Sea Lane was the place to be on Sunday 24th August as a Kilve Select XI entertained club legend Dave Cobb’s President’s XI for the second successive year. After a stunning tea (thank you Kelly and Claire!) with the weather overcast and rain to be expected later in the day the match was reduced to 30 overs per side, and on a fairly firm track President’s skipper (and Dave’s son) Neil called correctly and opted to let his team have first use of the facilities.

The opening pair of Stuart ‘Slug’ Lloyd and Nick ‘Strawberry Blonde’ Hancock took strike and it looked like the pair hadn’t been away – Stuart was resolute in defence as usual and Nick strong off his legs. The pair didn’t hang around long though, as Stuart feathered through to keeper Ed Martin for 4 and Nick was comprehensively bowled by whippersnapper Sam James for the same score.

Paul ‘Running Man’ Cuff and Stuart’s brother Gareth found themselves in the middle fairly early and Cuffy was quickly off the mark and into his stride while Gareth found the going hard and found himself bowled by Josh Calder for just a single, before he struck again to remove Cuff for a quick-fire 20.

Unfortunately, Martin ‘Speedy Gonzales’ Tully (5), Lindon Alway (0) and James ‘Badger’ Payne (4) all fell quickly through Will ‘Guns’ Monro’s bowling (Mostly half-tracker’s that failed to get up!) and the veterans looked in real danger of posting a sub 100 score.

With the president’s XI struggling to up the rate it was a skipper’s innings that hauled the score towards something more respectable, and Neil rolled back the years with some fantastic drives, pulls and edges on his way to a superb 50.

Well supported by Martin ‘Silver Fox’ James, the pair put on a superb 50 partnership in 8 overs and although Martin was out to the last ball the pair had lifted the score to 156 for 8, Martin with a ‘leg-side friendly’ 23 and Neil 53* – a performance Dave would have been proud of.

After yet more fabulous food at tea, the Kilve XI took to the middle with the hope of knocking off the required runs quickly so that they could  get to the bar, but even though the veterans may have been a bit slower in the field than they once were, the old heads used their (many) years of experience and the Kilve XI found themselves in a proper game!

Opening pair of Ed ‘Teflon’ Martin and Simon ‘I once ate an 8 patty burger’ Crocket took to the middle to face the wrath of Lindon Alway and the evergreen Nick James. Both bowlers were on the money right away and although Simon (9) powerfully flat-batted a couple of balls to the boundary he went back to one that kept low and found his stumps all over the place off the impressive Alway.

Monro was next in, and although Nick James bowled superbly he was unlucky not to pick up a scalp and was replaced by Tully, whose left arm twirlers often bring wickets and he proved just that when Monro, champing at the bit to get down the track and hit him into the cornfield only managed to spoon the ball up for a catch to walk back after scoring 10.

Quinton ‘David Bailey’ Button was next in and Tully produced another jaffa, deceiving Button with his flight and causing the batsman to drive uppishly to Clemenson at mid off for 1.

Tully took his third wicket when Jay ‘Cleetus’ Darrell played all round a straight one to walk back after scoring a brisk 13.

With a team of elite all-rounders (ahem) at his disposal Cobb had the luxury of changing his bowlers and he introduced Payne at the village end to remove Nichols for 3, while Cuff snared Sam James (20) and Ralph Hammond for 10 before replacing Payne with Nick Hancock. It was an inspired move as opener Ed Martin had been accumulating runs very tidily and was looking a dangerous prospect before Hancock had him second guessing which one of his mysterious deliveries was coming next.

Fearing his luck would soon run out he attempted a reverse sweep (yes you read that right, an Ed Martin reverse sweep!) and was trapped plumb in front for an excellent 46.

Calder (8*) walked out to join in the fun, and promptly found himself on the receiving end of some Clemenson body blows before a mix up between him and Pete Stone resulted in the latter being run out for 15.

With the Kilve XI needing 23 off the final over Cobb introduced Stuart Lloyd to bowl his patented loopers, and although he went for a couple of boundaries, Ryan ‘Wendy’ Penwell played all round a straight one and was castled first ball bringing the game to an end and victory to the Presidents XI by 14 runs.

It was a fantastic game played in great spirits, and a pleasure to be involved in. Well done everyone 🙂

Some photos from the match…

All images © James Payne and Quinton Button.