On a gorgeous late Spring day, the Kilve 1st XI were confident of a positive result at home to a winless South Petherton side currently sitting at the foot of the table.
Stand-in skipper Carl Clemenson lost the toss and the Kilve were put into the field on what looked perfect batting conditions – blue skies and a fairly flat, grassless track.
Starting with the customary opening partnership of Ryan Penwell at the Sea End and young Jay Darrell at the Village End, it wasn’t long before they made the breakthrough, with Darrell bowling Bell for 8.
Penwell was unusually off the pace (ahem!), and was spared any more misery by being replaced by Gary Stone after conceding 26 off just three overs, and this proved to be a good change as Stone found huge turn and bounce from the off.
Taking the wickets of Acreman and Davis within consecutive overs it was apparent that the track was more receptive to spin, and the skipper duly replaced Darrell after his excellent opening spell with James ‘Badger’ Payne at the Village End.
It wasn’t long before Payne was into the wickets, with Andrew Martin taking a fine catch at long on to dismiss the dangerous Boutlon for 39, before he trapped Guest leg before for 12 after he played one too many shots across the line.
Stone followed up with the wicket of Snowdon before ending his fine spell, to be replaced by Cris Taylor. To say it was a stroke of genius is an understatement, as Taylor only went and took a double wicket maiden in his first over, snagging Boon off his own bowling for 0 and following that up with Williams for another duck. Sadly, it wasn’t to be repeated though as he promptly went for 15 off his next over and was replaced by Clemenson.
Payne, who was bowling tightly at the Village End took a hiding from Harris in his final over, going for 19 before Clemenson wrapped up the tail, getting Harris to feather through to the keeper for a powerful 49 and Sibley the same way for 5, leaving the South Petherton total sitting on 155 all out.
After a stunningly good tea as always, Kilve openers Taylor and Ed Martin took to the middle with the hope of getting some serious runs under their respective belts, and this proved to be just the case.
With Ed picking up the odd boundary while still keeping the score ticking over, it was Taylor who took the initiative after what was a fairly slow scoring start for him.
Pouncing on anything that was off line or length, it was an exemplary knock, studded with a combination of both power hitting and deft glances that saw the runs required shrinking at an alarming rate.
Not to be outdone, Martin chipped in with some textbook cuts and cover drives, but the highlight of his innings was a backfoot punch over cover point that the ‘Little Master’ himself would be proud of!
It wasn’t long before the score needed was less than 4, and it was finished in style with Taylor smoking Harris over long off for his 4th maximum of the game to finish on 97no, with Ed also notching up another ‘red inker’ with 53.
It was a superb all-round team performance capped off by a brilliant batting display that took Kilve to second in the table and looking in a great position to be able to challenge for a 4th successive promotion 🙂