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Devon forced to abandon day one of Minor Counties encounter

By Western Morning News  |  Posted: July 09, 2012

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Devon and Herefordshire will be hoping for better luck with the weather today, after abandoning the first day of their Minor Counties Championship game at Sidmouth without a ball being bowled.

Unusually, the decision was made on Saturday lunchtime – almost 24 hours before start time – due to the saturated state of the ground.

A Sidmouth committee man said: "The wicket was covered on Friday night, but once the wind got up the covers acted like sails and they were blown off. Even if the wicket had stayed dry, there was no way of playing as there were numerous mini-lakes on the ground.

"Rather than sit around for half a day before bowing to the inevitable, Devon made a wise decision, calling it off early."

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Neil Gamble, Devon's chief executive, said he was hopeful of at least some play today, providing there is little or no more rain.

"My best guess is that we could possibly finish up with a Wales-type one-innings-a-side game on late Monday and Tuesday."

Devon, the defending Minor Counties Champions, really do not want any more trouble with the weather, following their experiences so far.

A five-wicket win over Wales for 12 points in a one-innings game at Exmouth and a rain-off against Cornwall at St Austell two weeks ago is all Devon have managed.

The Devon Twenty20 regional finals were badly hit by the weather yesterday, which could have a knock-on effect into other competitions.

The Mid-Devon final at Bradninch involving the host club, Heathcoat, Cullompton and Honiton was a non-starter.

Derrick Foan, Bradninch's chairman, said it was hoped to use mid-week dates to get the games played and produce a winner for the Devon final at Exmouth on July 29.

The Ivor Dewdney's Plymouth T20 at Ivybridge was called of following an early-morning inspection. Plymouth were due to play Cornwood and may try again this Sunday if league bosses approve.

The problem is Cornwood are due to face Sidmouth in the second round of the 40-over Devon Knock-Out Cup – and Plymouth have a date with Exeter on the same day.

Geoff Coish, the Devon League's administration manager, said requests to rearrange Knock-Out Cup games would be viewed sympathetically. "There is plenty of time before the next round so if clubs agree it should be possible to re-arrange," he said.

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