Devon manager Keith Donohue was proud of his players after their narrow defeat by Wales in the Minor Counties Championship at Usk.
The home side were set a target of 291 to win and reached it in a tight finish with two wickets remaining.
"I'm really proud of the lads, they played some really good cricket, " Donohue told BBC South West Sport.
"I said to the players, if you play like that all season you'll win a lot more games than you'll lose."
Stuart Thomas finished unbeaten on 75 to see the home side home after Chris Bradley had led the way for Devon with three wickets.
Donohue said: "Chris (Bradley) bowled well all game for us, but credit has to go to their skipper, he batted superbly.
"It's always disappointing to lose, but it was a cracking game.
"We took it right down to the wire and competed all the way through it and were a whisker away from winning it."
Devon made 257 in the first innings, thanks mainly to Rhys Davies (69) and championship debutant Callum Whittaker (68), but Wales earned a lead of 59 after replying with 316, with Thomas making 81.
Another debutant, James Toms, hit 105 in Devon's second innings and Josh Bess (95) and Trevor Anning (80) also made major contributions to their 348 all out.
"The new guys did really well, but I'm not surprised.
"That's why we picked them, because we thought they would," Donohue added.
"Selection is tricky, but I'd rather have the problem of squeezing good players into the side than having to look for them."