East Devon Cricket U11s on tour

The East Devon Under-11 cricket squad have returned from a four day trip to the Channel Islands with a string of impressive performances.

The East Devon Under-11 cricket squad have returned from a four day trip to the Channel Islands with a string of impressive performances, and results, to boot, winning four of their five games.John Gush managed the tour party, James Hope travelled as coach, Mark Stanbury as scorer and Exmouth's Steve Bolt made the trip as umpire. The side played matches against Guernsey, Dorset and Jersey. The opening match of the tour was played at Port Soif in Guernsey and the tourists batted first, scoring 225-2, led by a magnificent century from Jack Maunder (Heathcoat), who retired after reaching his 'ton'. Skipper Marcus Hoddinott (Exeter), chipped in with an unbeaten 44 and the innings closed on 225-3. Guernsey found it hard going against some fine all-round accurate bowling. James Vanstone (Thorverton) returned the best figures with 2-14. Next up saw East Devon face Dorset B and once again the tourists batted first and yet again young Maunder was in imperious form, striking a fluent 67 before being run out. Henry Gater (Sidmouth) hit 53 and Dan Powell (Sidmouth) chipped in with 39. James Vanstone, Dominic Bess (Sidmouth), Nick Bolt (Exmouth), and Jack Malden (Ottery St Mary) then took wickets to leave the reply closing on 131-6.Game three produced a low-scoring match in which 16 wickets fell for just 108 runs. Batting first, and certainly facing the worst of the bowler-friendly conditions, East Devon were bundled out for just 52. Malden hit 10 whilst Gater, batting at number nine, top scored with an unbeaten 11. When Jersey went out to bat, they too found it very hard to get the ball off the square as the tourists' bowlers served up some excellent line and length. Sam Boddington (Thorverton) produced a magnificent spell of bowling that saw him send down seven super overs to return figures of 3-3! Vanstone and Bess each also bagged a wicket but the Channel Islanders got home on 56-6.The final day saw two matches played with contests either side of lunch. In the morning Guernsey batted first and were hustled out for a paltry 35 with five different East Devon bowlers claiming wickets. Jack Maunder led the way with a four wicket haul (4-14), others falling to Boddington (2-5), Bolt (2-6), Vanstone (1-5) and Kieran Vinnicombe (Sandford), who took 1-0.The reply saw the touring side lose early wickets, but from 39-3 unbeaten knocks from Bess (14no) and Gater (17no) saw their side to a seven wicket success. The afternoon game saw East Devon bat first and they made a tidy 156-3, led by Jack Maunder (68) and Dan Powell (28), and then young Bess (4-24), together with Vanstone (2-8) and Vinnicombe (2-26), combined to bowl the hosts out for 60.The tour party also included Hamish Culling, Bradley Gibbins and Billy Reed, all of Ottery St Mary, and Harry Skinner (Exeter). There were some 'champagne moments' during the tour. The highlight was probably the 'hat-trick' bowled by Melinda Gater, whose treble of victims also included her son Henry! Mrs Gater was playing in a 'pairs' competition that pitted the talents of the young tourists with the exuberance of the parents who travelled with the party to the Channel Islands. Another special moment was the opening spell of bowling by Sam Boddington, which at one stage read four overs and four maidens.The last wicket to fall on the tour went to Ottery St Mary's Jack Malden who took a catch off his own bowling to claim the final wicket of an excellent tour.

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