The Kilve 1st XI turned up at North Newton on a textbook English Summer’s day – periods of intense sunshine flittering in between silvery grey clouds full to bursting with rain. There was plenty of drizzle in the air, and although the sky in the distance looked promising, both teams were made to wait until the covers were safe to remove. After a further wait for any excess moisture to evaporate, Kilve skipper Carl Clemenson once again lost the toss and Kilve found themselves inserted on a deck that was both wet and offering a lot of uneven bounce.
Openers Ed Martin and James Payne found the going hard and scoring opportunities were very limited due a combination of accurate bowling and a track that was popping up off a length.
Payne fell first, trapped in front for a patient 10, leaving Andrew Martin to join father Ed at he crease. The pair began the rebuild solidly, and it was Andrew who launched the counterattack – a sensible move as it was probably best to make hay before a ball had your number on it.
Ed followed suit and played several crunching shots that raced to the boundary, before he too was given out – trapped in front after making a superb 39.
Cris Taylor joined Andrew at the crease and it’s fair to say Kilve had their two most attacking batsmen in! Taylor didn’t hang around, despatching the bowling from ball one before he fell for 11, caught at long off after he failed to connect properly. If he had, it’s fair to say the fielders would still be looking for the ball!
Jay Darrell joined Martin in the middle and the pair soon had the home side silenced. Full of enthusiasm after thinking they’d made the breakthrough, they were powerless to stop the rampant pair. Martin pulled and drove with power, while Darrell sent several balls flying to the point boundary along with an effortless maximum over long on.
Darrell fell on 28, caught off Barrington’s bowling before Gary Stone made a short trip to the middle. With a few overs remaining he had no choice to hit out from the off but unfortunately a leading edge caught at short mid off lead to his demise after scoring just 1. Kilve skipper Clemenson (5) was next in but he too fell cheaply on a track that was still doing a fair bit, and it was Andrew who met his demise soon after – caught near the boundary line for a simply brilliant 77. A stunning knock considering the conditions.
This flurry of quick wickets left Peter Stone (0*) and Marc Girling to see the last few balls out. Girling promptly despatched his first ball for a huge maximum and then again found the rope with the final ball of the innings to leave the Kilve total sat on 197-7, a remarkable effort considering the team were put in on a damp track that was doing plenty.
After a fantastic tea, the Kilve openers Gary Stone and Darrell looked to make early inroads, and they did just that with Darrell forcing Barrington onto the back foot before comprehensively bowling him for 4.
Stone hit next, Quinton Button taking a superb snag at short leg off a textbook Stone delivery. Button did incredibly well to stay low and his one-handed dive at full stretch saw the ball safely held to leave Jenkins walking back for 4.
In much the same way as the Kilve players had done, the North Newton batsmen looked to take the attack back to the bowlers, and both Stone and Gadsby began to hit out.
Darrell was replaced after an excellent opening spell by the skipper Clemenson, and he was in the wickets column almost straight away – that man Button again holding on at short leg after a bumper had undone J. Stone for 6.
Stone was replaced at the greenhouse end by Girling after a miserly spell of 10-3-11-1 and he bowled 4 overs with numerous balls leaving the batsmen groping, but was unfortunate not to take a wicket before he and Marchent had to leave the game due to family commitments – this left the Kilve side with only 9 men and 17 overs to go – surely too much of a task with the track drying out and the home side only 3 wickets down?
Clemenson, still bowling excellent lines struck first to remove W. Gadsby for 20, well caught at mid wicket by Button yet again before Payne, replacing Girling began what can only be described as a dream spell.
Bowling his usual ‘Yardy darts’ he removed danger-man T. Gadsby for 34, caught by Button (yes him again!) at midwicket before he also had C. Street caught by skipper Clemenson for a duck the same over.
Next to go was J.Mason, bowled leg stump for 7 while the following over he had Barham Jr expertly stumped by Ed Martin to leave the North Newton chase crumbling.
Payne took wicket number 5 with quite simply the best catch most of the Kilve players had ever seen. With the field looking sparse due to the missing men and the home side needing to hit out in search of much-needed boundaries, S. Mason launched a ball towards the long on boundary only to find Gary Stone. His perfectly timed jump left him hanging in mid air where he caught the ball at full stretch while at the same time trying not to hit the fence which was just millimetres behind him. It really was a one in a million catch.
With the home side reeling Payne (8-3-15-6) took his sixth and final wicket when he had White trapped plumb in front first ball to seal an amazing win for the Kilve side – the North Newton total sat on 120 all out.
It really was a fabulous all-round performance from the Kilve side – the fielding standard and team spirit was simply exceptional, especially after they lost two men and with both batsmen and bowlers delivering the goods just when it was needed it was a truly remarkable victory.