was to try and win the game outright and all seemed to be going to plan as initially Wardrop broke through, then Wright and Anning picked up wickets as Cornwall subsided to 65-7 with their captain and top batter Price back in the Pavilion. An outright win looked on the cards but yet another eighth wicket partnership foiled the side. The pair put on 82 and the game slipped slowly away as Cornwall were eventually all out for 196 in 67-3 overs with Wright (4-60) and Murray (5-56) leading the way. The turning point was when Wright was forced to change ends when he had trouble with his footholds and once he started to bowl around the wicket the side lost the initiative. Nevertheless Devon, for the third time running, had deservedly won their group this time by 5 points and was rewarded with another quarterfinal at Wellington College.
This time housed in a smart Hotel they were to be confronted by the side that had knocked them out the previous year at the semi-final stage Warwickshire. Faced with a straight one hundred over knock out Warwickshire won the toss and decided to bat. With the former England youth player Hugh Jones in outstanding form running brilliantly between the wickets Warwickshire looked in good shape in putting on 33 for the first wicket in 56 minutes. It was Trevor Anning who made the first break through and 26 runs later Murray caught and bowled the dangerous Jones. The caught Manning bowled Wardrop combination removed Byng who had often been a thorn in our side before and at 96-3 the game was eveningly poised. Trevor Anning then got two quick wickets both caught behind by Manning on his way to another five-catch haul. Devon were looking an exceptional side in the field and although there was some Foanitis the catches in general were being held. Carr removed Clifford for a duck and Foan and Edmonds combined to take out their leading scorer Randawa for 59. The same combination removed another thorn in Smyth and at 4.30pm Warwickshire were in all sorts of trouble at 158-9. The time is relevant as it was from that moment onwards that Devon lost the initiative. The competition rules decreed that if the last wicket fell after 5.15pm Devon would not have to bat that night. It appeared that Devon did not wish to bat that night. The last pair was allowed to put on the highest partnership of the match 44 runs and for all intents and purposes from then on the game had been conceded. Up until the taking of the ninth wicket it had been an inspired bowling performance backed up to the hilt by the fielders and keeper. There were some mutterings from the opposition that they had not batted well but we had already heard that one before this season and the same answer applied. Devon demonstrated their tremendous strength in the field until they sadly apparently lost their bottle. Trevor Anning bowled at his best with figures of 19.5-8-35-4, Murray completed the day with 22-9-39-2 and Edmonds 6-4-6-2. They were as always well supported by Wright, Wardrop, Prideaux and Carr.
In the nets the next morning the ball was hit to all parts of the ground as real aggression was the key word in the approach to the day but when we sat down for the last few moments the dressing room was silent, the vibes were not good and it appeared that the side inwardly considered 2.02 an over a big ask. It really was essential that the initiative, lost the night before, was regained as soon as possible and it was vital that every single run was squeezed out, the running had to be exceptional and we could win this game. The truth is we did not, a tired Foan went early and Latchem and Edmonds applied the grind. After 17 overs we had scored 17 runs after 30 we had scored 40 by then Latchem with an innings top score of 33 and Edmonds were back in the pavilion. We had urgently needed a batsman who could have dominated the bowling and we never recovered and, although Manning and Prideaux went in for a final fling with Manning hitting 2 sixes and a 4, the side was dead and buried at 110 all out after 52.4. Self-belief is something that this squad has had in abundance before and it really was tragic that on their last performance together it left them. Take this message from this game ALWAYS BELIEVE IN YOURSELF AND YOUR OWN TEAM . Always be positive, as from 4.30pm on the first day and in our batting we had been negative and we had lost a game that Warwickshire had believed they had already lost the previous day by their poor batting. Not the best way to finish an era as sadly it was an end of an era.
This group have experienced some real highs perhaps the most memorable being the demolition of Surrey in the Texaco Two Day semi-final two years earlier and beating Kent in last year's under 19 quarter finals under great adversity were among them - and some lows the national final at Canterbury when we lost badly to Durham and this year's quarter final but it has been a great roller coaster with some wonderful friendships made, some great moments and it is hoped that all the players will look back on their time with affection and pleasure, we certainly will. David Manning again led from the front but his winter bone break did seem to affect his batting or more to the point his confidence. He also had to suffer a family bereavement during the season. As always his keeping was of the highest order. There has to be a reason why a keeper regularly picks up catches in the number he does, whatever it is he had better can and market it. He was a good captain and the support of his family over the years was always vital. David Court only played two games this season, which was a bitter disappointment, and he was missed but he has played an important roll in the squad over the years. Alex Wallace came back early from South Africa in order to play but returned to the country with a rugby injury that did affect his play. None of the squad will forget Alex's influence and the magnificent hospitality of his family. Bryn Latchem is one of the side's workhorses and it was disappointing that he has appeared to lose confidence in his bowling this year. His batting was more important than ever in 2000 and if only he can recover total confidence in his leg spin he will regain the brilliant form of past seasons that HE THINKS HE HAS LOST . William Murray has over the years just improved and improved, as long as he still thinks the game is fun the game will be richer for his presence. We cannot forget the major contributions of the Woods, Bryans, Knapmans, Edwards, Frasers, Hopkins and Escourts a great group of players.
As usual our thanks to the Devon Society of Umpires, our superb hosts Seaton and United Services, the parents, our A team in David Gibson and Elizabeth who in their individual roles play a very important part in the set up. We are very fortunate to have both.
The Peter Atkinson Young Cricketer of the Year Trophy was awarded to William Murray for his all round contribution to the side.