Devon Under 19s
2002 Season 's Report
Played 5 Won 0 Lost 1 Drawn 1 Won on first innings 2 Abandoned 1
Quarter-Finalist ECB National Two-Day Competition
v BERKSHIRE at Sandford C.C. - Devon won on first innings
DEVON 315 all out (R.Foan 91, N.Bettiss 43, J.Toms 35, A.Williams 31, N.Price 44*)
BERKSHIRE 184 all out (D.Field 4-47)
153 all out (S.Edmonds 3-37, D.Field 3-54, R.Foan 3-19)
v WILTSHIRE at Chippenham C.C. - Match abandoned as a draw
WILTSHIRE 162 all out (N.Watkin 3-27, R.Foan 3-26)
v CORNWALL at Camborne C.C. - Devon won on first innings
CORNWALL 137 all out (R.Foan 4-30)
DEVON 156-8 dec (R.Foan 43)
v CORNWALL at Seaton C.C. - Match drawn
CORNWALL 301-7 dec (N.Price 3-37)
DEVON 290-5 (R.Foan 64, T.Beer 63, N.Bettiss 71)
Quarter Final - 100 Overs
v LANCASHIRE at Stratford-upon-Avon C.C. - Devon lost by 3 wickets
DEVON 179 all out (S.Edmonds 68, A Williams 45)
LANCASHIRE 183-7 (D.Field 3-59)
The 2002 Squad S.Edmonds (C aptain), M.Bettiss, N.Bettiss, T.Beer, C.Doutch, D.Field, R.Foan, J.Gibson, W.Grainger, A.Parker, N.Price, S.Rowe, J.Toms, N.Watkin, A.Williams
Without doubt the under 19s have never suffered such a paucity of runs as they did in 2002 but, despite this problem, Devon reached the National quarter finals for the fifth successive year, a tribute to the character in the side. Devon is the only county in the country to win their group and progress in this competition every year since its inception in 1998 and their record is one of which to be very proud. It is very disappointing that this excellent competition has now been dropped in favour of a one day 50 over under 21 competition in 2003.
In the first game at Sandford a slack period on the second day resulted in the side not recording an outright win, as, after eventually bowling out Berkshire for a second time, we needed 22 off six balls and failed by 10. Dismissing Berkshire on the first day for 184 was a fine performance with off spinner David Field leading the way. Our out fielding and keeping were of the highest standard as six catches and a stumping were taken. James Toms made a telling contribution with the first of his season's catches and taking two wickets for just 3 runs off 4 overs and Nat Price made a vital early breakthrough. To bowl our visitors out in 71 overs was an excellent performance and left us with 38 overs to face. Although we lost Nick Watkin early, it appeared that our pre-match concerns about lack of form with the bat were unfounded as we finished the day on 122-1, with the home pairing of Richard Foan and Neil Bettiss dominating. The second day did not start too well with the early loss of Bettiss after Foan (91 in 169 minutes off 154 balls) and Bettiss (43 - 192 minutes, 101 balls) had put on 111 for the second wicket. Unfortunately Nelson struck when both were batting supremely and it was left to James Toms (35 - 49 minute, 45 balls, 6 fours) Aaron Williams (31 - 58 minutes, 46 balls) and an undefeated Nat Price (44* - 64 minutes, 57 balls, 6 fours) to ensure full batting points. Berkshire was then bowled out in 48 overs with Edmonds, Field and Foan all bowling to a high standard and being well supported in the field. This was despite a “funny” twenty minutes when Berkshire was allowed to put on 30 for the last wicket and robbed the side of a deserved outright win, as the final target of 22 off 6 balls proved too much for Foan and Bettiss! Still a very encouraging start to the campaign.
Our second game against Wiltshire was not going well despite the fact that we had dismissed the home side in 65 overs. Nick Watkin showing his all round value to the side with three wickets and our two spinners Foan and Field again bowling well in tandem. Depending on who you spoke to Devon was either in real trouble or, according to the not out batsmen, in a comfortable position at close of play having lost six wickets in the 36 overs bowled scoring at just over 2 an over. Foan and Neil Bettiss both took on the Wiltshire attack but died by the sword. No play was possible on the second day due to rain but our remaining batsman had still been very confident of passing their opponents score! In view of the character of the side who would doubt them?
