The Kilve 1st XI entertained a Watchet side at Sea Lane on a gloomy July day, and after winning the toss at last (hurrah) skipper Carl Clemenson inserted the opposition.
Payne, opening in place of the injured Gary Stone was miserly and held up one end but it was Jay Darrell who rightly took all the plaudits. He bowled a sensational spell, perhaps the best his best ever to demolish the Watchet top order. He removed Sparks (0), Lovell (13), Ketchen (4) and Walsh (0) in the space of 7 overs for 24 runs, the vast majority of those being false shots and flying edges.
Payne and Darrell were replaced by Clemenson himself and Ryan ‘sausages’ Penwell but the pair were wayward with line and length, relieving the pressure that had been building. Andrew Martin arrived to turn the game with his left arm filth, accounting for M.Strong (33) and R. Strong (7) before club Lepidopterist Peter Stone capitalised on a suicidal run shout to leave Sully well out of his ground for a well-made 55.
Darrel and Clemenson returned to take a wicket apiece, Darrell claiming his five-for by bowling yet another member of the Strong family, Colin this time for a powerful 30, before Clem had former Kilve colossus Dellow caught in the deep by Cris Taylor for 23.
With the home side unable to break the final pair, the Watchet innings sat on a healthy 214 for 9 off 45 overs – a good score but on a fast outfield and even track with good carry would it be enough?
Rarely has Kilve faced a more tense situation. After the quick wickets of Taylor, Martin & Payne there were still over 140 runs needed to overcome a fired up opposition.
Enter the crab-stanced Darrell and the out of form Peter Stone. Great friends off the pitch, now was the time to work together on it.
What followed can only be described as carnage. Jay cut, drove and slashed anything near him, whilst Pete simply destroyed everything offered him with disdain. The partnership took momentum away from Watchet quickly, the stunned silence in the field spoking more any words.
When Stone nicked behind for 37 & Darrell slashed wildly once too often for 35 the run rate was under 6 and the swelling crowd were on their feet in both appreciation and anticipation.
This left the consistently impressive Chris James and proud skipper Clemenson to see the game home.
Helped by the choice not to bring back the miserly Dellow, they were helped by extras as well as taking the bowlers for more than 6 an over without too many risks.
In a flourish of power hits and superb running the pair negotiated the finish calmly with 2 overs to spare, Chris ending on 30* and Clem 29* to win by 4 wickets.
What did we learn?
Chris James closes games down with skill.
The skipper leads by example.
Jay Darrell must be one of the best all rounders in the league.
Pete Stone is back and boy can he biff the ball
No caterpillars. But plenty of character.