CRICKET: Ryan proud of his players in defeat

Oxfordshire’s Chad Keegan sends this delivery sailing out of the ground for six

Oxfordshire’s Chad Keegan sends this delivery sailing out of the ground for six

First published in Sport The Oxford Times: Photograph of the Author by , Sports reporter specialising in Rugby, Cricket and Athletics. Call me on 01865 425456

Oxfordshire captain Luke Ryan praised his side’s character after their narrow Unicorns Counties Trophy final defeat to Devon at Wormsley.

Having looked like they may come up well short, Oxon lost by just seven runs.

Ryan said: “We are obviously disappointed, but we have got to try hard to keep our heads up high.

“We had a fantastic run, we have shown what we can do as a squad.

“We would have taken that chase at the start of the day.

“The wicket was not quite as good to bat on as we thought at the start of the day.

“We thought it was quite a good toss to lose and at the halfway stage, we had them under par.

“We got off to a good start and if there was a big partnership at the top, we would have been able to chase down the score.

“In the end we were always trying to fight back rather than being on top of the game.”

Ryan added: “We gave them a few runs at the end when we were bowling and that would have ended up getting us over the line.

“With a few lads building more partnerships at the top of the order, we could have been a bit further down the line before those other lads came in.

“You can always look to what ifs, can’t you?”

Ryan also paid tribute to man-of-the-match Chad Keegan.

He said: “Chad very rarely does deserve to be on the losing side.

“I keep saying it – he gives his all.

“He is absolutely fantastic to have around.

“Not only what he gives with the ball and the bat, it’s what he gives bowlers at the end of their mark.

“He is just fantastic to have around the squad.”

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