On a changeable April day Kilve travelled to West Bagborough, repeating the pre-season friendly fixture from the previous year. After tossing up Kilve were put into bat on a newly laid artificial wicket that looked a lot better than the previous one, although it still had the characteristic Bagborough slope towards the pavilion.

Openers Stuart Lloyd and Cris Taylor didn’t take long to acclimatise, especially Taylor who quickly settled into his stride and began finding the rope regularly with a flurry of powerful strokes.

Things changed however, when Captain Lloyd (16) drove a ball straight to White off the bowling of Mason, bringing Glen Manchip to the crease. He started off with a boundary and looked to be in good touch, however he was soon heading back to the hutch after punching a full-bunger straight to a fielder off the bowling of Cunnington.

Debutant Gary Stone walked to the crease and looked to be in good touch as well, picking the gaps and starting to build a good partnership with Taylor. As with last year, Cris retired after reaching a peerless 74, bringing James Payne to the crease – looking to make amends after a poor showing with the bat in last years fixture.

Stone and Payne weren’t together for long though, Stone holing out at deep mid-off to a ball that kicked up off a length after scoring just 7. This brought whippersnapper Chris James to the crease, although he was soon traipsing back after being bowled through the gate for Kilve’s only duck of the game.

Carl Clemenson made the walk to the middle, looking to get his 2010 campaign off to a good start, however he was walking back after troubling the scorers for a single.

After losing two quick wickets Payne tried to settle the Kilve innings down with second debutant Duncan Malpass. After a few cautious overs the two started to score freely with Malpass quickly racking up the singles, while Payne took 20 off one over from John Bishop, including 2 sixes.

The pair got the score ticking again before Malpass was caught by Bishop off the bowling of Eve for 11. In came the third debutant, southpaw Pete Stone who played a similar role to Malpass – showing a good range of shots around the ground before being caught for 8 while trying to up the scoring rate. Saffer, and final debutant Quinton Button made his way out and made 5 before being caught by a very good catch by Bishop.

Retiree Taylor came back out for a final flurry until Payne (53) decided to run two to a bullet arm and was run out well short of his crease by a direct hit. Last man Ryan Penwell came to the crease for the last 9 balls, and played some textbook strokes before the 40 overs were up and Kilve had amassed a competitive 202 for 9.

After tea, Kilve opened up with Clemenson and Penwell with the former starting his usual spell of tight and quick bowling, and Penwell not so much! It wasn’t long before a wicket fell though, with  Clemenson comprehensively bowling P. Redford for 1. Penwell appeared to be having problems with his line and length, before finally finding his groove for a few balls – then losing it again! Clemenson soon picked up wicket number two, trapping D. Tompkins leg before for 10.

James replaced Penwell at the bottom end and was soon mixing it up with several balls flying through to the keeper Payne at a good pace. He soon had his reward, accounting for Eve who drove the ball to ‘Wendy’ Penwell at long off. Bishop and McDonagh started to pick up the scoring rate for Bagborough, intentionally picking out the wounded fish in Stone, who had tweaked his back before bowling a ball!

The introduction of Button for Clemenson soon got things back on track for Kilve though, with his left arm over line troubling the batsman. He accounted for both batsman and bowled superbly.

With Bagborough struggling to reach the required 203, skipper Lloyd mixed the bowling up, with P. Stone taking three wickets from the bottom end with a mixed bag of line and length, and Manchip brushing off the rust with a great spell accounting for Minchin for a duck. With one more wicket needed James replaced Stone and dug a few in short before Briggers holed out off his bowling to Taylor after a flurry of boundaries.

It was a good performance from Kilve all round, winning the fixture for the second year running and both the batting and bowling look very promising for the upcoming season.

Batting Scorecard

Name How out Bowler Total
Stuart Lloyd* Ct White 16
Cris Taylor Not out
Mason 76
Glen Manchip Ct Eve Cunnington 5
Gary Stone Ct Briggers Bishop 7
James Payne+ Run out 53
Chris James Bowled White 0
Carl Clemenson Bowled White 1
Duncan Malpass Ct Bishop Eve 11
Pete Stone Ct White Cunnington 8
Quinton Button Ct Bishop Eve 5
Ryan Penwell Not out 1

Bowling Scorecard

Name Overs Maidens Runs Wickets Average
Carl Clemenson 7 1 17 2 8.5
Ryan Penwell 4 0 15 0
Chris James 5.3 1 32 2 16
Quinton Button 5 1 11 2 5.5
Duncan Malpass 4 0 19 0
Pete Stone 4 0 21 3 7
Glen Manchip 4 1 11 1 11
Cris Taylor 2 0 14 0