DEVON have to be very careful that they are not drawn into a relegation battle after losing 26-10 to Yorkshire in the premier division of the British Inter County Championship.
Devon drop down one place to sixth but are only six points in front of Lincolnshire who hold the last relegation spot, but Lincolnshire will be Devon’s next opponents.
Devon’s Ladies B side gave the county a fighting chance when they held their hosts to a 3-3 draw with wins from Sarah Brown (18.81), Michelle Andrews (17.66) and Jodie Hawton (14.31) but it all went downhill from there.
Glyn Wells (23.41) emerged a 4-3 winner in the Men’s B fixture before Steve Colbourne (27.32) won 4-1, aided by a 12-darter which he finished with a kill of 122.
At this stage the scoreline stood at 6-5 in Yorkshire’s favour, but only Fred Goldsmith (25.48) could put another point on the board for Devon when he won 4-1, taking the last three legs in 17.
Devon trailed 12-6 overnight but any thoughts of a comeback were dashed when Maria O’Brien (22.77), who defeated her England team-mate Lorraine Winstanley 3-0, was the only productive player from the Ladies’ A fixture.
Yorkshire Men’s A side are renowned for their quality throughout, having won the coveted Men’s A Inter County Championship 17 times since 1975 and this showing was no different as they defeated Devon 9-3.
Mark Shears (25.05) won 4-0 followed by victories from Paul Milford (26.84) (pictured) and Mike Pearce (25.17).
The 26-10 defeat was disappointing, but certainly not surprising, giving the strength in depth throughout the Yorkshire squad and Devon have just got to take this one on the chin and move on.
They visit the Blues Club, Gainsborough, over the weekend of March 28/29 where every point will be important to help Devon stay above the relegation zone before hosting Essex in the final fixture of the campaign in April.