MCCA Knockout Trophy: Devon in huge semi-final win over Cheshire

By Kalika MehtaBBC Sport
Jamie Overton
Somerset bowler Jamie Overton took three wickets as Devon reached the final which will be played at Lords

Devon director of cricket Keith Donohue has called on his side to live up to the club's tradition of success after reaching the final of the MCCA Trophy.

The four-time Trophy champions earned a 136-run semi-final win over Cheshire on Sunday to set up their eighth final in 23 years, against Oxfordshire.

"That is one of the best displays I have seen in a knockout game of any era at Devon," Donohue told BBC Sport.

"We've got to work hard and not be pleased with just reaching the final."

He added: "This is why we play competitive sport. We want to challenge ourselves and at moment we're playing pretty well and have been good enough to beat the opposition in front of us."

The minor county will be competing in the final for the first time since 2008, in which they defeated Berkshire by 40 runs to lift the cup.

Devon are the fourth most successful minor county with seven outright and one shared championship title to their name, with the most recent being won in 2011.

They also only trail Norfolk in MCCA Trophy wins, with the east of England club having won it five times, a single victory more than Devon, and Donohue admitted that the past success of the club was the something the new generation had to contend with.

"We have got a proud tradition in minor counties cricket as probably being one of the most successful counties in the past 30 years," the former Devon player said.

"The current generation perhaps feel a bit of pressure to live up to past eras. They can be very proud of what they achieved in the semi-final.

"They have set some very high standards and we've certainly set the bar quite high and it's going to take some living up to."

Centuries from opener Rob Woodman, who scored a run-a-ball 118, and Matt Thompson (126) saw Devon post 367-7 from their allotted 50 overs.

It was followed up by an excellent bowling display which saw 16-year-old Ben Green take 3-35 and Somerset's Jamie Overton finish with 3-36, after he had also hit a quick-fire 35, as Cheshire were bowled out for 231 in just 39.1 overs.

And Donohue is confident the side has the right balance.

"We have got a healthy mix of young and old," he said. "Ben Green is only 16 and at the very start of the cricketing life and career.

"But there are also a couple of lads who are in their 30s and have been around the block. That mix of experience and youthful energy is a really healthy one."