Topping the table after two games, Kilve took a trip to Meare to take on the division’s second placed team, mirroring the 2nd XI’s game the same day.

Arriving at the venue, the players were stunned to find that it was indeed a sunny day, and that no rain was forecast at all. A miracle, and a definite sign that global warming is indeed in full swing!

Whilst the team were enjoying some light-hearted banter and Quinton almost put his back out (What a surprise – poppadoms have more strength!) in the warm up, skipper ‘Slug Lloyd won the toss and elected to put Meare into bat on a very grassy track.

With opening bowler Clemenson sidelined through injury for several weeks, it was up to Chris ‘Loudmouth’ James and Ryan ‘Man’s Man’ Penwell to open the bowling and they didn’t disappoint, hitting great line and length from the off.

Penwell was in fine form and quickly tore through the Meare top order with S. Baker caught for a duck, Passmore bowled for 2, Baker caught by Button for 1 and Higgs caught by P. Stone for an explosive 10. Someone had obviously been watching too much T20!

With the home side reeling keeper Payne ran out the opener G. Mason for 8 after yet another excellent throw from Pete ‘Bullet Arm’ Stone – the second successive week the pair have achieved it.

This brought Cook to the crease and he looked a good bat, playing some top quality shots and allowing his team to build a score after they had been reduced to 33 for 5 and one point. Although the wicket had looked ok at the toss, it started to throw up a lot of random deliveries, with some balls completely dying whilst others popped around shoulder height off a length!

Although Cook’s initial partner Harris was caught plumb in front by Glen ‘Toy’s well and truly in the pram this week’ Manchip in his first over for 4, he built a good partnership with next batsman Love and the two began to push the home side’s score to a respectable total.

Skipper Lloyd changed things around by bringing young Will ‘Aren’t I beautiful’ Munro on for his first outing of the season in the 1st XI. After a mixed bag of a first over he had Love caught off an edge in a better second over by Gary ‘You’ve got the gloves mate’ Stone at gully off a rank full toss. Always the way though and at this point Kilve were most grateful of a breakthrough!

This brought Linham to the middle, and together with Cook he started to rebuild the Meare innings until Cook was bowled my Duncan ‘Legside’ Malpass for a very well played 31.

I wasn’t long before James had C. Mason caught for a single and Munro bowled I. Baker for a duck to leave the Meare total on a competitive 131 – a pretty tricky chase considering how the track had played.

After a very nice tea, Kilve took to the middle with P. Stone opening with Lloyd in the absence of Cris Taylor.

They started steady enough and looked to be in good form when out of the blue Lloyd was bowled by a ball that kept very low indeed  – nothing the batsman could do but shake his head at the misfortune.

This brought Payne to the crease, and he looked to be seeing the ball well until he shouldered arms to a ball that pitched a foot outside of off stump. Normally this wouldn’t be a problem, but this particular ball decided it wanted to hit middle stump 6 inches off the ground and duly did so with the batsman playing no shot. Payne traipsed off looking like a schoolboy who’d lost his dinner money but as with Lloyd it was just one of those things.

G. Stone came to the crease for his first knock of the season and looked in fine form from the off. Playing some exquisitely timed shots all around the ground he started to put pressure on the bowlers, and together with P. Stone who was playing a fantastic holding role the runs required were starting to decrease rapidly.

Unfortunately, while approaching his maiden 50 for the club, G. Stone was bowled by an excellent yorker from Linham for a superb 49 which brought Manchip to the crease. Usually a slow starter, Manchip looked in great touch from the first ball and was soon getting the fielders chasing to all parts.

P. Stone was next to fall, bowled by a straight one from Linham for a crucial 19 that cemented the Kilve innings together.

Malpass was the next batsman in and looked great, playing some classy shots on the tricky wicket, but was caught off a ball that popped off a length while trying to bring Kilve home.

It was left to new boy Munro to join Manchip at the crease and together they scored the necessary runs, Munro unbeaten on 6 and Manchip hitting a delightful straight drive for 4 to win the game by 3 runs and remain unbeaten on 26. * It should be noted that Manchip ran 3 in his innings, a feat which has been submitted to the Guinness Book of Records for 2011!

It was a great performance yet again from Kilve on a gorgeous day, yet very tricky wicket and was the sort of game they would have lost in previous years. That’s now three successive victories and maximum points, long may it continue!

Batting Scorecard

Name How out Bowler Total
Stuart Lloyd* Bowled Love 8
Pete Stone Bowled Linham 19
James Payne+ Bowled Higgs 3
Gary Stone Bowled Linham 49
Glen Manchip Not out 26
Duncan Malpass Ct C. Mason Linham 4
Will Munro Not out 6

Bowling Scorecard

Name Overs Maidens Runs Wickets Average
Ryan Penwell 11 3 32 4 8
Chris James 11 1 30 2 15
Glen Manchip 10 1 20 1 20
Will Munro 7.5 1 24 2 12
Duncan Malpass 3 0 16 1 16