Knowing that the previous week’s defeat to Burnham left them needing to win their final game to take the league title, Kilve entertained Uphill Castle at Sea Lane.
After winning the toss, the Uphill Castle skipper opted to have a bat on a track that was showing some signs of wear and Kilve opened up with Ryan Penwell and Carl Clemenson, who was hoping he might have grown out of his allergy to the new ball, and it all looked very rosy indeed when Clem bowled Hodder for 1 off his very first delivery.
After this early breakthrough however, the Uphill batsmen began to rebuild and Kilve struggled to make any more inroads until Jay Darrell, replacing Clemenson at the Village End struck in his first over to remove Llewellyn for 11, before Penwell was rewarded for his efforts by having Latham caught for a duck shortly after.
James ‘Badger’ Payne replaced Penwell at the Sea end after a great final spell for the season, and he was in the action almost straight away by deceiving the classy Oultram with a slower delivery that saw his loft the ball into the hands of Quinton Button at midwicket for a well-made 28.
Payne then removed the other dangerman Frost when he went back and played all round a full length ball to walk back after scoring a powerful 25, before he caught Harrington off his own bowling for 3 off a leading edge as the batsman tried to work the ball to leg.
Clemenson replaced Darrell after yet another superb spell at the Village End, and he looked in much more control with the older ball by castling both Newman and D. Bicknell for 6 and 2 respectively after numerous rip-snorting deliveries had proved too good.
Payne was causing all sorts of problems at the other end, and picked up his 4th wicket with Leech holing out to Mark Girling at cover for 5 before he trapped H. Bicknell plumb in front to take his five-for and end the Uphill Castle innings on 114 all out.
Opening up with regular pairing of Cris Taylor and Ed Martin, the Kilve chase couldn’t have got off to a worse start as Taylor caught a thick outside edge to be caught at cover off Leech for 4.
Ed was joined by Andrew Martin and they started to rebuild the Kilve innings before Ed injured his shoulder playing a shot and retired hurt, leaving the in-form Jay Darrell to join Andrew in the middle.
They weren’t together long though as Martin was caught at square leg off Holt for 15. Chris James joined Darrell in the middle and the pair upped the scoring rate with some great shots and excellent running. James fell on 11, caught off the bowling of Bicknell to give Clemenson a chance to shine with the bat. He looked in great touch, flaying several balls to the boundary in quick time but was stumped on 15 after coming down the wicket and trying to heave the leg spin of Frost to Holford.
Payne joined Darrell at the crease and it looked as if the pair would push Kilve over the line, only for Darrell to unnecessarily hole out to mid off with just 9 runs needed. It was another quality display with both bat and ball for the youngster that saw him take 1-18 off 8 overs and hit 53 with the bat.
Payne was joined by Girling in the middle and Marc finished the match in style. With just 3 runs needed, he dispatched a full ball from Leech over the infield to give Kilve the game and the league title.
It was a fantastic game, and a fitting end to a season which saw Kilve lose just 2 games.
Special thanks to skipper Peter Stone who led the team superbly, the tea ladies Kelly Stone and Kate Taylor for providing us with the best tea in the league, groundsmen Cris Taylor, Peter Stone and Martin James and everyone else who has helped the club this season, we really appreciate it.