Cooke and Lewis set up Devon Senior Cup final

MATT Cooke masterminded Sidmouth’s passage to a Devon Senior Cup final on home turf when he struck 80 not out in a nine-wicket win at Heathcoat, writes John Goodwin.

It will be the first time cup holders Sidmouth have played at home in this year’s campaign, having previously negotiated ties at Bradninch and Cornwood. Their opponents will be Bovey Tracey, who beat Exeter.

Will Murray inserted Heathcoat on winning the toss and Josh Bess rewarded his decision by having Hugh McDowell caught behind by Robbie Powell after conceding a no-ball.

The Tiverton side’s response came from Joe Smith who struck Sam Anderson’s fourth ball for six and they seemed to be consolidating well with 45 on the board after 10 overs before Murray struck, bowling Smith for 16 in his second over.

This signalled a run drought and after 20 overs Heathcoat had struggled on to 75 with Chris Small dealing exclusively in singles until he had reached 27, when he managed a two. At 75 he lost partner Sam Smith for 33 when Miles Dalton pouched a return catch.

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Dalton and fellow spinner Cooke kept the brake firmly on and finished with figures of 2-15 and 1-16 respectively in their eight-over quotas.

Their spells ended with Heathcoat at 101-5 after 31 overs and with more pace on the ball as Murray and Bess completed the bowling, the home side reached 143-6 after their 40 overs.

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Small ended 51 not out and put 42 on for the sixth wicket with Dillian Penberthy who made 18.

Cooke opened the Sidmouth innings with Liam Lewis, who was playing against his former club, and on a pitch that was not easy to score on they kept the board ticking over with singles and put bad balls away to the boundary.

They were parted at 129 in the 28th over when Small had Lewis caught on the legside boundary by Penberthy for 46.

Two overs later Anthony Griffiths pushed a single to finish the job off and set up a final encounter with Bovey at the Fort Field on Sunday, August 26.

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