Thursday, September 4, 2014
Devon, captained by Sidmouth’s Josh Bess, and including two other Fortfield stars, Liam Lewis and Scott Barlow, won the Minor Counties’ Unicorns’ KO Trophy for a record fifth time last week, beating Oxfordshire in a thrilling final.
The game was played at Wormsley, the Buckinghamshire cricket ground created in the 1970s by Sir John Paul Getty. The American oil tycoon and philanthropist had become a British citizen in middle age and, prompted by Mick Jagger, had fallen in love with cricket and much else traditionally English.
The game was closely fought with Devon finally winning by the narrowest of margins. Devon batted first. Liam Lewis played steadily for 14 with James Burke making 55 and Matt Thompson 45. Scott Barlow featured with Sandy Allen in a vital last wicket partnership of 24 to help Devon close on 203-9 in their 50 overs.
Oxfordshire batted well initially, but their momentum was halted by Scott Barlow who took four vital wickets for 25 runs in mid-innings to reduce Oxfordshire to 95-6. They rallied and in the final stages needed only 50 runs with four wickets in hand. Josh Bess played a captain’s part, bowling eight controlled overs under great pressure for only 19 runs, and was ably assisted by Jamie Overton and James Burke. In a tense finish Oxfordshire reached 196-9 in the final over, falling seven runs short of victory.
It was a wonderful achievement for the Devon team and a great end to the season for the three Sidmouth players who had helped their club to win the Devon Premier League and the Devon Cup, as well!