It was crunch time at Sea Lane this week as Kilve, unbeaten at the top of the table entertained a Dulverton side sat just behind them in second place. On the hottest day of the year, with the temperature pushing the thirties it was absolutely no surprise that Kilve skipper Pete Stone lost the toss and found his side being asked to take the field, the groans were surely heard in East Quantoxhead when he announced the brilliant news!
Sam James took the new conker at the Village End and Josh Taylor at the Sea End, but despite the pair of them bowling superb spells under the blazing hot sun, they were hugely unfortunate to go wicketless for over 10 overs. Sam in particular induced numerous gropes and false shots from the batsmen and Josh bowled a miserly spell by going for just 6 runs off his 5 overs.
Stone, searching for the important breakthrough, replaced JT with Carl Clemenson at the Sea End and it’s fair to say his stellar form this season showed no signs of abating as he bowled R. Dubery for 18 off his very first ball!
Young Jim Taylor replaced Sam at the Village End a couple of overs later and he followed Carl’s lead by snagging D. Rendle in his opening over by bowling him all ends up for a patient 15.
It’s almost inevitable that when a few wickets fall in quick succession a runout opportunity arises, and that’s exactly what happened next as Pete Stone took full advantage of a mix up between the wickets, his pinpoint throw saw the in-form C. Hooper trailing back to the hutch for a duck.
By now Kilve had blunted any momentum Dulverton had initially gained, and both bowlers took full advantage. Jim Taylor was in the wickets column again shortly after by comprehensively bowling H. Harrison through the gate without troubling the scorers before Clemenson had a bit of a dream spell.
First up was T. Cottrell, bowled by an inducker for 24, before he caught D. Bennellick off his own bowling first ball. A couple of overs later he bowled both A. Smith (8) and W. Baker (0) in the same set of 6, before he ended the visitors innings the following over by bowling T. Blundell for 14 to leave the Dulverton innings sat on 96 all out, D. Boyce retiring hurt earlier after injuring his achilles. It was a superb effort by all in the field to limit the visitors to a low total after being asked to field first, with all 4 bowlers having superb spells – Clemenson the obvious standout.
After tea, sensing a great opportunity to put some distance between themselves and their nearest challengers, Cris Taylor and James Payne took to the middle hoping for a solid start.
Taylor took most of the early strike, and was his usual self with a flurry of early boundaries settling any nerves before a wicket came out of nowhere. In the face of some good new ball bowling from the visitors, the pair had got a quarter of the way to the target before Taylor fell for 20, his uppish drive nestling safely in the hands of mid-off.
Clemenson joined Payne in the middle and although the bowlers were getting enough movement on a slow and low pitch, the pair managed to negotiate a tricky spell where Payne survived a decent LBW shout and together they got the scoreboard moving in the right direction.
With the first change bowlers offering a few more freebies, the pair began to cash in and both batsmen started to find the boundary rope and more importantly the gaps in the field to keep the board ticking over.
With just 15 runs needed, Payne fell for a sucker-punch trying to hit the ball into the car park off a shortish W. Baker delivery. It was a serious misjudgement, a decision he realised halfway through his stroke on such a slow and low pitch and he was trapped bang in front for a well made 28.
It was left to young Rio Rock and yes, that man Clemenson to see the game home. Fittingly it was Carl that nudged the winning run through the covers to end unbeaten on 32, with Rio ably assisting with 6*.
It was a superb 8 wicket win for the home side, the Kilve team performing superbly in all 3 disciplines and it was certainly a match that Clemenson will want to remember for a long time.
Big thank you to Barry Adams for scoring as always, about the only person at the ground who was loving playing in the 30 degree weather!