With Dorset's withdrawal from the competition we were faced with two difficult games against Cornwall. We beat them on first innings at Camborne by bowling them out in 52 overs and taking 61 overs to pass their score. Cornwall would have been disappointed by their end product but this should not detract from another first class bowling and fielding performance. Richard Foan's return off 14 overs was just dessert. Our reply got off to an ideal start with Foan and Tom Beer putting on 72 for the first wicket, a hint of things to come. We then lost our middle order but James Gibson (15 - 43 minutes, 49 balls), Nick Watkin (27* - 90 minutes, 80 balls) and Nat Price (23 - 69 minutes, 58 balls) ensured we had a first innings lead. Cornwall reached 162-8 in 63 overs with Price, Edmonds, Field and Foan all picking up two wickets apiece and Tom Beer diving full length to take memorable catch. In their second innings Cornwall declared at the fall of the eighth wicket to ensure we did not obtain another bowling point! It was therefore necessary that our batsman, in turn, did not gift them any unnecessary bowling points. This objective was achieved with Tom Beer starting his long personal crusade facing 34 balls for his 3 after we had lost Foan third ball and Neil Bettiss in the eighth over. We left Cornwall knowing what we had to do to progress, with the Cornish advising us that all their full County players would be back for the next game!
What followed was a titanic struggle at Seaton. Devon won the toss and inserted their visitors. Martin Pearce batted supremely after Nat Price and Nick Watkin had reduced Cornwall to 31-3. James Toms held yet another magnificent catch to remove the dangerous Pearce, the run rate slowed and after 97 overs Cornwall declared. In what may prove to be Nat Price's final proper bowl in Devon colours, he finished with the excellent figures of 3-37 off 16 overs. Nat Price is a true player's player , a manager's dream, always giving his all, never beaten, always fighting for his side and playing in 2002 through pain. He will be a huge loss and will be missed by us all. We were faced with five overs and lost no wickets overnight. Tom Beer and Foan put on 92 next morning. Beer was embarking on an innings that will become folk law. He batted 283 minutes and faced 295 balls for his 63 but that does not paint the true picture. After Foan was out for yet another fine knock facing 153 balls, striking 9 fours and batting for 144 minutes, Beer ensured that there was no way through for the Cornish attack. First he put on 41 in 101 balls with under 16 keeper Marc Bettiss (29 - 43 minutes, 47 balls) and then with brother Neil Bettiss, whom Cornwall played into his true form, put on 88 for the third wicket in 220 balls. Beer truly demoralised the Cornish attack. He was finally third out at 220 after 96 overs. The skipper Steven Edmonds (20 – 1six) was also regaining his batting touch in a fifth wicket partnership of 67 with Bettiss that, much to the annoyance of the visitors, looked like taking the home side past the Cornwall score. However after 165 minutes Bettiss was bowled for 71 (10 fours, 1 six, 152 minutes) and Devon decided on no further heroics and settled for the draw they needed to win the group. A most satisfying result with the whole side contributing.
Lancashire were new opponents at this level but Stratford-upon-Avon was an old, if not successful, hunting ground. Our shortage of runs was again evident as we were bowled out in 75 overs. The final score was due almost entirely to an eighth wicket partnership of 73 between the now in form Steven Edmonds and the under 17 captain Aaron Williams despite cameo innings from Neil Bettiss (19) and James Gibson (14). Edmonds batted for 205 minutes hitting seven fours and Williams 109 reaching the boundary on five occasions. The final product of 179 in 75 overs was disappointing When Lancashire batted Devon played to their 2002 season's strength, although they lost key opening bowler Nat Price to injury after 3 overs having once again made the crucial initial breakthrough. The side showed tremendous character and resistance with the two spinners Field (23.5-6-59-3) and Foan (25-18-22-2) both magnificent and, backed up by tremendous fielding, they took seven Lancashire wickets in 69 overs and were only beaten by a top innings of 94 from the red rose captain, Horton.
The players were a great credit to the County, despite a shortage of runs the side played to their 2002 strengths and reflected well all the good work put in their development. It was a delight to be involved with this group of players who showed great character and ability. The keeper Marc Bettiss had a very busy season, along with the find of the season Nick Watkin, at three age groups and his batting and keeping were vital to the side. A united side with a good leadership team of Steven Edmonds and Richard Foan, with vital input from the senior and not so senior pros.
An end of a very happy and successful era and my thanks to all those who have made it so over these past five years – the players, parents, the many host clubs, in 2002 Sandford and Seaton, the umpires, coach David Gibson, scorers Lynn Edmonds and Elizabeth Webb – who does so much more behind the scenes. Personally I have enjoyed every moment.
The Peter Atkinson Young Cricketer of the Year Trophy was awarded to Richard Foan for his major contribution to Devon cricket, not just in 2002, with both bat and ball.