Kilve entertained a Fitzhead side on what was a beautiful early June Saturday at Sea Lane.
After winning the toss, Kilve skipper James ‘Agricultural-shot specialist’ Payne elected to have a knock and found himself opening with Peter ‘Sehwag’ Stone in regular opener ‘T2YLO’s absence.
The pair got off to a flier and were making short work of the bowlers. Anything too full was driven with authority and anything short dispatched to the rope off the back foot.
Payne fell on 56, not heeding the warning of his previous attempt at sweeping Burns he tried the same shot and top-edged it behind square for an easy pouch.
Glen ‘Firebrand’ Manchip arrived at the crease but unfortunately he didn’t hang around long enough to make an impression. He fell on 4, after being snagged at mid-wicket on what was a truly great reflex catch – Manchip had rocked back to a half-tracker and middled the ball with total authority into the hands of a Fitzhead fielder who stuck out a hand for the cleanest catch you’ll see. Unlucky Glen!
Duncan ‘Geordie Shore’ Malpass was next in, although he only managed to score 7 (including a huge maximum) before he fell to another ridiculous catch by a young whippersnapper who raced from long on to deep midwicket in no time at all and snared the batsman right on the line.
Young Jay ‘Mullet’ Darrell was in at 5 and he was soon playing his usual innings of classy shotmaking, and along with Stone who was now seeing it like a football, the pair started piling on the runs.
Darrell was out on 20, victim of another great catch from a Fitzhead player, leaving Carl ‘Velcro gloves’ Clemenson to bat out the remaining 10 overs with Stone. The pair played with much gusto and dealt some seriously heavy blows to the bowling attack. Stone reached his maiden century for the club and carried his bat for a magnificent 123no, while Clem hit a super 24no including a huge maximum that cleared the trees at the Sea End.
With Kilve’s innings ending on a very competitive 261-4, it was a relaxed tea filled with confidence for the upcoming assault on the Fitzhead team.
Clemenson took the new ball at the Chantry End after Ryan ‘Wendy’ Penwell had opened at the Sea End, and snagged himself a wicket with his first over, with Oliver feathering through to Manchip at first slip for 5.
L. Burns was next to go, caught off the bowling of that man Clemenson again for 16 before Wendy grabbed one at the opposite end, comprehensively bowling Rottenbury for 5.
Clem was soon two up again though, as he bowled M. Burns for 16 through the gate with a corker.
The only Fitzhead batsman who looked like hanging around was the skipper R. Bellringer who was looking well set and punishing any bad bowling on Kilve’s behalf.
With Clemenson bowling Stoddart for another single figure score, Payne looked to spread the bowling around and replaced the excellent pair of Penwell and Clemenson with Quinton ‘Sharkie’ Button and Chris ‘Blunderbuss’ James.
Button took a wicket with his first over, bowling Durham for a duck with a textbook ‘top of awf’ delivery and James doing the very same with his first over, sending S. Bellringer back to the hutch after scoring a rapid 18.
The pair toiled away for several more overs without luck, and with the limpet-like R. Bellringer beginning to look to comfortable, Skipper Payne bought himself on, replacing Sharkie at the Sea End, and as is so often the way with casual bowlers, he snared the big wicket. Although his first few leggies were quite rightly punished for being far too full, he managed to get one that came out just right and the loopy flight deceived the batsman. He played across the line, missed and was bowled for a well made 59.
Dan ‘Dr Dan’ Sefton and Dean ‘Collingwood-a-like’ Marchent were next up with the ball and although ‘the Dr’ was a bit hit-and-miss, Marchent snared a wicket in his very first over to end the Fitzhead innings on 172 all out to complete a comprehensive victory for Kilve.
It was an imposing total to chase, thanks in part to Stone’s superb knock and some class bowling by the two openers and Kilve took maximum points.