North Devon suffered their first loss of the Tolchard’s Devon Premier season on Saturday.
North Devon suffered their first Premier setback of the season so far when they went down by 90 runs in the top-of-the-table clash at Exeter.
The two sides were unbeaten going into the game so something had to give.
And when Exeter were 28 for four in the 10th over, it seemed North Devon had the upper hand,
Dom Bess and skipper Miles Lenygon teamed up to add 135 for the fifth wicket – and with Tom Lammonby chipping 44 not out off 33 balls, a total of 226 was posted.
North Devon stumbled from 24 for three to 40 for six in reply. They careered to 55 for eight and were only saved from total embarrassment by Ed Yeo’s professional 55 not out at number seven.
Former Somerset paceman Alfonso Thomas (3-20) was a bit too good for the North Devon tail-enders as the visitors were bundled out for 136.
Exeter are now top of the table ahead of Torquay, who lost to Plymouth.
North Devon are third going into the home game with Torquay this Saturday.
Barney Huxtable, the North Devon captain, was keen to put the result into the proper context.
“We always knew 226 was going to be a hard score to chase down against Exeter’s bowling attack, but it wasn’t impossible,” said Huxtable.
“They bowled fantastically, only bowling a handful of loose deliveries all day.
“I would say it’s very early on and we aren’t too worried about one loss to a side with a strong bowling attack.”
Somerset pair past and present, Thomas and Alex Barrow, were among the early casualties picked off by North Devon seamer Josh King on his way to a five-for-36 haul.
After Lenygon and Bess did their bit, Ben Green (18) and Lammonby put on 32 then Jon Rimmer kept an end going in a stand of 24.
North Devon’s frontline batters were shot away by Green (2-46), Lamomby and Blake Reed with a wicket each and a run-out.
Yeo, who batted 105 minutes and hit nine boundaries in his 81-ball stay, came in at 36 for five and promptly saw Thomas remove Joe Kelly and King in quick succession.
Jack Hockin (16) and last man Matt Westaway (20) ensured a degree of respectability to the total.
Westaway and Yeo put on 52 for the last wicket before Bess broke the stand.