Despite worries of rain, it proved to be a stunning day in God’s country. Nestling in the bosom of the Quantocks with a cool breeze softly caressing the pitch and the sun shining; Kilve 2nds couldn’t have asked for better conditions. The pitch looked immaculate, and we had 11 players all desperate to gain some momentum. Dr Dan captained a team eager for points as the hosts of cricket’s biggest music festival (Kilvestock) prepared for what turned out to be a highly competed, bottom of the table clash, which showed true grit and determination and superb team spirit from both teams. A great game further demonstrating why cricket is known as the gentlemen’s game.
Both teams showed intent to fill the field first as the captains went out to flip the coin; unfortunately our residential in-house doctor lost the toss. It was down to Kilve to set the target.
Opening the batting was fielding expert Andy Hobbs and Bridgwater export Si Crockett. Crockett was to face. They got off to a slow start as the visitors bowled convincingly opening the match with a maiden over. Runs proved a rarity, and they were bowled for 5 and 6 respectively in the 4th and 6th over. Between the stumps now were veteran Cuffy and ever impressive Ralph.
Cuffy joined a hard hitting Ralph who was hitting 4’s galore as he picked and timed his shots perfectly. However he could not match his team mate’s effort as he was caught after only accumulating 5 runs to the tally.
Young Tom stepped in at number 5 and provided some stability with Ralph, as he frustrated the bowlers blocking every attempt with Andy-style batting. Such maturity for a young lad is rare to see and a pleasure to watch. Ralph was on fire and hitting with class and finesse. However he was humbled by the bowl of the match in the 12th over as their bowler picked up the last of his 4 wickets. Ralph finished with 31 which included 7 beautiful 4’s.
Joining Tom at the crease now was the Australian wizard Barry Adams. He managed 1 run against the merciless bowling. Kev came in and got 4 and Sam James followed that with 6 runs. Both were caught after miss hits, as frustration and pressure showed.
Tom kept his wicket well and was joined by LMS legend Josh Calder. The unique batting style left him vulnerable as his first runs were a 4 using the inside edge to send the ball past leg stump. He followed with 2 more 4’s but felt the pressure after Tom was caught. Up steps doctor Dan.
With 83 runs on the board Calder lacked the beans and maturity to push the score past the hundred mark. After a cheeky 2 he was inevitably out by a swing and miss. It was now down to a hungover Dan and JT to increase the total.
JT knew his job and blocked as Dan added 4 more runs. However Kilve had left to much to do and JT was bowled in the 25th over. Our opponents were chasing 89, and 90 to win.
It was time for teas and both teams were more than happy with what was served; yet another fantastic array of savouries and sweets. Kate Taylor supplied Kilve with something to smile about after a disappointing batting performance. Many thanks to her and Kelly for the work they do as Kilve CC 2nds dined like Kings. With 11 full bellies Kilve set out to field.
Opening the bowling was to be JT and Sam James. Bowling against two young lads, looks proved to be deceiving as they struggled to break down the baby faced batsmen who played with skill and class. JT had 4 over’s go for 21 with Sam’s first 4 going for 10. Taking over from JT was Calder who opened his first over with 3 runs against him. Sam showed good form following that with only conceding one run.
Calder’s 2nd over showed his potential after clean bowling the opening batsmen on his 3rd ball. His figures stood at 1 for 5. Dr Dan joined Calder and got his first wicket thanks to a well timed catch from JT who impressed in the field throughout. Dan and Calder struck fear into the hearts of the opposition and gave Kilve hope. Calder took wickets in his next 4 overs and found himself on 5 for 9 with credit to a well taken catch from crocket. Dan’s 2nd over got him 2 wickets and Kilve’s chances were looking brighter.
Sam James was brought back on and got himself a deserved wicket thanks to a Ralph catch behind the stumps. Kilve looked impressive and the field did not give up. JT had some fearless, body on the line stops and Andy as always stopped everything going his way. No one gave up the chase and it was going to the wire.
It was however the maturity of their batsmen who eventually won them the game. Waiting patiently for the right ball they picked their runs and came out on top as they got the winning runs in style with two 4’s in 29th over.
It was a close game which could have gone either ways. Despite a valiant and superb bowling display from the up rising crowd favourite Josh Calder, Kilve missed out narrowly.