North Devon U13s fell agonisingly short by 2 runs in a terrific encounter away at Hatherleigh on Friday (24th April) in the ECB U13 county cup. In the dim and fading light, and with only 2 wickets left, Hatherleigh managed to defend the 5 runs required off the final over despite some heroics from Ben Hebblethwaite.
Earlier Hatherleigh were restricted to 85-3 off a reduced 18 overs, with tight bowling from Nathan Ware, James Dearson, Hebblethwaite and captain Tom Whiteley. Whiteley mixed up the bowling well, using 9 bowlers, and was happy with the target they were set to chase at the halfway stage. Archie Popham (16) and Jack Joslin (10) put North Devon in command until a flurry of middle order wickets pegged back the away side, thanks to an excellent spell of bowling from Hatherleigh captain Ryan Quick (4-1-4-2).
Still, Whiteley (16), Colville (7) and Hebblethwaite (14) took NDCC within sight of victory as the game ebbed and flowed. Unfortunately, the murky conditions proved too much as the visitors struggled to get bat on ball in the final two overs, finishing on 83-9 off 18 overs. An excellent match, and one the team can learn from as they enter the league campaign and deference of the U13 title they shared from last season.