Are Devon resigned to relegation after defeat?

DEVON’S fate in the British Inter County Championships has probably now been sealed after they lost to Warwickshire in their penultimate fixture of the campaign.

Following a draw on the opening weekend of the 2017-18 season, Devon have been defeated seven times and are facing relegation to division one.

Mathematically, they could still save themselves but would need a 25-11 victory against high-flyers Lancashire when they play their re-arranged fixture over the weekend of May 5/6.

It has been a disappointing season to say the least, but the Ladies’ B side can come out of the campaign with their heads held high following another good performance.

They gave their fellow squad members another good start and laid the foundations with a 5-1 victory.

VINTAGE: Mark Turner showed vintage form when winning for Devon B, taking a leg in 14 and finishing a 15-darter with an outshot of 110 to post at 25.26 average.

Karen Matthews (17.19) secured the first point of the match with a 3-2 win followed by 3-0 successes for Jodie Hawton (19.78), Chrissie Kinnaird (19.78) and Lisa Hughes (20.59) before Kelly Gabriel (19.03) triumphed 3-1 for a great opening victory.

The opening set of the Men’s B fixture went to the visitors, but Devon were back to level terms when Keelan Kay (24.17), won 4-1.

Kay was making his senior debut and despite being just 16-years-old, he showed an excellent skill set in his victory with two of the legs being won in 17.

But from the next six sets, only Mark Turner (25.26) was victorious and he showed good form in winning 4-3. Aided by a brace of 180s and a leg in 14, he finished a 15-darter at the first time of asking from 110.

Scott Lawrey (23.25) was also successful after being taken the full seven legs followed by a 4-1 victory from Thom Humphrey (21.36).

Despite an 8-4 defeat, the two sides finished the opening day all square at 9-9 and Devon were still in contention.

But uncharacteristically, the downhill slide began as early as the start of the Ladies’ A fixture when Warwickshire took the first four points which included the first defeat of the season for Maria O’Brien.

Anna Johnson (16.35) won 3-1 followed by a 3-2 victory for Merryl Dennis (18.62) and Devon were now facing an uphill struggle.

A solid 4-3 victory for Liam Goyne (26.07) in the Men’s A fixture was Devon’s only success from the first five encounters before Dave Witt (27.83) halted the slide with a 4-1 win, taking the last three legs in 16, 14 and 18.

Glynn Wells (24.12) was successful after going the distance, but three more sets were lost to the visitors before Matt Dickinson (26.51) came from 3-1 down to win 4-3 and Paul Milford (26.20) triumphed 4-1 for a 7-5 loss but an overall 20-16 defeat.

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