A century against his old club by Australian-born all-rounder Neil Hancock set Ipplepen up for a thrilling win over Torquay in the Tier Two Final of the Devon Cricket League (Covid Cup) at the Recreation Ground.

Ipplepen Cricket Club's first XI pictured at TorquayIpplepen Cricket Club's first XI pictured at Torquay

In a feast of batting in the sun, 578 runs were scored in 89 overs.

Hancock, now 44, first joined Torquay when he arrived in the UK 24 years ago, and he has since played with remarkable consistency for Buckfastleigh, Sidmouth, Paignton, Bovey Tracey, South Devon, Devon and Somerset.

Ipplepen had lost two early wickets when Hancock and Callum Stanley came together for a third-wicket stand of 137, Hancock scoring 111 and Stanley 70. Ipplepen eventually posted 293-6 in their 45 overs.

That daunting target looked to be within Torquay’s reach as Tim Western (80) and James Tyler (84) put on 171 for their first wicket.

The chase stalled slightly when they were both out, but Steve Lewis and Tom Drake hit 28 apiece before Torquay fell valiantly short by just eight runs, bowled out with five balls left (Hancock 3-53, Reuben Stanley 3-33).

Seb Ansley was Stoke Gabriel’s star as they won the Tier Three Final in another close finish against Kilmington in East Devon.

Ansley scored 79 in Stoke’s 219-7 and then took 2-28 as Kilmington were dismissed for 207, losing by 12 runs.