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Devon lose BICC opener but still take away positives

DEVON suffered a heavy defeat away at Lancashire on the opening weekend of the 2019-20 British Inter County Championship campaign, but there were a lot of positives for Devon to look back on, despite the final scoreline suggesting otherwise.

The visitors won the first point of the match through Tracy Ware (15.84) but any euphoria was short lived when Anna Johnson (18.98) was the only other Devon player to deliver from the remaining five sets.

Lancashire went 5-2 up when they won the opening set of the Men’s B fixture but Phil Ward (26.75) pulled one back in style when emerging a 4-1 winner in 17, 17, 19 and 18.

Devon could only manage one win from the next five, but what a win it was from Danny Bull (26.51) who was making his Devon debut.

He won the first leg with a kill of 104, and leading 2-1, finished off the job in hand when taking the next two in 14 and 15.

Lewis Dare (24.31) edged past his opponent 4-3, aided by a 14-darter but with four sets remaining, only Dean Angell (19.60) could deliver, coming from 2-0 down to win 4-3.

Lancashire led 12-6 overnight but could only take a share of the spoils from the Ladies A match after Devon’s winning trio all won in three straight legs.

Merryl Dennis (17.48) and Kelly-Marie Gabriel (17.68) both produced encouraging performances before Maria O’Brien (24.24) secured the draw, claiming the second leg in 17, aided by a maximum.

John Mann (30.83) (pictured) laid down the Devon gauntlet at the beginning of the Men’s A fixture when winning 4-0 in 19, 16, 17 and 13 but only Ben Chamberlain (28.63), who won in four straight legs and Thom Humphrey (26.29) were able to add to the scoreline.

Devon lost 24-12 but eight of the points won by Lancashire were achieved when winning the odd leg.

Credit must be given to the Men’s A side for the hosts who secured 10 of the 12 games with averages no lower than 26.38, but hopefully, Devon are not going to play opposition like that every month, despite being in the premier division.

Devon will be hoping to complete their first victory when they entertain Glamorgan over the weekend of October 12/13.

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